By Stacey Stapleton on iVillage.com
You like to believe your performance between the sheets is stellar and sexy — but what if your guy doesn’t think you’re quite the hubba-hubba, sexy love-makin’ machine you think you are? We spoke to several sex therapists and relationship experts about what men want in the bedroom to find the things that make a woman bad in bed. While not everyone can become a rock star (er, porn star) overnight, if you find yourself frequently doing (or not doing) these things, it’s time to step up your sexual routine.
Comstock Images/Comstock Images/Getty Images
The Bedroom Looks Like Your Office
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: Nothing sends a guy’s libido plummeting like reminders of stressful work life. "So keep your daily grind and any symbols of real-world responsibilities (like computers, stacks of bills and buzzing blackberries) out of the boudoir," says Cynthia Gentry, author of What Men Really Want in Bed and What Women Really Want in Bed.
Be better in bed: "Reserve your bed exclusively for sleep and sex," says Gentry. “Which means resisting the urge to curl up with the latest office memo." (We’ve yet read an office memo that’s a turn-on!) Or, do some sexy reading instead: Pull out the Kama Sutra, an erotic best-seller or some good old fashioned Anais Nin and read out loud to each other
You’re Not Into Oral Action
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: Do we really have to tell you why? We’ve yet to meet a guy who didn’t love getting — and giving! — oral sex. So if that’s not your bag, know that your guy is probably wishing it were — and is pretty bummed that it’s not.
Be better in bed: What’s the issue? Make oral action part of your bedroom repertoire, stat. In fact, the next time your guy is aimlessly surfing the web, start going down on him without saying a word. If you’re unsure of your technique, a little primer in how to give an amazing blow job might be just the confidence boost you need. (Trust us, he’ll thank you!) And if you’re worried about your own nether region, just remember that most guys says going down on their partner is a huge turn-on.
You Jump Out of Bed the Second It’s Over
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: We know you need to clean up when the party’s, um, over, but really, don’t run right to the loo the minute the deed is done. For one thing, it’s essentially sending your man the message that you think you two just did something sort of icky. For another, guys actually like that intimate cuddle time, says Gentry, so "getting up immediately and running to the bathroom is a big buzz kill." And don’t take offense if he drifts off to sleep — that’s just a sign he’s super-satisfied.
Be better in bed: Take advantage of the quiet time and pay him a compliment. Don’t gush and blow smoke up his you-know-what, but rather, get specific. Say, for example, "It was amazing when you rolled me over and got on top." Giving him a gentle rubdown is also a great way to prolong his buzz and your intimacy — and it may just lead to round two!
You Hang Around in Your Sweatpants
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: We’re not suggesting you start vacuuming in a red lace nightie, but men are visual creatures, and your honey will notice if you stop trying to look sexy for him.
Be better in bed: "Pay attention to how you look, and don’t get too comfortable,” says relationship and sex expert Ian Kerner. "They may not always verbalize it, but men appreciate a woman who tries to look sexy for them — it shows she’s interested. Of course you should dress however you like — but making more of an effort to show off the goods your guy loves can go a long way. So if he adores your tiny waist, wear more belts that show it off. If he loves your cleavage, wear a form-fitting V-neck. And yes, invest in some sexy lingerie. One night when it’s just the two of you for dinner, put it on under your sweats. Then, as he’s helping clear the table, announce: "It’s time for dessert!" and surprise him with a sexy striptease
You Talk About How Your Ex Was in Bed
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: Yikes! According to Gentry, this is one of the worst things a woman can do in the sack — even if your current sweetie stacks up favorably. Your guy doesn’t want to be compared to his predecessors. He doesn’t even want to think about his predecessors — just like you don’t want to think of the women in his past!
Be better in bed: Flattery goes a long way with guys, so tell him he’s the best you’ve ever had or point out specific things he does exceptionally well. Murmur "I love it when you…" while you’re really starting to get heated. And if your ex really was a love god, then you might have to get creative. Say something like, "I’ve always wanted a guy to wake me up with oral sex" casually to your current guy. He’ll want to be the one to fulfill your fantasy "first," and you’ll get the bedroom action you’re craving without talking about the lame ex-boyfriend.
Your Pre-Sex Routine Takes Longer Than the Act Itself
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: Picture it: Your man is lying in bed, ready and waiting, and you’re in the bathroom brushing your teeth, taking out your contacts and washing off your makeup. Guys hate this! Having sex with you is a major priority for them, and they want you to feel the same way. When your beauty beauty routine comes before he does, well, it just kills the moment.
Be better in bed: Try to do part of your bedtime beauty routine when you get home from work, so later on things can just happen naturally with your guy. Or better yet, save it for after he falls asleep. (And seriously, would it kill you to sleep with your makeup on once in a while?) If you absolutely must touch up your makeup or lather lotion to feel comfortable getting down, do it a sexy way: Invite him to apply that lotion while your legs are spread in front of him, or put on lipstick and go down on him right away, so he can see the color on his shaft.
Your Sex Routine Has Become, Well, Routine
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: Most couples who’ve been together for a while slip into the mode of having comfortable — almost lazy — sex. That’s not a bad thing, as long as it’s not the only sex you have. It’s natural for men (and women, too) to get bored with the same old routine lovemaking, and you certainly don’t want him to think you’ve lost interest in the relationship — or that he doesn’t turn you on anymore.
