This week on the podcast, we fielded a question from a listener who was self conscious about her motormouth tendencies in bed. Why worry about this? Talking is pretty much strictly better than not talking during sex. It’s the easiest way to communicate your needs, it makes things more fun, and dirty talk is a universally loved thing 99% of the time.
But, um… what about the last 1%?
With the caveat that almost everything you could possibly think to say during sex is okay and even encouraged, let’s go over a couple scenarios where you may want to keep your thoughts to yourself.
“Did I leave the oven on?”
Or any other variation on this. Yes, it’s possible that your garage door is open, and yeah, it was Grandma’s birthday today and you didn’t call. But one of the reasons that talking during sex is so rewarding for both parties is that it confirms that you’re fully present in the moment and engaged with your partner. No one wants to feel ignored, especially when they’re naked and you’re naked and you’re touching each other. Is it okay for these things to pop into your head during sex? Sure. We’re all human and not every second of a sexual encounter is a super-special enrapturing moment you’ll treasure for the rest of your life. Sometimes you remember that you have to follow up with your supervisor while a dude is putting a condom on, that’s just human. But let’s at least try to keep up the illusion.
“My ex used to do the best thing.”
Confidence is a huge part of sex. You have the power to grow or shrink your partner’s ego essentially at your whim. If you want them to have a good time (which will generally translate into a better time for you) then it’s probably best to try to keep their confidence high. Does this mean that you can’t give constructive criticism? Oh god no. In fact, when a partner knows what you want explicitly, it can make them feel more assured in what they’re doing, with the added bonus of you getting what you want. By all means, gently nudge away. But “I love it when you do that” is very different from “My ex girlfriend used to do this other thing that you seem to not be able to figure out at all.” In the first one, your partner hears, “I want you to do this thing until I come,” which is probably the message you meant to bring across. In the second one, they hear “my ex-boyfriend is better in bed, has a bigger dick, makes more money, and could please me by whispering into my ear and you’re not even giving me a tingle.” That’s not the message you meant to send, but that’s how the human brain works.
“Yeah, that’s my naughty slut.”
Pretty much no one is going to object to hearing “Fuck me” during sex. However, if we’re getting into more intense and, importantly, more specific stuff, there may be some consent involved. For me, it comes down to this: would you slap someone full on in the face during sex? If your answer is “Sure, if they asked me to” or “Yeah, that sounds great, but I’d make sure we were comfortable as partners,” then you’re going about things the right way. All you need to do is also apply the same principle to slurs, especially of the racial or gendered variety. Again, I’m not saying that it has no place in sex. If you and your partner are into identity play, understand what you’re doing, and have communicated beforehand about what your limits are, then cuss each other out with the collective might of an Andrew Dice Clay stand-up routine. But a lot of things have to go right for this to be okay. Especially make sure there’s no way your roommate can hear you.
Aaron and Josh are two guy friends who have a podcast in which they try to answer questions about dating, romance, relationships, sex, and the vagueries of human interaction. (“If you’re not a straight cismale, then we (may) have the answers you’re searching for.”) They’ll be writing a weekly post on The Date Report expanding on some of the topics covered in their weekly podcast.