The most important part of sex is not the position, the foreplay, or the climax—it’s the consent. It’s so important that both your emotional and physical relationship be built on trust and open communication. This is one of the foundations of a healthy relationship. 

However . . . asking for sex is kind of awkward. You just want to feel the vibes and kinda go for it, and asking for it feels like it could be a total buzz kill. So, today we’re going to give you the deets on how to ask for sex in a way that’s flirty yet respectful. 

If you’ve been dating for a minute, and you’re ready to take your relationship to the next level, here’s how you do it:

How To Ask For Sex

How To Ask For Sex 

Talk about sex beforehand, if possible.

Talking about sex before you’re ready to have sex can make easing into intimacy a lot easier. Try to have conversations about sexual preferences, sexual history, and even their preferred timing of sex. (Like, are they put-a-ring-on-it kind of person or do we just need to go on X-amount of dates? What’s the milestone?)

When you know your partner’s expectations for sex, easing into it is way easier. If you still need some help with this conversation, listen to the episode of That’s So Retrograde called Intimacy and Relationships and the Tools to Talk About Them and the episode of Note to Self called Talking About Sex With Your Partner, Moving in With a Man, and Quitting Your Shitty Job

Choose the right time and setting to pop the question.

Once you know what they’re expecting, wait out the right time in your relationship and ensure you choose a setting where they’ll feel comfortable. The conversation about sex doesn’t just have to take place while making out on your couch. In fact, that might make them feel pressured. Maybe consider asking when you’re out to dinner or going on a walk. Of course, ask when no one is in earshot, but this might make it easier for your S.O. to kindly reject you. 

If you never got the chance to ask your partner their timing preferences for sex, listen to the episode of We Met at Acme called Texting Etiquette and When To Have Sex

Break the ice to set the mood. 

Obviously, you don’t want to come right out and say, “Wanna do the deed?” in the middle of a normal conversation. So, get a little flirty with your speech and show you have a desire for your partner with your body language. Keep it all light-hearted and fun to make sure your partner feels comfortable. You could even get a little silly, and let your S.O. know that you want them using the “Touch Me” side of The Bad Broadcast boundaries blanket

If you’re unsure of how to embody your sex appeal, listen to this episode of Dear Gabby. And, if you once had sex in your relationship, but there’s since been a dry spell, these same tips can work. However, we also recommend reading our post “How to Bring Intimacy Back in a Relationship.”

Keep the conversation casual and respectful.

Like we said, keep the conversation casual. Don’t ramp up the intensity of the moment and let your desire pressure them further. If you didn’t get the opportunity earlier, here’s where you can ask them more details about their sexual identity and what they’re into (like are they a vanilla sex person or a kink sex person?). As long as you’re respectful and accepting, it’ll probably go in the direction you want it to! 

How To Ask For Sex List

Don’t be graphic. 

A good way of making this conversation comfortable and casual is expressing your own sexuality and preferences first! This should help open them up and give them a little hint. If you need help with that, listen to this episode of the Freckled Foodie and Friends called Discovering and Expressing Your Sexuality and Identity

However . . . when you’re describing your own sexuality and sexual experience, don’t be too graphic. That can feel a little overwhelming and even be a turn-off for some. Keep it PG-13. If you want something specific from your partner, listen to this episode of Ex Virgin that helps you get what you want without the X-rating. 

Make sure you have clear consent.

Even if you think you’re both thinking the same thing, get explicit consent before proceeding. And, if you’ve been drinking and your partner seems even a little out of it, save sex for another night. For more on consent, listen to the episode of Balanced Black Girl called Sex Ed, Consent, and Intimate Relationships

Ask about protection.

One more thing to do before you’re ready to do the deed. Ask them about protection! If they have a specific preference or concern, you should respect that as much as possible. Of course, if you’re a man and your girlfriend asks you to wear a condom and you’re not into that, expect that to be a dealbreaker. The same goes for the other way around. It’s okay if a dude doesn’t want to have sex with you because you’re not on birth control. This is all a part of the consent process! Here’s more on safe sex with We Met at Acme!

asking for sex

Ready to take your relationship to the next level?

Having sex with your partner for the first time is kind of a big deal. You don’t want to blow it! We hope these steps helped you plan the perfect way to ask your S.O. for sex. If you want more on sex and relationships, browse our fave sex podcasts and listen to this episode of The Dream Bigger Podcast with a certified sexologist. The more you know, the better you’ll be, friends. 

Of course, you can also hang out with us at the Dear Media blog for life advice, podcast recs, and pop culture fun. We’ll see you next time!