A study from the University of London, published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience found that when people received either positive or negative feedback about their performance on decision-making tasks, their performance suffered. Having to make sense of feedback, according to this study, can overload people with information and distract them from their task.
“The role of feedback is overemphasized,” says study author Dr. Magda Osman, who admits that her work flies in the face of other studies that are pro-feedback. And though the study dealt with people making decisions about childcare and energy meters (borrrringgggg), I think there is a sex-related takeaway.
We put a lot of stock in feedback during sex. We are reminded to give our partners feedback, and it is seen as a bad sign if we’re not getting any. But Osman is saying that positive and negative feedback are bad.
I don’t agree that’s true in every situation, but it suggests that silent sex isn’t necessarily bad. Maybe it 1) means the person receiving the attention is genuinely enjoying themselves and 2) allows the person giving the pleasure to focus on what they’re doing. So in that case, nobody should feel obligated to make noise during sex or give feedback. Obviously, if your partner needs direction and you want to dish it out, dish away.
There is the possibility that feedback is still good, but it’s what you do with the feedback that matters. Don’t freak out. Handle feedback with stride. Don’t let it take you away from your focus. And maybe this: you’re probably already doing a pretty good job, so just keep going. Hakuna Matata.