Albert Mehrabian is professor emeritus of psychology at UCLA. He is well known for his work on body language, and particularly for working out the estimated percentages of verbal and non-verbal communication. His work in essence measured how, when people expressed likes and dislikes, their words, body language and tone of voice told the real story. He concluded that words only account for 7% of the message, whereas tone of voice accounted for 38% and body language 55%. So if the body, when it comes to likes and dislikes, tell 55% of the story, it really matters when it comes to sex.
The secret to a good sex life, and to a good life in general, is quite simply this: learn to communicate effectively. No trick, position, sex toy or “new” experience will make sex better if we haven’t learned the most fundamental and most powerful skill any person could have namely to listen and to respond effectively. This skill is particularly difficult between the two sexes because men use different parts of their brain to listen and respond than women do. That being said, the fact that we use different parts of our brains to communicate works out perfectly in nature and therefore becomes critical in a good sex life.
The ultimate expression
In kindergarten we are taught that we listen with our ears. This isn’t so – our ears receive sound waves, but it is our brains that do the listening. Moreover, if we take body language into account, we receive signals with our eyes as well. When it comes to sex, not only do we see body language, we also feel signals, hear signals, smell signals and taste signals. Sex is the ultimate form of communication. The entire body tells a story that combines smells, and tastes and feelings and sounds into the pinnacle of pleasure.
The thing with sex though is that, because our entire body speaks, it reflects our mind completely. We cannot separate our minds from our bodies, especially when we are giving ourselves so completely. This is precisely where the catch comes in – all our fears, inhibitions and uncertainties are reflected along with our hopes and expectations. This is the key to understanding sex: fear holds us back, freedom allows us greater experiences. Therefore, we must be free to communicate in order to have better sex!
To listen and respond
We may all use the same words, and roughly construct sentences in the same way, but each and every human being has a language of their own. As babies we responded to our mother’s touch, as children we learned the meaning of words through our personal experiences. As teenagers we developed a deeper value to these words and as adults we use them to be productive. Our understanding of language is subject to so many variations in our experiences that each one of us has a unique language. How we get along is a miracle – mostly our need to survive overrides the potential conflicts of the misunderstandings we regularly have.
I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s when “Women’s Lib” was at a peak – as a boy I was taught that men must listen to women, but because no man in my previous generation knew precisely what that entails, I developed a low self esteem when it came to girls. I felt inadequate when it came to understanding them and listening to them because every effort I made somehow failed to make an impression. It was only when I met a girl who didn’t expect me to know everything beforehand that I was able to start learning.
After many years of good relationships and many intimate experiences, I discovered a simple way to learn a woman’s language: ask. When you are doing something new with your hands, listen to her breathing, feel the response of her body, listen to the sounds she is making – when they all tell you that it is good, then chances are that it is good. However, girls sometimes make the same noises during sex that they make when digging out dish washing liquid under the sink, and that is when us men get really confused. Instead of trying to guess whether that was a “oh my gosh do it again” groan or a “that’s not it!” groan, simply ask whether what you are doing works for her. If it does, keep going. If it doesn’t, ask her to move your hand, or simply try something new. Soon you will learn what noises and body movements equate to a good time, and which ones equate to discomfort.
Being able to ask shows a great deal of maturity and confidence – these are two highly sought after characteristics that will add to the entire sex experience. Using this method of exploration I was able to learn very quickly what a particular girl likes or dislikes and by doing what works I had some of the best experiences one could ask for.
The risk of exposing oneself
The idea of sex as the ultimate form of communication is as much a blessing as it can be a curse. Most people know this instinctively, and when it comes to sex they try to manage the risk of exposing themselves so blatantly by withholding on some areas and overemphasizing others. Sex simply isn’t at its utmost best if you can’t give or receive everything, completely. So learning the secret language she uses to reveal herself will take time. Don’t expect amazing sex in one night stands – good sex sometimes happens, but if the sex was good for that single instance, imagine what it would be if you actually knew her!
The reluctance we have in opening ourselves up so completely can be a very healthy thing. It allows us to limit our emotional involvement and gives us time to ensure that we have selected a good mate. This is why sex in longer term relationships get better (presuming that the partners work on it). In some cases however childhood experiences, social norms or some belief may inhibit us sexually in unhealthy ways. As the man in the relationship this is your task: to navigate through these fears and inhibitions so that you can release the passion in your partner.
This is precisely where the story comes together- the better we know someone, the better the sex. In fact, the old Hebrew word for sex used in the Bible means “to know”. Whether you believe in the Bible or not is irrelevant, the fact is that an ancient culture understood that sex is equal to knowledge. Truly knowing her is the key to unlocking the passion in your relationship.
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