How to let someone know they're bad in bed without offending them

Couple in bed
Couple in bed

Telling someone you love (or could love) that having sex with them sucks, does not rank highly on anyone's 'Things I love doing' list.

But if you do it, I can guarantee you two things instantly.

First, it's not as bad as you think. Second, crack the code on this one and you're sexually set for life.

And it really isn't that difficult if you follow one simple rule.

The secret to telling someone they're the worst lover you've ever had, is…not to.

Focus on what you want, not what you don't, and you'll find the solution without ever having own up to having a problem!

Confused? Keep reading and I promise it will all make sense.


Work out what you want

Start by focusing on yourself, not your partner.

Make a list of 10 things you want more of in bed, 10 things you want less of and 10 new things you'd like to try.

Finding it harder than you think?

This is the mistake lots of people make.

Saying 'I hate it when you do that' isn't much help unless you suggest something you'd like them to do instead. You have to know what you want sexually in order to get it.

One final check before you proceed further: how specific are your lists? Do they simply and clearly spell out exactly what you want, for how long?

Your partner is not a mind-reader. Loving you does not mean they know exactly what you need to turn you on at that exact moment.

Let me repeat that: your partner is NOT a mind-reader. Which is why it's a good idea to....

Let them in on the secret

Not much point in just you knowing how to give you pleasure is it? Here's where you open your mouth and – shock horror! – tell your partner about it!!

Choose a time when you're both getting on reasonably well (call me an alcoholic but I always think a good time is when you're a big glass of wine in and having a laugh), then simply bring the subject of sex up.

"I forgot to tell you! Remember Kate? The girl I used to go to school with? (A complete lie – all of it.) Well, I ran into her and she's left her husband and run off with a younger man – purely for sex!

"Anyway, I started thinking, I hope you won't run off on me because you aren't happy with our sex life. And then I thought, we really should put more effort in. Like there's loads of new things we could do and try in bed and I'd hate for you not to be happy…."

Get the idea?

You're opening up a discussion on sex that's two-way: both of you talking as a team about what you'd like to explore instead of you pointing the finger.

In fact, you're actually on the back foot and giving them centre stage - maybe even insinuating they'd have more to complain about than you would.

Hold the indignance – it's the end result that counts. And you'll get a lot further this way than launching into a discussion on why you don't enjoy sex because your partner's the worst you've ever had.

Work from the positive

This is the crucial bit: always work from the positive.

Always start by telling your partner what they're doing right before moving onto what they're doing wrong.

In other words, talk about what you want more of in bed, not less of.

I don't care if the only thing he does right is turn the lights off. Whispering 'I love the way you make it all dark and sexy' is still better than 'Oh for God's sake, when are you going to learn I like foreplay!!'

Lying helps.

Saying, 'Wow! That felt great when your tongue hit that spot – go back there!' is kinder and more constructive than saying his tongue is so far off target, it was in the next room.

Master the art of criticism without wounding feelings and the rest is easy.


Put your money where your mouth is (or should now be) by reinforcing your words with body language.

Use your hands

If they're still not getting it right (and they're probably not yet because words can only explain so much), redirect.

Use your hands to move his/her hand/mouth/hips to where you'd like them to go/do.

It's pointless (not to mention a complete waste of time which could be spent enjoying yourself) to just lie there and hope they'll eventually hit the spot.

Instead, reach down and show them where/what/how hard you want him/her to be.

Back it up with body language

Praise them vocally and with your body when they do get it right and make it so obvious even the neighbours know.

Apply the same technique when they do something you DON'T like: show zero enthusiasm so they well and truly get the message.

Your body should radiate 'That feels about as pleasurable as getting a pap smear when they haven't warmed up the steel thing'.

Don't judge others by your own behaviour

If we respond to something a certain way, we assume everyone does. Wrong! We're all individuals and it pays to remember it.

Take noise in bed for example.

The world divides into three types – those who scream, groan, moan and generally wake up everyone within a half mile radius from the first kiss through to the last thrust (about 20%); those who are generally quiet but quite vocal during the climax bit, emitting grunts/sighs and involuntary moans on orgasm (about 60%); and those who keep their lips zipped no matter what (about 20%).

Seriously, Scarlett Johansson/Jon Hamm could miraculously burst through the screen, fall on their knees and deliver and some people would still stay silent.

So don't take it as a personal slight if your partner does fall into the last category.

Why are some people vocal and others aren't?

It's more to do with upbringing, past experience and general personality type than enjoyment of the experience.

It doesn't mean they're not enjoying it, it just means they're more embarrassed/inhibited/private/quiet/different/put whatever word you like on it about sex than you are.

Even if they're not writhing about the bed screaming Yes! Yes! Yes!, it doesn't mean they're not melting on the inside.