A few months ago I started going out with a great guy. The problem is, he thinks he’s fantastic in bed and is always making self congratulatory comments about it. But the truth is he’s not taking the time to get to know what I want, because he thinks he knows it all already.”
Bragging is an age-old strategy employed by people who are afraid of not measuring up. Instead of asking for feedback, they attempt to bluff their way through anything that threatens them or might make them feel awkward. In the bedroom it might mean using phrases such as, “that was really great, wasn’t it?”, which demands an affirmative response, whereas the answer for, “how was it for you?” could go either way.
You say that your new boyfriend is a great guy, and I hope he is. But it’s worth pointing out that this bragging could be a way of convincing himself of his self-worth. Sometimes the easiest way for someone to feel superior is to make their partner feel inferior, and this creates a toxic and unhealthy relationship. If you start feeling undermined and begin questioning yourself, run for the hills.
Although bragging about prowess might imply a wealth of sexual experience, the opposite is often true. Your new man might have had lots of casual partners, but showing off is much more common in men who have not had many, or any, long-term relationships. You can only really learn about intimacy when you are emotionally invested in a partner. If you don’t feel that connection, you are not going to waste your time educating a sexual partner who is oblivious to his inadequacies. Sex is a language without words, and if you don’t feel you understand a partner and, more importantly, don’t care enough to try, it is often easier to bail.
If no one has challenged your boyfriend on his self-congratulatory sexual banter, he has no reason to believe it is not effective, and it is human nature to assume that what works with one partner will work with another. This is often a big mistake. In the absence of good communication, carrying assumptions about expertise over from one relationship to the next will not result in a good sex life.
The good news for your boyfriend is that you clearly like him enough to try to see beyond his goofy arrogance. Since his bragging probably masks feelings of insecurity, a direct challenge is not the best approach. Instead, focus on communicating what you want from him. When it comes to sex, women are not brilliant at being explicit, often because they feel shy, but also because they are afraid of coming across as bossy or directive. However, leaving men to work out your responses by themselves is unfair. They might know the basics, but they won’t know the nuances. So additional guidance is helpful.
Give your man a personalised tour of the most sensitive parts of your body. Describe the precise forms of stimulation that you enjoy and give him feedback when he gets it right.
I suspect that, once you begin communicating your likes and dislikes more clearly, his more irritating behaviours will disappear. After all, once you begin voicing authentic and unprompted appreciation, there will be no need for him to boost his ego.
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