Couples Who Communicate More About Sex Have Better Sex

a couple of long haired people talking while sitting on a park bench
Image by Jan Fidler / CC BY

Science’s role is to test hypotheses and uncover the truth. Sometimes this uncovered truth is surprising. Other times it’s a big duh, “Well thanks for the info, Captain Obvious” kind of moment.

Frankly, reality doesn’t care as much about our biases as we do.

Today’s study falls into the Duh Bucket for me. But you know what? It’s possibly revolutionary or unbelievable to people who have different beliefs.

And besides, it’s nice sometimes to have those things you take for granted actually confirmed through an empirical study.

Couples Who Communicate More About Sex Have Better Sex

Essentially, a recent study came to the following conclusion: That talking about sex and having good sex are linked. For everyone but especially so for women.

In particular, sexual communication was linked with increases in the following things:

  • sexual desire
  • sexual arousal
  • lubrication
  • orgasm
  • erectile function
  • overall sexual function

Sexual communication was also associated with less pain during sex.

The inverse also seems to be true: Couples who don’t communicate about sex tend to experience sexual difficulty. The study notes that both research studies and clinical accounts have reported a pattern of couples experiencing sexual problems also reporting a lack of communication about sex.

Going Meta With Science

This study is especially interesting and telling since it wasn’t a single experiment but instead a meta-analysis of 48 previously conducted studies. For those readers unfamiliar with them, a meta-analysis is a technique in which statistical methods are used to combine an extensive body of research and multiple studies in a field into one large more statistically powerful study.

While not foolproof, meta-analyses can be extremely valuable in providing information about broader patterns and giving a “big picture” of what the work being done is finding in a way that individual studies often can’t. This is particularly true if the included studies are of high quality (the opposite is true as well; that meta-analyses suffer if poor quality studies are analyzed).

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Bottom line: Want to have good sex? Get comfortable talking about it with your partner.

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This post is part of an ongoing Poly Land feature called Psyched for the Weekend, in which I geek out with brief takes about some of my favorite psychological studies and concepts. For the entire series, please see this link.

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Books by Page Turner:

Dealing with Difficult Metamours

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory 

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