The lights are low. A fire smolders in the fireplace. Two wine glasses sit, half empty, on the nightstand. Your clothes lie in a heap on the floor. You reach for each other. The two of you tumble to the bed, and... No explosions of passion. No breathy proclamations of desire. No tumultuous climax. Then you wonder: How can everyone in movies and romance novels be having fiery, combustible sex when you and your partner barely create a spark? [caption id="attachment_43" align="aligncenter" width="601"] How to Get What You Want in Bed[/caption] Sexologist Logan Levkoff, author of the eBook How to Get Your Wife to Have Sex With You, says, "TV shows and movies give us this very skewed representation of what sex is supposed to be like. Everyone seems to be climaxing and having orgasms all the time from whatever they're doing. When you grow up on a diet of that, and when your real life doesn't match, you think, 'There's something wrong with me,' or, 'There's something wrong with my partner.'" Real-life sex can almost never measure up to the passion portrayed on the screen, sex therapist Isadora Alman says. "People don't talk about the fact that it's likely that in an odd position you'll pass gas or the love of your life will take you in his arms and have bad breath." Sex in the real world isn't perfect, and it doesn't always end with an earth-shattering climax -- but it doesn't have to, Levkoff says. "Good sex doesn't necessarily have to be about an orgasm. It can just be an emotionally fulfilling experience between partners." [caption id="attachment_56" align="aligncenter" width="606"] How to Get What You Want in Bed[/caption] Getting What You Want in Bed Even when everything else in the relationship is working, sexual styles aren't always compatible. You like long foreplay sessions. Your partner is ready to go in an instant. You long for wet, sensual kisses. He prefers dry, chaste pecks. "Sex is not just naturally perfect," Alman says. "There is the energy of a new relationship that is positive -- the excitement and the eagerness and the passion. And the negative is that you bump noses or knees because you just haven't learned how to dance together yet." But even long-term couples can struggle in the bedroom. Though we can easily tell our partner what shirt we'd like him to wear, or what we'd like to cook together for dinner, we tend to get tongue-tied when it comes to the topic of sex. "People tend to be very sensitive when it comes to talking about sex," says relationship and family therapist Rachel Sussman. "They're afraid of hurting their partner's feelings, so they don't tell them what they like or don't like. But you're not going to get it unless you ask for it." So how do you tell your partner what you want without bruising his or her ego? "I think it's really in how you bring up the statement," Levkoff says. "'I would love it if we...' or, 'Could we try this?' You don't want to make them feel bad about what they've done or haven't done." [caption id="attachment_101" align="aligncenter" width="600"] How to Get What You Want in Bed[/caption] You can have the conversation whenever and wherever it's most comfortable for you. But before you talk, you need to know exactly what it is about your sex life that bothers you. Is it a question of technique? Personal hygiene? Timing? "Once you know what isn't working for you," Alman says, "there are things you can suggest that can mitigate those circumstances." For example, if something about your partner's smell is turning you off, suggest taking a bath together before making love. If you crave more foreplay, ask for slower segues into sex. Before you can tell your partner what you want him or her to do in bed, you need to know what you like. "I think especially for women, they've got to explore their own bodies," Sussman says. "You have to masturbate. Get a vibrator. Get some books. Teach yourself how to orgasm."