We know that to have great sex, you have to talk about it. But it turns out that whether or not you are satisfied in bed may come down to when you talk about it. A new study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found that the more communicative you are during the deed — not just before or after — the more sexually satisfied you will be.
Researchers from the University of Arkansas set out to study the benefits of communication during sex, emphasizing that there has been little scientific investigation of the subject. “Previous research has focused on communication prior to sex and communication after sex, but communication during sex is a neglected area of sexual communication research,” the authors write.
“Given this gap in the research, we explored how one’s own and one’s partner’s use of verbal and nonverbal communication during sex is associated with sexual satisfaction.”
To conduct the study, they analyzed the sex lives of 398 people, ages 18 to 55. The results found a direct correlation between the two: More communication leads to a more pleasurable experience, which makes sense. Telling your partner about the stimulation you need, what’s working and what’s not, is more likely to lead to an orgasm. Think simple instructions (words like “more,” “slower,” and “there”) paired with positive feedback (aka “That feels good” or “Yes, like that”).
Not into dirty talk? That’s okay. The authors of the study found that both verbal and nonverbal communication is associated with greater satisfaction, and they emphasize the importance of finding a communication style that you are most comfortable with during sex. Nonverbal cues, such as using your hands to guide your partner to the right place, work just as well.
“We argue that couples may benefit more from finding consistency and satisfaction with their communication style than from focusing on trying to ascribe to a particular style” the authors write, adding that they hope the new report will be used to better educate people on how to have a healthier sex life and teach them to talk more openly about sexuality.
“Encouraging wide-reaching discussion about our cultural adherence to traditional sexual scripts or stereotypical gender roles roles during sex — and the increasing need to deviate from these roles — could enable increased communication about sexual pleasure, desires, and needs, and subsequently lead to increased sexual satisfaction,” the report concludes.
At the end of the day, every person needs something slightly different to reach sexual satisfaction, and unless you communicate what exactly it is you need, you aren’t as likely to get it.