A total of 207 people were asked to indicate to what extent they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements describing ways people communicate, verbally or non-verbally, while having sex.
For example: ‘‘While having sex, I verbally tell my partner that I am sexually satisfied’’ and ‘‘While having sex, I demonstrate nonverbally what turns me on during sex.’’
Although the researchers expected that both non-verbal and verbal communication during sex would predict participants’ sexual satisfaction, the findings provide support for non-verbal communication only.
According to previous research, open communication about sex leads to more sexual satisfaction, but this study proves that during sex we prefer to express our (dis)pleasure non-verbally instead of verbally.
“Perhaps nonverbal communication disrupts the flow of the sexual interaction less or is less awkward than verbal communication, and thereby nonverbal communication leads to greater satisfaction (e.g., a woman moving her partner’s hand to her breast is likely less disruptive or awkward than saying ‘‘please touch my breast’’),” the authors write.
The researchers argue that when individuals know best what satisfies them sexually, they might strategically communicate those needs to their partner using nonverbal cues that enhance their chances of having their needs met to increase their own satisfaction.
Babin, E. (2012). An examination of predictors of nonverbal and verbal communication of pleasure during sex and sexual satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships DOI: 10.1177/0265407512454523