Communicating with your partner about sex is crucial, and a new study says that you need to communicate while you’re actually doing it, not just before and after.
That’s right: Whether or not you’re satisfied in bed could come down to how chatty you are in the moment. The new report says that the more communicative you are in bed, the more sexually satisfied you’ll be.
Researchers analyzed the sex lives of 398 people for the new study, which was published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. They set out to answer this question: Does communication during sex—both verbal and nonverbal—predict “sexual satisfaction”? They found that there is in fact a correlation between the two.
“Overall, the results of this study indicate that more communication during sex (both verbal and nonverbal by oneself, and partner’s nonverbal communication) is associated with greater satisfaction with sexual communication, and sexual communication satisfaction predicts sexual satisfaction,” the study says.
The authors of the report emphasized that there’s a lack of scientific investigation when it comes to the benefits of communication during sex. “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,” they write.
So the study authors decided to take a look into it, and their researched showed that communication during sex can be beneficial for your overall relationship as well as your sexual satisfaction. The authors of the new report hope their research can be used to better educate people about how to have a healthier sex life. “The results of this study have implications for sexual and relationship therapy and education,” the report says.
It also points out that communication during sex isn’t one-size-fits-all. The type of communication during sex that you prefer is related to your personality type. “For example, since many couples may be uncomfortable with direct, verbal communication about sexual pleasure, therapists and counselors can recommend that, during sex, nonverbal communication could also be used to help communicate about pleasure and increase sexual satisfaction,” the report explains.
The report’s authors have an additional tip for those trying to strengthen their sex lives: Go off script. In other words, try forgetting about traditional roles and be creative. “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 new paper says.
All of this to say: The next time you feel your sex life is lacking, try talking about it while engaging in it. (Or if chatting isn’t your thing, grab your partner’s hand and show them what you want.) Communication is key in more places than you think.