The lights are off, you are tucked into bed and you are ready for it. It’s been awhile, school has been tough and work has been long — you need this. You feel your partner slipping into bed with you: he’s warm, he smells good and the sight of him pulling off his shirt is making you think something along the lines of “come to mama!” And then comes the takeoff!

After a couple minutes of trying to build yourself up by the mere power of your own mind (and let’s face it, you can only do so much), you come to the conclusion that it is just not doing it for you. He is slobbering all over your ear, his kisses are sloppy, his pubes are making you itchy, he’s pushing his uninvited penis WAY too close to your face and *insert every other weird thing done to you during sex here.* Okay, so it may not always be this awful, and his ungroomed jewels may not bother you in the slightest, but all in all, the sex is not enjoyable. One thing is for certain, and that is we should all learn to ask for what we want and how we want it during sex. Suffer no further, I have the answers to your prayers here.

Art by Sierra Deak / Daily Nexus

I have learned a thing or two throughout the years of occasionally laying like a corpse, eyes wide open and staring at the ceiling, wishing with all my might for some all-powerful deity to come tire out the guy on top of me. Do not ever forget that you have every right your partner has to have your world rocked. You are half the reason he is enjoying himself anyhow.

Seriously, think about it for a second: why should you get to suffer through the day with a sore vagina the morning after if you didn’t at least have fun getting there? You are deserving of having just as much fun, which is why you need to stop moaning unless you really mean it. Here are some of the reasons why you might feel compelled to sit pretty and wait until your lover is done, and also the reasons why your assumptions are just so, so wrong.

You are afraid to hurt his feelings. Don’t be. Whether he is the guy you met a couple of minutes ago at your friend Britney’s keg party or the guy you see yourself living with, thirty kids deep into marriage, your partner is a big boy — he can take it. Some guys may occasionally be upset to learn they were not pleasing you, but most of the time they will be happy you trusted them in the first place and will be eager to do what feels good for you. Most guys probably don’t even realize that what they’re doing is not working for you, so it is up to you to change that. If he doesn’t care to please you like the sex goddess you are, maybe it’s time to find another buddy for your nightly activities.

You feel guilty and even greedy asking for what you like because it makes you feel like an entitled brat. Newsflash, you are not a monster for wanting to have fun with your sexual partner. In fact, you should think yourself a better person for respecting yourself enough to speak up in the name of good sex; you have realized it is about the pleasure of both and not just the one. It’s not your fault the repetitive motion or your head banging up against the wall, or the car windshield just aren’t doing it for you. Sure, it may not always be this obvious or severe, but that doesn’t mean you are not allowed to say something about it.

It feels weird to ask for sexual favors. I mean, his man parts are in your woman parts, so the worse has come to pass, what is a little “can I get it just a little bit harder,” going to do? It is understandable that sometimes it can be a little weird to ask for things that you hear in corny movies and bad porn clips. At least to me, “a little to the left and harder,” and “yeah, right there baby, don’t stop!” seldom exited my lips with much ease, especially not with a new partner. With time and practice though, you will be talking dirty like a pro.

If he doesn’t care to please you like the sex goddess you are, maybe it’s time to find another buddy for your nightly activities.

Do you like getting spanked? How about doing it in the kitchen or experimenting with props? Do you want blindfolds and restraints involved? Perhaps you like getting bite marks all over the place. If so, by all means ask for it! You might think you are weird or out of the norm for liking the kinky stuff. However, no one is completely normal in bed, which makes you making you quite average. I slept with a guy that loved being choked for gosh sake. Besides, if you want to kick things up a notch or simply want to try something new with your partner, 99 percent of the time your partner will probably be excited and eager to try that something new with you.

If not for yourself, do it for your partner. You might be enjoying your carnal activities with the hottie with a one-night pass to ride the rollercoaster, but if this is a serious partner we are talking about, you might be putting your relationship at risk. There is nothing worse and more uncomfortable for both of you, than when your partner realizes you are faking it. I have been there, and it is not pretty. Not only will he probably feel hurt and embarrassed, but the trust he had with you will be broken. In the future he might find himself wondering whether he is really pleasing you or if it is all just a ruse, which may put strain on your sex life and your relationship. Being vocal is as good for your partner as it is for you.

On the topic of relationships, whether he realizes it or not, not getting what you want may make you bored or even resentful in the future. You might lose hope that your partner will ever learn to please you in bed; however, that is something that needs to be addressed in the first place. You may not even notice and, before you know it, the problem will begin affecting both of you.

Again, he or she may not know that you are not getting what you need, so spare yourself some trouble and regret and speak up about what gets you going before it is too late. I realize it is easy to tell yourself, “I’ll give him this one, next time I’ll tell him the way he sucks on my toes is really not doing it for me for sure.” If you make a habit of “next time” you might never escape the vicious cycle. Am I saying to instruct him on how to do everything? No, but definitely help him get there; you decide the pace you want to take. In the end, both involved parties will be happy and resent-free in no time.

I feel a duty to address the young women of my generation and others, because I have listened to many-a-girlfriend’s countless complaints about horrible sex, and it is a complaint that seems to be universal

Now am I saying that guys don’t feel dissatisfied in bed from time to time or that they are all sex robots seeking only to please themselves? Far from it. In the past, I have looked down at my own partner only to realize he is watching me having all the fun with an expression of dissatisfaction, which, of course, I was quick to fix. However, I feel a duty to address the young women of my generation and others, because I have listened to many-a-girlfriend’s countless complaints about horrible sex, and it is a complaint that seems to be universal. We are sometimes taught that as women, being sexual and having preferences is just not acceptable and that we are less “ladylike” if we talk about such “tasteless” subjects. In spite of this mentality, I hope you all realize it is not a crime to respectfully ask for what you want and deny what you do not.

At the end of the day, however, no matter your sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, everyone deserves to enjoy a healthy and pleasurable sex life.