Why is it important to ask for what you want in a relationship? Hi, I’m Dr. Liz from Sex-Positive
Psych. And today, I’m diving deeper into the first of the three most common problems in non-
monogamy. And that problem is not asking for what you want. So imagine this, you’re going out
with someone, you’re going on a date, you thought everything was going to be fine. Then you
get to the date and you can kind of tell that something is not working. And you asked him and
you’re like “Hey, is everything OK?” He’ll say “Oh yeah, it’s fine” and you looked at him and
you’re like “It seems like something is not OK, like what’s going on? Tell me what’s going on”
but “Oh no, it’s– it’s fine.” Have any of you ever had that experience? I know I have.
The thing is most of us aren’t mind readers. Most of us are really terrible in fact at guessing
what’s going through other people’s heads because at best, we make our guesses based on what
we know of that person and how our brains operate. And just because your brain operates that
way, doesn’t mean that theirs does too. When we’re in a relationship and we don’t ask for what
we want, it is almost impossible to guarantee we’re going to get it.
Here’s the thing, I see a lot of folks especially people who are new to non-monogamy who are really worried about being so brash as to ask for what they want. They’re worried about “What if this person says no?” and I
think they’re worried also about “What if this person says yes?” “What if I could actually get all
of the things that I want, all those things that would make my biggest dreams come true?”
When we don’t ask for what we want, we make sure that we don’t get it. I have seen so many
times people rejecting themselves for someone else. They don’t ask that person on a date. They
don’t ask the person to go down on them. They don’t ask the person to use their vibrator with
them because they’re so certain that the person would say, “No” and yet at least half of the time
if they finally do ask that person, the person says, “Yes.” Almost all of us want nothing more in
the world than to make our partners happy. We want to take care of ourselves, we want to take
care of our partners. And the thing is you can’t do that very well if you don’t know what your
So number one mistake in non-monogamy that I see is people not asking for what they want.
This will build resentment. If you’re not asking for what you want, you’re going to keep wanting
it and wanting it and hoping they’ll notice. And why haven’t they noticed? And why can’t they
just tell that this is what I need? So just ask. I know it’s hard. I know it’s challenging to ask to
ask for what you want but you can totally do it. If you’re worried about how to ask for what you
want, on my website, I’ll put a link down in the comments, there’s a great conversation formula
for when you’re having a difficult conversation. Reid Mihalko also has a great difficult conversation formula.
The thing is, if you want to get it, you have to ask for it. So number one common most problem
in non-monogamy, not asking for what you want. Have you solved it? Take a chance. Someone
can’t say “Yes” to you until you ask. If you ask, there’s at least a chance that they can say “Yes.”
If they say “No,” then at least you have the information you need to make a good decision.
For instance, I’m solo poly. If I ask someone– if I tell someone that I need to go on dates with
other people and they say that that’s not OK with them, I know that person isn’t a good fit for
me. if I’m noticing that the way someone is playing with my genitals isn’t actually working very
well for me and I give them that feedback and they won’t change or respond, that’s not someone
who’s going to be a good sexual match for me.
If you ask for what’s important to you from what you need and that person can’t give it to you,
that’s OK. Now you can make new choices about your relationship. Maybe the style of
relationship changes, maybe there are new things you have to negotiate, maybe this is the time
for your relationship to a transition. But regardless, you aren’t going to get what you want until
you ask. So just do it. Open your mouth, use your words and ask for it.
The final resource I’ll offer you on this, if you really want to dive deep into how to use your
words to get what you want, I’ve got two online courses available. The first one, gnash teeth on the negotiation
is like if you took a dirty talk class and put some communication skills in with it.
It’s a great way to get what you want in a way that it’s fun and sexy. If you want to dive even
deeper, my 6-week webinar course, Your Erotic Voice is a great way for you to explore who it is
that you are and how you can get what you want in the bedroom and beyond. I’ll put links to
those down here in the comments as well.
So again, number one problem in non-monogamy, not asking for what you want. How do you
solve it? Take a chance. Give it a shot. The worst the person could do is say “No.” And since
you’re already in the realm where they are by default saying “No,” you’ve got nothing to lose.
I’m Dr. Liz from Sex-Positive Psych. Leave any comments or questions down below. Can’t wait
to hear from you.