Walk by my bedroom and that’s what you’ll hear. And not just there! You might overhear that if you eavesdrop while I’m sitting on the deck on a summer evening.
I do love my back rubs, and I’m lucky to have a husband who is willing to give me good massages on a daily basis. His technique is better than anything offered by professional masseuses, because he is intimately acquainted with every knot on my back. I am prone to headaches and to stressing out, and getting my tight, knotty neck and shoulder muscles rubbed is the only thing that helps me. If I hadn’t married this guy, my massage bills would rival my mortgage.
Effective Communication is All About Feedback
After nearly 15 years of marriage, my husband is able to rub my back exactly as I’d rub it myself, if such a thing were possible. Why? Because I give him immediate feedback, so he knows exactly what moves relieve my pain.
If I kept quiet and said nothing, he wouldn’t know that there’s a knot on the upper left side of my back that needs to be pressed quite hard in order to relieve my pain. He wouldn’t know I can’t handle that much pressure on the rest of my back. He wouldn’t know that having my lower back rubbed is something I don’t care about unless I’m on my period, when all of a sudden my lower back is the hot spot.
Imagine if I didn’t offer feedback. He’d be putting all this effort into trying to rub my back right, and I’d be lying there thinking, “eh, if only he were doing it the way I want. But I dare not say a word.”
If it’s not obvious by now that I’m trying to make a point about sex, let me be blunt: Everything I’ve said about back rubs applies to sex, too.
Sexual Communication: Are You Both Suffering in Silence?
It’s sad to think that two people might very much want to please each other, but be too embarrassed to talk about what they want.
You might be lying there wishing for your partner to be a little more gentle or a little more rough with your nipples. He (or she) isn’t a mind reader, you know. And your partner might be thinking, “I sure wish she would kiss my neck.” (Let’s be real. That’s probably not the body part he actually is most wishing for you to get your mouth on. But I am trying to keep this PG-13, OK?)
You can communicate non-verbally, by making your enjoyment obvious through sighs and moans, by sucking in your breath and by other honest reactions. You do not need to say, “I shall now direct you to the specific erogenous zone I wish you to stimulate. It is located precisely 2.5 inches to the left from where your finger is presently engaged. Please abandon your present effort and move to the designed area forthwith.”
It’s probably better to happily sigh and say, “Mmm, yes, there” when he happens upon the right spot.
It’s so gratifying to know you are pleasing someone, isn’t it?
Let’s move to another non-sexual example. If I serve dinner and everyone silently eats it, I’m probably going to assume that recipe is a bust. But if I hear compliments on the dish, or if everyone enthusiastically asks for seconds, I’ll make it again. And if I hear, “It’s good, but I think it could use more salt,” you can bet that the next time I make it, I will add a couple more shakes of salt.
But what if you’re shy?
Maybe you don’t talk in bed, and are mortified at the very thought of it. Ask yourself why. Are you afraid your partner will be hurt if you confess you’d like a few changes? Don’t be.
The key is to be sensitive. Nobody thinks you should say, “Harold, for the last 10 years I’ve been hating your terrible technique.” Particularly if your husband’s name is Steve.
Instead, find things your partner is doing that you love and offer positive feedback. It could be a moan, it could be a smile, it could be, “I love it when you do that.” Start out with only positives. A string of “don’t do that” statements is going to make your guy (or gal) feel bad.
And prepare to hear what your partner is wishing for, too. Just ask. “Do you like it when I do this?” And pay attention to non-verbal communications. If he always sucks in his breath when you lick a certain spot a certain way, file that information away and return to it often.
Develop your own private vocabulary. Maybe there’s a position you like that you have a funny name for that only the two of you know. Maybe it’s a private joke between the two of you that one of you can’t get enough of a certain kind of touch. These are things that deepen a couple’s intimacy.
Here are a few things you can try putting into your own words:
- I love it when you lick/kiss/stroke me there.
- That feels amazing.
- Can you do that thing that you do?
- You’re making me feel so good.
As a romance novelist, I’m used to writing a lot of sexual dialogue. Nobody picks up a romance novel to read, “And then George and Sue climbed into bed and silently moved their bodies together, each wondering whether the other was enjoying it. But there was no way to know for sure.”
However, you don’t need to do anything that’s not in character for you. If you want to step things up, you could certainly re-enact the wild scenes between Lori and Jake in “Kiss and Tell,” but if you’re a little shyer, you might stick with the lovely scenes between the far-less-wild Molly and David in “Worth the Wait.” Not everyone is a Lori, and that’s fine. Some of us are quite happy being more of a sweet old-fashioned Molly.
Here’s to pleasure for you and your partner.
Sophia Sinclair is Curvicality’s sex and relationships writer and the author of the Small-Town Secrets romance series, available on Amazon. Reach Sophia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s your favorite way to communicate with your partner? Do you dare to share? Leave a comment below.
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