Secret to Good Sex?
Talk, talk, and more talk.
The Brody Success Story
Whatever your orientation and level of discomfort, the Brodys say you can
become better at talking about your needs and desires.
Married 29 years, the Brodys have learned to communicate their sexual
desires very effectively. He's 53 and she's 49, but there are times, Cathy
says, when Steve makes her feel like a 17-year-old in the back seat of a
"I'll say to Steve, 'I really like it when you undress me,' " Cathy
"And sometimes,'' Steve says, "I'll say, 'I really need oral sex
now, that would help.' "
Cathy: "Or saying, 'Let's have sex on the floor instead of the bed.'
" Or doing it in the morning instead of at night.
Simple Self-Improvement Tips
There are many ways to improve your sex-talk skills, say the Brodys and
other experts. Among them are some tips that sound obvious -- but are often
- Is your partner doing something that pleases you? Tell him or her. It's
called positive reinforcement. It works on lab animals and it works on humans,
- Make concrete requests, such as, "Hold me and kiss me.'' This is more
likely to get the desired result than expressing a vague wish, like "Be
- Talk gently and honestly about sex afterward, about what worked and what
didn't. When stating your preferences, begin by saying something like "I
like it when . . ." It sounds better (and will evoke better results) than
"You always do this wrong . . ."
Honesty, the Best Policy
Sometimes the truth hurts, but you can always look back and laugh. All Steve
Brody has to do is remind himself of the Great Nibbled Ear Fiasco.
"For several years," he says, "I'd nibble on Cathy's ear. I
thought it was supposed to drive her wild. Finally Cathy said, 'That doesn't
really do anything to me.' "
Says Cathy: "I thought if I grunted loud enough when he got to the other
places, he'd sort of get the hint!"
Now they both know not to leave their sexual wishes and desires to guesswork
and grunts, but to communicate them clearly.
Scott Winokur is a San Francisco Bay Area
journalist who often writes about health and human behavior.