talking in the bedroom

Why are we so scared of talking in the bedroom?

It’s telling that an online search for the term ‘talking in the bedroom’ brings up a list of guides for how to talk dirty in bed!

For a lot of people talking in the bedroom is not seen as something natural, more like a bit of a kink.

And a lot of folks prefer not to talk at all.

But this is problematic when it comes to consent.

Consent can’t be unspoken

Most people would agree that when it comes to sex, or intimate encounters, consent is vital.

But in situations like that it also often feels tempting to avoid talking, or go for non-verbal cues, because we are trying to avoid the discomfort of words.

Yet as one online relationship columnist points out:

“If consent is unspoken then when is it given? Is it that final drink? Is it getting in the cab together? Is it getting into the flat? When is it? Why can’t you just have a conversation? The awkwardness may be for just a second but the benefit will last a lifetime” –

Why do so many people avoid speaking their desires and limits?

Why are so many of us so willing to let another person guess what we do or don’t want?

What is the fear that prevents us from speaking our desires or limits in advance?

Well, for a start, putting your desires out there is vulnerable – not only might you not get what you ask for, but even if you do get it you might discover it’s not really what you want after all.

And because most of us don’t live in a culture where changing your mind is encouraged, we tend to feel obligated to keep going with something once we’ve started.

All of which can make speaking your desires or limits – in other words starting the process of creating consent – feel like quite a big commitment!

Why you need words for consent

Instead we often start doing something without getting a ‘yes’, and assume that an absence of ‘no’ implies consent.

It’s also easy to assume that everyone else has the same capacity as you do – but there are lots of invisible things which might prevent someone from speaking up: trauma, power dynamics, and fear to name just a few.

And ultimately consent is about more than ‘yes’ or ‘no’; there’s much more to consent than simply getting permission.

Talking is not a dirty word

It’s time to move the idea of talking in the bedroom away from being seen as something ‘dirty’ (which implies there’s something abnormal or wrong with it) to being viewed as something essential and creative.

Talking in the bedroom is important on several levels:

It can give language to how you’re feeling in a more detailed way than non-verbal communication (like moans or sounds) can.

And, more importantly, the ONLY way to be sure that what’s happening between you is consenting is to create an agreement – and that requires words.

How to do it

If you want a quick guide to how to create clearer agreements – both in and out of the bedroom – check out the 6 essential words you need

The quadrants

Each quadrant in the Wheel Of Consent creates a different experience and teaches you something different about yourself. Learn more about each one:


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