Based on the article 27 Alternatives To Asking “Is This Okay?” by Marcia B

When it comes to sexual activity, we all want to know if what we’re doing in bed is working for our partner. Unfortunately, knowing what or how to ask doesn’t always come as second nature. You fumble, try to read clues and more often than not, “Is this okay?” tumbles out of your mouth.

In order to ask questions that actually get at the thing you want to know, please consider the following:

Yes/No questions

“Okay” is a maddeningly unclear (and rather low) standard for your sex life. If you are asking “yes” or “no” questions, be sure to ask about what you actually want to know. Much of the time, we want to know if we’re doing a good job, but “good job” is also not particularly well-defined. When in doubt, center your questions around pleasure, satisfaction and desire. If nothing else, it lets your partner know that you really want them to have a good time. Here are some examples:

Before sexual activity

  • Would you like it if…?
  • Would it please you if…?
  • Would you enjoy it if…?
  • Would it rock your world if…?

During sexual activity

  • Are you enjoying this?
  • Do you want more of this?
  • Is this good for you?
  • Does this work for you?
  • Do you want something different?

After sexual activity

  • Did you enjoy it when…?
  • Was it pleasurable to you when…?
  • Did it work for your when…?

Either/Or questions

Either/or questions can help you and your partner figure out which general direction to head in, without having to over-think things or be able to articulate everything in advance.

Most people are not very good at saying what they want. If you are trying to find out what your partner likes, trying something and then asking “Is this okay?” is unlikely to tell you what they prefer. But an open-ended question may cause your partner to freeze like a deer in the headlights. This is a great chance to give your partner options!

Personally, I’m not a big fan of Yes/No questions, because I like to find out more about what makes my partner tick. But these kinds of questions can be handy if your partner isn’t good at articulating what they like, when you’re caught up in the heat of the moment, or when you just need a quick snippet of feedback to see if things are on track.

  • Do you prefer a firmer or gentler touch?
  • Do you like it when I move slower or faster?
  • Do you want sexy snuggles or sleepy snuggles?
  • Do you want more tongue or less when I kiss you?
  • Would you like the rope tighter or looser?
  • Do you want me to be more allowing or more assertive [in this activity]?
  • Do you like spankings to be more “golf clap” or more “rock concert”?

Open Ended Questions

Here are some examples:

Sometimes, you just need a lot more information than “Is this okay?” or “Are you okay?” will give you. You might feel emotionally adrift in an interaction, or totally unable to read your partner’s cues. In this case, open ended questions are the way to go! They can be good to ask during a lull in the action, when something seems to be off-track but you can’t tell what, or during a sexual debrief after sexual activity.

Either/or questions can be particularly helpful when trying out a new activity, when you’re trying to figure out the flavor of something your partner has asked for, or when you really want to dial in exactly what turns them on.

  • How do you feel about what’s happening right now?
  • What would rock your world right now?
  • What would feel good to you right now?
  • How are you doing?
  • What’s going on over there?
  • How would it be for you if…?
  • How was that to hear?
  • What’s your level of interest in that?

The answer you get to a sexual question depends on what you ask. Sexual communication (like all communication) is a bit of an art form, and you’ll discover what works best for you and your partner over time. Experiment with all three kinds of questions until you discover a new standard of sexual satisfaction for you and your partner.