We talk a lot about talking a lot. Specifically, when it comes to sex. And with good reason. Communication, they say, inspires greater sexual satisfaction. It allows you to air insecurities, anxieties, sexual fantasies, and expectations. It allows you to put forward past grievances and plan for more promising endeavors. And, maybe most importantly, it allows you to skip the theatrics and charge towards more authentic, orgasmic experiences. Of course, these discussions usually take place before you jump into bed. But communication shouldn’t come to an end. In fact, in order to have really great sex, partners need to know how to communicate properly about likes, dislikes, no don’t do thats, and ohhh yeaaaahhhs. This happens with whispered words and grunts, yeah, but also a number of other cues. Here’s what to know.
Sexual Enthusiasm Says A Lot
There are those who don’t take to the art of articulation, especially during sex. Fortunately, there are other ways to gauge interest, excitement, and enjoyment. “Enthusiasm is a powerful sign that your partner is genuinely enjoying sex,” says August McLaughlin, author of Girl Boner: The Good Girl’s Guide to Sexual Empowerment. “It can show up in a number of non-verbal ways, from body language cues to a hungry gaze,” she explains. “Is your partner moving toward you or with increasing physical vigor? If so, they’re probably really into the sexy play you’re enjoying.”
…But Words Can Still Say A Lot More
“Communicating verbally during sex isn’t only helpful for making sure desires are met,” McLaughlin explains. “It can also bolster arousal, pleasure, and connection.” Of course, she can appreciate the discomfort that discourse might inspire. She suggests keeping things simple, and sexy. With that, you’ll be able to slash the risk of running into an awkward moment. “Say ‘I love it when you touch me here,’ in a sensual tone, for example, while moving your partner’s hand to the exact place you wish to be touched,” she suggests. “If you frame feedback positively, everyone benefits.”
Even If You Keep Them Short, And Sweet…
If talking proves too tall an order, you can always think up an alternative. “If you’re really struggling with talking about wants or pleasure during sex or simply want to try something different, consider using leveled safe words,” suggests McLaughlin. Maybe say “green” when you want to say “yes.” Maybe say “yellow” when you want to slow down. Throw in a “red” when you want to stop. Go wild. Get creative.
Or Maybe Try Demonstrating Your Desires
“Gently guide your partner to a position you love or move yourself into the position and allow them to follow, if desired,” says McLaughlin. ”Demonstrate what you desire so they’ll know exactly what you enjoy. They’ll probably get even more turned on in the process.” If that doesn’t do the trick, try busting out some familiar moves. “Let yourself moan or breathe heavily,” McLaughlin suggests. “Kiss your partner harder or give them a look that says, ‘I want you and that feels so, so good.’”
And Don’t Forget To Pay Attention To Your Partner
There are certain cues that signal interest and enjoyment, and there are signs that point to the very opposite. It’s important to remain mindful of them all. “If your partner is avoiding eye contact, winces, or seems generally unenthused, take a moment to pause and gently check in,” says McLaughlin. “These can be signs of discomfort, distractedness, or physical pain.” If you’re not big on words, try grabbing their gaze. “Looking into your partner’s eyes during sex can feel really vulnerable, but it’s also deeply intimate and a great way to make sure you’re on the same page. Make a point of locking or at least observing their eyes every so often.”