“So … what kind of porn do you like?”
I knew that it was a
stupid question, but I was at a loss. I had just finished having sex with
someone I liked well enough, but was doubtful it would happen again. We were
both lying on our backs, realizing that we were too good of friends to cuddle,
and the silence was making me nervous.
“I like watching girls massage each
other.” I laughed, and we talked about heteronormativity in pornography until
the topic was exhausted and he got dressed for the walk home.
While this might not have been the
most romantic pillow talk, it served its purpose—this was clearly a one-night stand, and I didn’t necessarily care to know about where his family came
from, what his favorite song was, or what he found attractive about my
personality. No pillow talk whatsoever would have seemed rude, yet to ask an
emotionally personal question might have suggested a level of intimacy I wasn’t
interested in. So for the time being, porn seemed an appropriate subject as it
related to sex, but wasn’t personal. This experience made me wonder: How
does pillow talk change depending on the relationship?
romantic partner, this can be a great opportunity to open up, especially if you
are still getting to know each other. One my favorite questions for these
moments is, “What is your biggest fear?” If your partner doesn’t feel like
getting serious, they can say “clowns” or “spiders,” but if they are feeling
more comfortable, this might start a conversation about insecurity and vulnerability.
I once had a partner ask me what I missed most about home, which I appreciated.
He was trying to get to know more about me, but instead of asking me what my
favorite color was or if I had any siblings, he was maintaining the level of
intimacy we had achieved during sex.
after sex can also be a great time to DTR (define the relationship). A partner
once said, “I really like you. I didn’t expect to like you this much,” in between
sex and sleep as we lay spooning in her bed. While it caught me off guard, I
was feeling vulnerable and open, and ready for the conversation that followed.
Especially in college, when relationships and emotional intimacy seem to be
avoided, sexual interactions can become confusing, and clarifying them can be
nerve-wracking. Approaching this when you are relaxed and full of oxytocin and
all of those tingly-feeling hormones can ease the tension.
not every conversation in bed has to be so serious. What if it is a one-night
stand and you don’t necessarily want to know anything more? You can never go
wrong with compliments! You had sex with this person for a reason, so make them
feel somewhat special. It doesn’t mean that you want to date them, or even that
you want to have sex with them again, but something as simple as, “Your skin is
so soft,” or, “That was fantastic,” will make them feel good, and is a lot better
than getting up and leaving right away. If you are in a relationship with this
person, or feel more comfortable being intimate with them, your compliments can
be more personal.
talking isn’t always necessary—putting on music, watching YouTube videos, playing connect-the-dots with each other’s freckles, or snuggling and sleeping
are also viable options. The most important things to remember are to give
compliments no matter what (you obviously find this person attractive), never say thank you after sex—it makes your partner feel insignificant—and be safe!