In Bed With Lisa
In Bed With Lisa
How to Stop Being Afraid to Speak Up During Sex

Ever felt like things are moving too fast in the bedroom, but you don’t know how to slow it all down? Or found yourself going along with something that you don’t realllllly want to be doing right now? Do you find yourself feeling sfraid to speak up during sex?

Ugh! It can be such a pleasure suck when the words are on the tip of our tongue, but just don’t want to come out. Well, this week’s guest is a master of confident communication in any situation. And, yes, that includes dans le boudoir!

Oui, oui, I am talking about Ursula Botha, a fabulous Public Speaking Coach, Vocal Artist and Actress with a gift to help people express and deliver their ideas. Because, it doesn’t matter if you’re standing on stage in front of hundreds of people, or laying in bed beside your crush – the nervous feeling is much the same! And Ursula has the tools to make it all feel much more manageable.

Knowing Your Worth

I began by asking Ursula if learning to speak up during sex could lead to more fun in bed… and she answered with a visual description that will delight you (well, it certainly delighted me!).

Imagine 2 bubbles – that are crossing over slightly, kinda like the Olympic Rings… got it, good! Now imagine that one bubble is communication – which is the expression of thoughts, and the other bubble is confidence – which is worthiness and competence. That sweet spot, where the two bubbles overlap is the place we want to be! Where we’re able to express our needs from a place of worthiness!”

Yes, please! Well, as much as I’d love to reach through the screen and hand that to you right this second, the truth is, it’s a work in progress. (I know, I know!).

Ursula recently found herself sitting at a table of different, empowered women, who were all comparing notes on their dating adventures. Strangely enough, there seemed to be a through-line in the conversation. A common theme that they were all expressing. They felt that men were inviting them to the bedroom too soon. And they were wondering what this meant.

Whatever the motivation behind it, the overriding feeling was anger from the women. And it was interesting because these women were all from different backgrounds, and yet the experience and the emotion were all the same.

So, how can we speak up during sex?

So, now imagine you’re in that scene. You’re on a date and it’s going well. And all of a sudden you’ve been invited to the bedroom… but it’s feeling too fast. What can you do?

Ursula identifies three different responses that are common in this scenario.

  1. We might get angry. “How dare you think that I’m so easy, don’t you know my worth?” While this is a normal reaction to a boundary being breached, it’s not always the most helpful response.

2. The second response is to be very sweet. I know this one well! You act overly nice and make up excuses, and kind of wiggle your way out of a situation. The trouble here is that you haven’t communicated needs from a place of worthiness.

3. Now the third option is that sweet spot we mentioned. Communicate exactly where you’re at. Be honest and straightforward about how you feel without anger.

Easier said than done, right? Fortunately, Ursula has a tool to help us deliver that third option in a way that can be digested! She calls it the sandwich approach to communication.

The Sandwich Approach

You start with a slice of bread, to validate the receiver of your message. Something like, “I am attracted to you and I’d love to come over and spend time with you.” 

Next, you add the filling, which is the core message that you are delivering here without apology. Something along the lines of, “My dating style is slower,” or “I don’t feel ready right now.” 

Finally, you have the final piece of bread to complete your sandwich, which closes your side of the exchange with confidence.  You can try something like, “I enjoyed spending time with you and I have time in my schedule to see you next week.” 

By ending with an invitation to meet up again, you are showing a willingness to continue – but your boundary has been set.

In a nutshell:

  1. I like you
  2. This is not comfortable for me right now
  3. Perhaps we could meet again (insert suggestion here)

What if it’s “too late?”

And what if they don’t like your response? Well, Ursula states matter of factly – the wrong dating partner will eliminate themselves! I loved that. Simple, and true.

No requirement to please everybody or turn a frog into Mr Right. By stating a boundary clearly, kindly and without apology, we can invite respect. If that isn’t forthcoming, there is no requirement to continue pursuing this dating line of enquiry!

But as we chatted, another potential scenario popped into my head and I was curious to hear how Ursula would recommend dealing with that. Remember we said you might respond with anger, super sweetness or confidently stating boundaries? Well, what if you went along with their invitation to the bedroom when you don’t really want to? I’m sorry to say that has happened to me more than once. 

So what happens when you’ve allowed things to progress further than you’d like – and now you’re in bed together? How do you communicate confidently and set the boundaries from there? Is it too late?

Ursula suggests that we are not too hard on ourselves. “Be compassionate with yourself, even though this may now feel extra difficult. But, it doesn’t matter how far things have gone, you can still use the confident communication approach to set your boundary at ANY stage.”

Speak up during sex

Yep, it’s super important that you learn to speak up during sex. Even if you’re already in bed and naked. Even if sexual activities have begun. This is about being confident enough to revoke consent at any point. 

And how do you know what your boundary is? What if you’re just feeling nervous and aren’t sure if you want to get jiggy or not?

Ursula says that we need to listen to the voice inside. What is your body telling you? Listen to that. That’s the only rule. Notice what you want and then speak up! And while it’s easier to speak up with your clothes on, you can still do it when they’re off. 

Practice, practice, practice speaking your truth until it starts to feel more comfortable. It will get easier. Confidence is linked to competence – so practice to get comfortable with it. That means practicing at work, with friends, on WhatsApp and everywhere! Because hearing yourself advocating for YOU is a massive step and takes some getting used to. Over time you will believe you are worthy.


What a powerful and simple tool! Do you think you can give it a try? And if you’re worried about communicating your needs and scaring off that new guy you’re dating… Well, Ursula says this is another beautiful case of “the wrong people will eliminate themselves!” If they can’t hear your truth – then it is going to be a difficult match.

My favourite thing about Ursula’s approach to Confident Communication in the bedroom is that it can help you feel safe. And safety is so important in the bedroom and with pleasure in general. As a recovering people pleaser, I can see great value in this and I’m excited to hear if you’ll put it to use in your life. 

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