Everyone has a different set of preferences when it comes to having sex. One of those differences arises when it comes to conversations.
We’re not talking about pillow talk or foreplay, i.e., the conversations that come after or before sex. We’re not talking about general conversations about boundaries, consent, and preferences, which should be navigated at any point in time. We’re not even referring to “dirty talk,” though that’s certainly an area where people can have different opinions.
We’re referring to conversations during sex, i.e., ongoing navigation of your sexual preferences, desires, expectations, and more. Some prefer to talk during sex, some stay zipped-up while having sex, and others express themselves purely in the language of moans, grunts, bodily movements, and other forms of non-verbal communication. All preferences are completely valid.
Communication during sex is linked to sexual satisfaction.
However, a recent study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy has found that communication during sex is linked to sexual satisfaction.
Talking During Sex: According to Science
The Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy recently featured a study titled “Show or Tell? Does Verbal and/or Nonverbal Sexual Communication Matter for Sexual Satisfaction?”
The study aimed to determine if communication is linked to sexual satisfaction, including verbal and nonverbal communications. While open communication in relationships is undoubtedly linked to sexual and emotional satisfaction, the study found that some people feel more satisfied if they express themselves during sex. The study aimed to expand the current understanding of the link between communication and sexual satisfaction.
Instead of simply determining the importance of communication in general, the study looked at the impact of different communication styles — verbal and nonverbal. It also observed the impact of different communication styles on sexual satisfaction. The study’s abstract mentioned, “trying to ascribe to a particular communication style may be less important than simply being satisfied within a relationship with a particular communication style.”
Conducted with a sample size of 398 individuals, the study looked into the following:
- How often the partners communicated during sex.
- Which mode of communication they used — verbal or non-verbal.
- How often they communicated beyond sex.
- How they initiated and navigated communication.
- How happy they are with their sex lives and relationships.
- Which partner engaged in communication during sex.
The research concluded that communication is certainly important during sex. But there’s no clear superiority between verbal or non-verbal communication. It’s far more important for the partners to be satisfied with their specific communication style, whether verbal or non-verbal. As such, this study showed that there was a direct link between communication during sex and sexual satisfaction.
It’s completely alright for individuals not to talk during sex if that’s their preference.
It’s completely alright for individuals not to talk during sex if that’s their preference. If so, they should ideally build a series of non-verbal cues to extend communication and ensure mutual satisfaction.
The research notes: “Nonverbal communication during sex is often perceived to be less awkward or less threatening than verbal communication. It may be less awkward or threatening for a woman to guide her partner's hand to her genitals rather than directing her partner verbally: 'Please touch my genitals.'” However, if phrased correctly, making a direct request can also be a turn-on.
The Fear Associated with Talking During Sex
To overcome one’s hesitation with communication during sex, one must understand the root of their concern, often traced back to fear or shame.
Some people are also afraid of an outright rejection from their partner, especially when they are verbalized.
When engaging in sexual practice, even in mutually respectful relationships, you open yourself up and make yourself vulnerable. Some people are afraid of the embarrassment caused if their partner doesn’t respond favorably to their suggestions, which can also ruin the sexual mood. Some people are also afraid of an outright rejection from their partner, especially when they are verbalized.
Responding to these fears, people use ambiguous modes of communication that don’t clearly express their intentions. Non-verbal communication is great, but only if both partners are on the same page. However, if non-verbal communication is attempted without sufficient understanding, it could lead to a miscommunication of desires. As such, talking during sex allows you to overcome that barrier and express your intentions clearly.
How to Talk During Sex?
Sometimes, people struggle to incorporate communications during sex without ruining the sexual mood. However, if phrased correctly, even navigating consent during sex can become attractive and pleasurable, heightening your sexual mood. If you’re unsure how to proceed and have a sufficiently open relationship with your partner(s), you can even practice talking during sex.
The following are some of the things you can try saying during sex:
- That feels amazing (informs the partner that what they’re doing is working for you)
- I love how you feel right now
- Please don’t stop/ keep going
- I want you to… (insert the action you want)
- I really want… (insert the desired action)
You can use the template mentioned above to navigate most forms of sexual conversation without uneasiness or awkwardness. You can also modulate your voice to further amplify the results. For example, you can try conversing in gentle whispers to make the statements seem more attractive. Whatever tone you take, you should avoid making it sound like a command… unless, of course, you’re making it a part of your sexual experience.
Generally speaking, people respond to different types of language and vocal inflections. Talking to your partner about your experimentation before sex may allow you to try different things without feeling awkward.