How To Communicate During Sex

Talking and fumbling are a magic combination – here’s how you can do it well 

Mysteriously stacked somewhere in my office bookcase is an old Cosmopolitan magazine I bought as a college freshman. I grew up hearing that Cosmo is  the holy grail of sex tips, so I felt like doing some research before surging forth into the land of college experimentation.

While those glossy time-honoured pages did offer some unique, kinky, and just straight-up odd advice, I actually figured out the one tip that helped me the most on my own. Communicate with your partner, no matter how awkward it may feel.

This applies to any sexual encounter, whether it’s a one-time thing or someone you’ve been intimate with before.

Talking things out before, during, or after sex can greatly improve the quality of your experience. So here are some simple suggestions for opening up the lines of communication in the bedroom without making it feel like an interview.

DON’T: Criticise your partner’s sexual ability. Communication in the bedroom is not about making people feel inadequate, it’s about helping each other learn through patience and understanding.

DO: Use positive statements when offering advice to your partner. Instead of telling them, “I hate how quiet you are,” try saying, “I like hearing the sounds you make, it helps me know you’re enjoying yourself.”

DON’T: Drop vague hints about what you want hoping your partner can read your mind. It’s an unfair expectation of them and going to be frustrating for you when it doesn’t work.

DO: Get hands on! Guide their hands on your body to show them how/where you would like to be touched. You can also offer to do the same to better learn what they enjoy. This is both sexy and straightforward, so none of you are left in the dark.

DON’T: Judge your partner’s interests or desires when they share them with you. You wouldn’t want someone making fun of you for what turns you on. So extend the same courtesy to others.

DO: Be open to trying new things. One of the fun parts of sex is the opportunity to experiment with different positions and sensations. However, if your partner asks for something you are not comfortable with, you don’t have to do it.

DON’T: Stay silent if you’re in pain or uncomfortable in order to get it over with quicker. Ignoring the problem is not going to help solve it. And, it can lead to anxiety about having sex in the future if you always associate the act with discomfort.

DO: Tell your partner if you’re hurting without feeling guilty for doing so, even if it’s in the middle of sex or right before they’re about to orgasm. Sex is something pleasurable to be shared, not just for one person’s benefit. A simple “ow, that doesn’t feel good, or “a little softer, please” can let a partner know that they may need to change the angle or intensity. And if you’re just not feeling it, do not be afraid to tell them to stop all together.

If you want to read more about how to talk during sex, we love this short film from TrueTube, about a young couple figuring what does and doesn’t work for them.

And for even more advice, check out these handy articles:

Brook: Are you ready for sex?

Brook: I’m 15, can I have sex? 

Bustle: How to communicate about sex better with your partner 

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