“Not now, thanks. I’d rather just read my book.”

You’re allowed to be tired, but make sure she knows you’re surprised too. Try, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m too exhausted,” says Finkel. Then ask for a rain check—say, for the morning—and tell her you’ll do anything she wants. “Reassuring her is important,” Goldman says. If she knows you’re still interested, she’ll give you a pass.

“There’s something really weird I want to try with you.”

Congrats—now she’s leery. “If you say, ‘I know this is weird, but. . .’ your partner is bound to feel conflicted,” Goldman says. A smarter way in: “I’m curious about bondage. What do you think?” By starting a conversation instead of forcing her to say yes or no, you give her time to think. She’ll see that you view the act as a way to connect, not control.

“Is that supposed to feel good? I don’t like it.”

Say this, and you’ll look like an ass. Instead, show that you’re eager to improve too, says Goldman. Ask, “What do you want more of or less of in bed?” You’ll learn something about your own game, and when it’s your turn to share, she’ll be all ears. One trick: Sandwich the complaint between two compliments, and it will go down even easier.


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