Recently a close girlfriend told me about an eventful evening in the bedroom that left her, no pun intended, bent out of shape. During a high-energy lovemaking session, her lover got overly ambitious and flipped her upside down against a wall and proceeded to make love to her in a headstand. This was then followed by 10 painful minutes of her laying on her back with her kneecaps touching her ears. Not exactly the romantic evening she had in mind.

Fast forward two trips to the chiropractor and couple of Icy Hot Patches later, and here we are sipping mochas, scratching our heads and asking ourselves why she willingly allowed herself to take part in an impromptu round of sexual calisthenics. The answer, well I can’t say I was too surprised when she told me she didn’t know how to say no without hurting his feelings. And just like that I was reminded of three little words that never fail to illicit a hand to the hip, a neck roll or at least a side eye out of me: a man’s ego.

Before I begin my rant, it’s important to note that I respect and value a man’s ego, however I have not and will not bow down to it, especially when it comes to sex. Sex is one of the few times in life that we’re allowed to unabashedly receive and respond to pleasure. Why give that up so only one party can walk away satisfied? Yes a man needs to feel like a man, but it’s equally important that a woman feel like a woman and not his oversized Raggedy Ann doll. Not to mention that by complying with the foolishness the first time, you’ve inadvertently set the standard for all future lovemaking sessions. What’s next, backbends and squat thrusts? The thought alone makes me cling to my Tylenol.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for trying new things and letting the guy take charge, but when sex begins to mimic a drunken game of Twister, we have a problem.

Too often we as women allow our men to be the proprietors of our pleasure, simply closing our eyes and holding on tight as we let them lead the way. But let’s be honest, there are some men out there who need directions every now and then. And although they may not admit it, most men appreciate when a woman can articulate her likes and dislikes when it comes to sex. It shows them that you’re assertive, know what you want, and are as unapologetically and equally committed to getting yours as they are to getting theirs.

I had a similar incident occur a few months ago when a past beau asked me to call him “daddy.” Stopping myself short of dropping a few expletives, I politely told him that I already have a father and certainly do not want to think about him when I’m laying on my back staring at someone’s ceiling. Call me uptight if you want to, but a girl’s gotta know when and how to say no.

And with way too much information disclosed about myself and my friend’s sex lives, I say to you ladies, don’t do your body a disservice by not allowing it to experience all of the pleasure it was created to have. As mothers, daughters and working women we compromise enough in our everyday lives, so why should we restrain ourselves when it comes to making love. Men certainly do not have a problem telling us what they want, so why should we be timid about our deliverables and boundaries in the bedroom. If you want to be licked, bitten, folded and molded then tell him. If you don’t, then tell him too. Making love should be an enjoyable and if you’re lucky, over-the-top, body-shaking, orgasmic experience. What it shouldn’t be is a pre-cursor to Advil and a back brace.

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