Suzi Godson offers advice to the girlfriend of a man who likes to chat during foreplay and sex
My boyfriend likes to chat during foreplay and sometimes during sex. It’s not seductive, it’s just chitter-chatter — catching up on what he’s done that day, discussing what to have for supper the next day. I tell him it’s not sexy, but he can’t seem to help himself. How can I make him stop? Kissing him doesn’t work.
During sex it is important to communicate likes and dislikes, or to agree on consent if you are pushing boundaries, but it is unusual to discuss dinner menus or what happened at the office.
Sex is not a sacred ritual so silence is not obligatory, but because it engages the brain and the body, most people simply don’t have the mental capacity to shoot the breeze while making love.
We can all describe what happens during the act of sex, but it is much more difficult to articulate the strange sense of immersion that occurs during sexual union. The psychologist Adam Safron at Northwestern University, Illinois, describes it as a trance-like state triggered by the rhythmic stimulation of body parts with high concentrations of sensory receptors.
He argues that music and dance are probably the only things that come close to sexual interaction in their power to influence neural rhythms and produce sensory absorption and trance. His explanation would explain why chit-chat feels so inappropriate during the throes of passion.
Incessant chatter during sex is irritating because it is distracting, but that may, of course, be precisely the point. Your boyfriend may be using chit-chat as a way of desensitising himself so that he can prolong sex and delay ejaculation.
Men generally ejaculate within two to five minutes of intercourse, whereas women can take up to 20 minutes to reach orgasm. Most couples find ways around this, but it can cause problems if people find it difficult to be honest about where they are in the arousal cycle. One common way to bridge the gap is for the male to perform oral sex on the female. In your case, this would serve two purposes: Bringing you closer to orgasm and keeping him quiet.
One way to establish whether your boyfriend is simply trying to distract himself would be to bring him to orgasm manually, or orally, before having sex. A first orgasm means he won’t be so worried about premature ejaculation and the sex you have afterwards should be quieter and more intimate as a result. This is obviously not something you can do every time you have sex, because it can be quite time- consuming. After ejaculation, men have a refractory period when they are unable to orgasm for a length of time.
Teenage boys have a refractory period of a few minutes; a 30-year-old man is typically unable to have a second orgasm for half an hour or more, and men over 60 years may only manage one orgasm a day. If more orgasms equals less chat, you need to reassure him and help to build his sexual confidence. But when to do it? Although it is never a good idea to address sexual difficulties during the act itself, the subject of sex makes great pillow talk.
Research by Amanda Denes at the University of Connecticut has shown that in the post-coital afterglow, couples find it easier to communicate and are more open and more positive with each other. She also found that couples who engaged in post-coital communication increased their emotional bond and relationship satisfaction.
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