An older version of this article on how to talk during sex Blood + Milk.
What are some ways to get your partner to talk to you during sex?
Before I get to the heart of this rich and common question (its something that comes up all the time in sex coaching and couples’ counseling!), I want to briefly focus on the word “get.” As I share below, I believe that the words we use help shape our reality. That makes it quite important to be specific and precise with our language. We never want to “get” our partners to do anything. Rather, intimate, exciting, and fulfilling relationships rely on open communication like clearly stating your desires and needs, navigating arguments without blaming or shaming, etc, not convincing someone else to do what we want.
Assuming best intentions behind this question, here are some ideas to help your partner talk during sex.
Get clear on what you want
The first step in asking for what you want is understanding what it is you’re asking for. If you aren’t already clear, spend some time journaling, meditating, or otherwise reflecting on the WHY behind your desire and what it means if are (or aren’t) vocal during sex.
When you have a clearer understanding as to why you want something, it lets you anticipate and plan for unexpected Big Feels during the conversation with your partner. For example, if you equate a partner talking dirty with how much they enjoy having sex, that makes any conversation about this topic more vulnerable and tender. Knowing that in advance can help you be aware of what stories, judgments, and feels might arise as you and your beau(s) navigate ideas on how to talk dirty.
Once you’ve done that, figure out what you want them to talk about during sex
Generally, there are three ideas on how to talk dirty:
There are so many benefits to sharing your sex fantasies! They’re an amazing way to get turned on, connect more deeply with your beau(s), experience orgasm, and more. Sharing your sex fantasies isn’t the same as role-playing, but it does involve talking through a scenario that excites one or both of you.
I prefer the term “sexy talk” to “dirty talk” because I believe the words that we use influence our values. If we believe something is dirty, we perpetuate that shame within ourselves and our partner(s).
Sexy talk includes things like describing what you want them to do to you (or vice versa), telling them how much you enjoy something, and offering “sexy” directions to get more of the sensation you crave.
In the moment, stick to encouragement, whether that’s to continue (e.g. omg that feels so good, don’t stop!) or to return or start something new (e.g. it would feel amazing if you…).
Talk outside of the bedroom
Use this article as an excuse to introduce the topic and start a conversation about talking during sex.
Using your reflections from step 1 above, share why them talking during sex is important to you. Explore how each of you feels about it and how to make it happen.Really listen to any objections they share like feeling silly or cheesy, not knowing what to say, or needing ideas on how to talk dirty. Find solutions together.
Remember: everyone has different expectations and experiences for sex. Plus, boatloads of shame and embarrassment. Work with each other to find a way to make this work for you.
Start slow and give it time
Things rarely go according to plan the first time you try something new. Instead, you have to build your self-efficacy, a fancy word for the belief that you can do it. So start with a few words and build your way up. Be there each other through the slip-ups and embarrassing moments, and laugh them off. This entire adventure will be a beautiful inside joke to share down the line.