Have you ever heard "if your cannot ask for what you want in sex, maybe you're not ready to have sex." I used to believe this maxim myself before I started having sex. I realized that my shyness prevented me from being directive. My shyness was mainly due to a lack of confidence. However, I eventually learned to articulate my needs all the same. My lack of confidence did not mean that I was too immature to be having sex. I also had a healthy and supportive partner. So, here are some tips for the shy person who has a sexy idea but who doesn't want to ruin the mood by bringing it up:
1. Put it on the menu
Seriously! Write it down as a literal menu. Put your desires on a pretty card, and deliver it to your partner on a platter. Dressing up in waiter outfit is optional. Ask in what order should you bring out the "dishes." You may also put other needs under each act, such as This dish comes with a side of dental dams and is delivered clean & sober. Just like in a restaurant, a person may decline options on the menu. Tell your partner that "the chef" may be able to whip up something off-menu.
Bare in mind that part of consent language is learning to hear no's and take rejection. When partners decline it may be because they're just not in the mood right now and so you could always suggest another time or a non-sexual activity in its place. Negotiation is skill all couples need to have inside and outside of the bedroom.
Watch a funny porn
Read a smutty fanfic
Handjobs (mutual masturbation),
Head (fellatio/ cunnilingus),
Sex in cowgirl position (vaginal intercourse)
Boss-Secretary (Role Play)
Watch a comedy
2. Lead with "I have a Confession to make..."
Particularly for folks who are more oriented towards submission, phrasing your needs as a secret to confess helps share the control, but shifts the power back into your Dom's hands. Ask your partner if "they like to take charge?' Ask, "Is it alright if I confess something to you, Lover [insert other pet name here]?" Also, the confession game can be a great way of staying in scene. The more Dominant person can also use the term "confession" to check in-- "Does my Sex Toy [or some other pet name], have a confession to make?"
3. Share Your Yes-No-Maybe Lists
Ask your partner to fill out a Yes-No-Maybe List with you. Some are longer than others. Some focus on certain types of play in the bedroom. Scarlet Teen has a very thorough list that also will encourage you to set boundaries. These lists work best when filled out separately in private, not while sitting next to each other. They provide an opportunity for you to figure out what you like first. Then, when you come together to discuss your answers you might be surprised by what sexy-time activities are shared in common. If you're used to vanilla sex, you may have hit a routine without realizing that there are other activities that both of you would be willing to try. You may also realize that you've been having sex that your partner doesn't like. Additionally, these list present an opportunity for you, to set a limit on activities you will not try. Finally, it gets your wheels turning. You might be able to suggest a maybe based off of a similar "no" or generate three more similar activities based on a "yes." And as a sexual assault advocate, I love enthusiastic "yes's"!