The Hook Up: 1-19-2011

Hey Anna, I’ve been dating this really great new girl lately. We get along wonderfully and we have sexual chemistry as well. Still, there is one issue that’s bothering me: she’s dead silent during sex. I’ve asked her about it and she says it’s just her natural impulse during sex and doesn’t like making noise. She says she’s still enjoying herself and it’s been long enough now that I believe her, but it’s kind of off-putting to me. The lack of verbal feedback can take me out of the moment and make me apprehensive about what I’m doing. I’m not going to enjoy myself as much as I could if I feel like my partner isn’t verbalizing some need or desire. Any advice?

Anna says: I totally used to be that girl! I mean, not literally, or else why would you write to me. But I was super quiet in the sack until I realized how much better it was, for me and for my partners, to not be shy about busting out the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song when the desire struck.

She might feel self-conscious about making noise. After all, can you think of any other occasion besides sex where you inadvertently snarl like a Doberman and are then not supposed to laugh? I didn’t think so. Be patient with her. Women are socialized to be selfless and, you know, not have needs, which makes it harder for us to vocalize our desires, both in and out of the bedroom.

Start off slowly and ask her to walk you through how she wants to be touched. You might have to prompt her a lot, and until she’s more comfortable, ask her to respond with a simple yes or no answer or a moan before working your way up to high-fives and dialogue excerpts from My Antonia. Be sure to let her know how much you appreciate any and all feedback. If she’s swayed by Science, you can point her in the direction of a 2008 study by the Proceedings of the Royal Society, which found that female macaws highly influenced their mates’ mating habits by vocalization during coitus.

Don’t expect her to start shrieking like a banshee or anything, however. Some women, even when they’re having the time of their life, remain relatively stoic. Just look at any Katie Holmes picture if you don’t believe me. That said, a little oohing and aahing isn’t too much to ask for, especially if it boosts your partner’s ego. If you’re not already, you should speak up too. Sometimes it just takes one person to get the ball rolling, which is why I always keep a vuvuzela or trombone on my nightstand. Just, you know, in case.

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