Why Couples Who Dirty Talk Have Way Better Sex, Says Science

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couples who talk about sex

People have become a lot more comfortable talking about sex. It used to be that men talked to men about it, and occasionally women would talk about it (in low voices) with their friends.

Thank goodness things have gotten more relaxed when talking about sex because if you're comfortable talking about sex outside of the bedroom, it will improve your sex life inside of it.

In a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, researchers found that couples who talk about sex will have better sex. People who are more comfortable talking about sex are more likely to do so while having sex and will be more able to get what they want.

"Even if you just have a little bit of anxiety about the communication, that affects whether you're communicating or not, but it also directly affected their satisfaction," lead researcher Elizabeth Babin, an expert on health communication at Cleveland State University in Ohio, said. "In order to increase communication quality, we need to figure out why people are communicating and why they're not communicating."

After all, people who are uncomfortable asking their partners to wear a condom may be at a higher risk of having unprotected sex and exposing themselves to sexually transmitted diseases.

To find out, Babin recruited 207 people — 88 undergrads and 119 from online sites — to complete surveys about their apprehension about sexual communication, their sexual satisfaction, and the amount of non-verbal and verbal communication they felt they used during sex.

Participants were asked if they agreed with statements such as: "I feel nervous when I think about talking with my partner about the sexual aspects of our relationship," and, "I feel anxious when I think about telling my partner what I dislike during sex." The participants, whose average age was 29, also responded to questions about their sexual self-esteem, how good a partner they felt they were, and how confident they were in their sexual skills.

In an article in Self, Babin explained that if you're uncomfortable talking about sexual issues, not only will it cut down on your communication during sex, but it can also reduce your pleasure.

"The more we communicate, the more our partners learn about what we like and dislike during sex, and they can use that knowledge to cater to our needs. If we stay silent in bed, our partners are left to guess what feels good to us, which might result in a very sexually unsatisfying encounter. Plus, communication during sex can create greater intimacy between partners, which itself can result in greater satisfaction," Babin said. "The more comfortable you get talking about sex, the more you'll be able to get your needs across to your partner. Sexual communication is a skill you learn through practice. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be communicating with your partner," she continued.

In other words, couples who talk about sex outside the bedroom should keep at it. Keep talking about sex, and the more comfortable you are talking about it, the bigger the rewards.

Having trouble talking about sex with your partner? Watch the video below for tips on how to be more open:


Christine Schoenwald is a writer, performer, and teacher who loves writing and performing personal narratives. She's had pieces in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, Woman's Day, Purple Clover, Bustle, and is a regular contributor to Ravishly and YourTango. Check out her website or her Facebook page.