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Let's Talk About Sex ... During Sex

Communicating your likes and dislikes during sex can enhance sexual satisfaction

“Oh yeah, that’s it, right there”

“That feels good”

“Don’t stop”

It turns out that talking during sex does more than wake the neighbors. A recent study suggests that people who communicate their likes and dislikes to their partners during sex are more sexually satisfied.1

Talking about your sexual needs and desires is not always easy; many people feel that having sex is easier than talking about sex.2 But, based on findings from a recent survey of 207 sexually active men and women, less apprehension about sexual communication is linked to higher sexual satisfaction. People who were more confident in their sexual skills and less anxious about talking to their partners about sex communicated more openly about what they find pleasurable during sex. As a result, they were more sexually satisfied. Admittedly, many people may have trouble telling sexual partners what they like and dislike during sex. Fortunately, using non-verbal cues works as well. Moaning, body movements, and facial expressions that indicate pleasure can direct a partner to doing more of the things you find sexually enjoyable. Indeed, according to this survey, both telling your partner what turns you on and demonstrating it non-verbally are linked to higher sexual satisfaction.1

So it’s not only important to share your sexual needs and desires with a partner outside of the bedroom,3 but it is also important to do so right in the heat of the moment. The researchers found that even a small amount of anxiety can influence the degree to which you communicate pleasure with your partner during sex,1 and improving these communication skills may have positive results for your sex life. Years ago, in a workshop at Good For Her in Toronto, I learned a technique for practicing sexual communication. First, have your partner take your hand and move their finger in a circular direction around your palm. Then, tell them one thing you like and want them to keep doing (I like the pressure) and one thing you want them to do differently (I would like you to go slower). Now use this same technique during a sexual encounter and see if it enhances your sexual pleasure. After all, if you want your partner to be GGG, you first have to communicate your sexual needs.

This post was adapted from a post written for the website Science of Relationships.

1Babin, E. (2012). An examination of predictors of nonverbal and verbal communication of pleasure during sex and sexual satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, online first doi: 10.1177/0265407512454523

2Pliskin, K. L. (1997). Verbal intercourse and sexual communication: Impediments to STD prevention. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 11, 89-109.

3MacNeil, S., & Byers, E. S. (2005). Dyadic assessment of sexual self-disclosure and sexual satis- faction in heterosexual dating couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 22, 169-181.

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