Is your sex life a relationship dealbreaker? For many of us, it is. And that’s totally OK — you deserve to have a happy, satisfied sex life and you shouldn’t put up with a relationship where that isn't happening. At the same time, it would be silly to end a great relationship because your sex life is a little lackluster, without at least trying to improve it. So often, if you open up a conversation and try a few new things, you can reinvigorate your sex life and find a way to please both of you.

The problem is that so many of us don't feel comfortable talking about our sex lives — and we feel even less comfortable letting our partners know we’re not happy. We worry about the awkwardness, about their feelings, about making the sex even worse because you’ll both be self-conscious. But the bottom line is, you should be able to talk to your partner if you’re not happy with your sex life. You should be in a relationship with someone who wants you to be having great sex. If you need help building up to that level of frankness, that’s OK — you can start small, to get the conversation going.


Here are the subtle ways you can hint to your partner that you’re not happy with your sex life, because it’s so important to get the ball rolling.

1. Ask them about how they're feeling

If you want to open up a conversation, start by asking them questions about how they feel your sex life is. Are they satisfied? Is there anything else they’d like to try? What do you they think works best or doesn’t work? What’s their favorite thing you do together? Even a partner who isn’t great at picking up on clues should at least reciprocate the questions and give you a chance to talk about ways things could change or improve — and those who are a little more switched on will realize you might be looking for something more.

2. Suggest a change

Whether it’s bringing a toy into your sex life, trying a new position, or buying some costumes for a little roleplay, sometimes it’s easier to instigate a change yourself and let your partner connect the dots. If you’re looking for something new, introducing it can be another (gentler) way of saying that you’re not getting enough. It’s just a way that manages to keep everyone’s feeling intact. Not only that, so many people are interested in kinkier or more interesting sex than they’re currently having — so there's a good chance you’ll find your partner likes adding in the new dimension, too. Maybe they just haven’t known how to ask.


3. Talk about your fantasies

If you’re not happy because you have a specific fantasy that needs to be fulfilled, talk about it. The best thing about fantasies is that they feel so hypothetical in conversation — like you’re just pulling something out of thin air, rather than pointedly telling your partner that your current sex life is boring. If you can open up that conversation about fantasies, you’ll probably find common ground — and talking about something as intimate as fantasies can bring the two of you closer together.

4. Initiate spontaneous sex

When it comes to taking matters into your own hands, you could go beyond hinting and just go for it. Initiating sex is a subtle way of letting your partner know you’d like to be having more sex (or that you're just straight-up horny). If you’re disappointed that you're not having more sex, trying to have more sex is the most straightforward solution. Once you get used to being bolder, then you can open up the conversation even more.


5. Don’t overplay it in the bedroom

One good way to let your partner know that you’re not happy is to stop doing the things that make him think you are — exaggerating, faking, whatever it is you might be doing during sex. If you’re constantly pretending that your sex life is mindblowing, your partner is going to think that it’s mindblowing. Cool down the theatrics and try to replace it with more honest reactions, your partner may get a better sense of what’s working for you or what you need more of.

6. Give them clear direction 

Once you cool down on the theatrics in the bedroom (or even if you haven't), you can make a lot of great changes by just giving your partner clear direction. You don’t need to say, “that’s not working,” or "that's not right," — though you definitely can. If you're nervous, try saying, “I love it when you...” or “A little stronger on my clit, that feels amazing.” or "I think it would be really sexy if we try it with my legs up around your hips?” The more direct you are, the more that they’ll learn what you love — and then what doesn’t work can just fade away.

In an ideal world, we’d all have frank, candid conversations about sex all the time — and hopefully, you’ll get there. But while you're working up to being more comfortable saying what works and what doesn't, you shouldn’t have to suffer through a boring sex life. Try to open up the conversation, don’t pretend you like something that doesn't work, and, crucially, give clear clues when you can. Once you get used to being more explicit and open, things get so much easier.

Shutterstock