Be better in bed: Even if it’s just for a night, having hot out-of-your-house hotel sex can really step up your sex life. You don’t have to splurge or go far away, just being out of your element will add excitement to your normal routine, advises Gentry. If a night-away isn’t an option for you, get yourself a copy of the Kama Sutra and stick post-it notes on all the pages you want to try. Men love a challenge!
You Never Take the Lead
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: C’mon, you know it’s not fair to make your man do all the work! "Men often complain that their partners don’t initiate sex enough," says Kerner. In fact, according to iVillage’s married sex survey, more than 30 percent of women say their partners initiate sex most of the time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s important for you to be the one who gets things going sometimes. Men want to be wanted, too!
Be better in bed: Next time you’re out to dinner, bring a pair of sexy red panties with you (or wear them, if you’re feeling extra frisky). Excuse yourself to go to the restroom, then when you come back, stick the pair of panties in his pocket. He’ll look down, see your "gift" and instantly ask for the check. Or for a less risqué approach — get his engine revving throughout the day by sending a steamy (yet blunt) text message about what you can’t wait to do to him tonight.
You Act Like It’s a Favor
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: We know you’re tired, but acting like you’re doing him a favor is not doing anyone any favors. "Having a charity approach to sex is awful, especially if you find yourself saying something like ‘go ahead, just do it,’" says Kerner. No one likes to feel that his or her beloved is just grinning and bearing it. And when you don’t show any enthusiasm for the act, it’s a major blow to his ego.
Be better in bed: Be an active — and we mean active! — participant in your sex life, even if you’re exhausted. We all know what tired feels like, and chances are your guy understands. But instead of simply turning him down, tell him all the things you really want to do with him… tomorrow. You can also offer to talk dirty in his ear while he gets himself off. You never know, you might just get inspired!
You’re Riddled With Insecurities About Your Body
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: Believe us, despite what you see in the mirror, he doesn’t notice those dimples on your thighs or that pimple on your chin. "We all have insecurities, but you’ve got to get over them. Making love with a woman caught up in a hurricane of self-doubt is really trying," says John Ortved, relationship blogger for Glamour.com. "Confidence is sexy."
Be better in bed: First, ban the sentence "I’m so fat" from your bedroom lexicon. Second: Find lingerie that makes you feel like the sex queen you really are. If you’re a curvy girl, you’ll look and feel sexiest with your bosom supported and booty well-covered, so find a bra and panty set with these features. If you’re an A-cup, create cleavage by choosing a good old-fashioned pushup bra. Trying to hide a belly? Opt for a pretty lace camisole or high-cut brief panties. You’ll feel more comfortable — and let’s be honest, they won’t stay on long anyway.
You Don’t Give Him Any Feedback
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: Sex is a like party for two, and if you’re not having a good time your partner won’t either. "Sexual pleasure is best when it’s mutual, and if it’s not, a big part of a man’s motivation is lost," explains Kerner. "He really does want to please you, so let him know how."
Be better in bed: A woman who knows what she likes in bed is sexy. But men aren’t mind-readers, so you may need to tell (or better yet, show) him exactly what you want and need. The key is doing it in a way that doesn’t ding his ego. Try sandwiching one little thing you don’t like in between two things you love. Just fill in the blanks: "I really love it when you…rather than…and it really blows my mind when you…." Other ways to get your point across: Gently guide his hand or shaft exactly where you want it, or be super vocal when he’s doing something you love. See how easy that is?
Your Guy Is Suddenly Disinterested
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: Think about it: Most men are always ready, willing and able, but if you’ve noticed your guy is more standoffish lately, you may be failing to light his fire. "When a man is in love with his partner, but she’s just not satisfying him sexually, he may slip into a pattern of not being in the mood as much or showing less enthusiasm when they do have sex," says Gentry.
Be better in bed: An open, honest (outside the bedroom) conversation may be in order here. You can also encourage him to share a fantasy with you — then grant his wish right there on the spot. The best way to help your honey open up is to get the ball rolling yourself. During foreplay, when you’re both feeling frisky and less inhibited, say, "You know what I’ve always wanted to try…" Then playfully prompt him with, "Now it’s your turn."
You Clam Up When Things Heat Up
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: If you like what your sweetie is doing, let him know it. You don’t have to wake up the whole neighborhood, but a few well-placed moans will let your guy know he’s on the right track. And although many women feel awkward about how they sound when they orgasm, most men like a vocal partner. After all, it’s a surefire sign he’s pleasing you.
Be better in bed: If you’re normally the reserved type, go ahead and pump up the volume. And a little dirty talk never hurts either, which, according to Ortved, is something many women aren’t doing but that guys love: "It can’t sound fake, we don’t like that. We want it to be dirty but still sound like you." In other words, don’t go from prude to porn star in a single night — it won’t sound believable. If you’re still antsy about making some sexy sounds (maybe you have paper thin walls, or worse, roommates), try getting away to a secluded spot or a hotel with private cabins so you can really exercise those vocal chords.
You’re a Speed Demon
Why it might mean you’re bad in bed: Sex is fun, right? So you should want it to last as long as possible. While we’re fans of the occasional quickie, "if you regularly send your guy barreling toward the finish line so you can get back to making your to-do list for work tomorrow, he’s going to sense that sex with him is not a top priority for you," Gentry says.
Be better in bed: Now’s the time to be a tease and postpone the big bang. Instead of rushing to the finish line, "bring him to the brink with your hands or your mouth (or both!) and then slow things down when he’s about to come," Kerner says. Doing this a few times creates a blissful build up to the final act. We guarantee he’ll be back for more!