Finding Our Voice–How It Benefits our Relationships and Sex Lives

Finding Our Voice–How It Benefits our Relationships and Sex Lives

finding our voice, communication, words, sexy talkThere are lots of ways we add that extra bit of oomph to our relationships–communication is one of the best ways to strengthen our connections with others. For me, flirting and seduction involve words. I recently shared an example from my life in this article about finding our voice, Words Matter—In Real Life and In Intimate Relationships, which first appeared on Midlife Boulevard.

It was a day of playful distractions as I emailed back and forth with a former lover. It started with my comment that he rarely used endearments unless he had consumed a beer or two. Stone cold sober he started sending short messages the next morning—on his way to the airport at 5:45 am. Doll. Babe. Cutie Pie. Sugarplum.

I replied to each email with my own term until I hit a creative block and wrote “pukkie-bear”. Laughing, I broke down and googled Endearments for Men. It was a fun day with a light spontaneity that felt easy and sexy.

We forget the power of words in our day-to-day conversations.  Most of us don’t use words often enough to convey our desires or communicate fully with our partners. And when we fail to use our voices we shortchange ourselves and the people we are with—friend, family member, co-worker, boss, lover.

Recently I was grumbling about a romantic encounter that hadn’t gone the way I envisioned when the woman I was talking to pointed out that I had lost my voice. She was absolutely right. In that crucial moment I had chosen to keep quiet. It’s not easy to admit that here, where I write about sex and sexuality and often tout communication as a necessary tool for intimate relationships. I didn’t speak up about what I really needed and, as a result, the experience wasn’t as satisfying for me as it might have been.

There are several levels of communication you can employ during your intimate moments. (I love words and wordplay so the man who uses his words well already has an advantage!)

  • Sweet, silly words of endearment are fun for breaking the ice, sharing your affection in a light-hearted way. A smile and a ‘sweetie pie’ convey warmth and affection.
  • Hot and sexy words—some of us don’t like to use explicit language while others find it a huge turn-on. Do you want a partner to murmur sexy words to you as part of your intimate play? Does it add an erotic charge? Typically men are more comfortable with talking during sex than women are—but it’s important to test the waters carefully. You want to find the right tone. Men do seem to like it when you tell them what you like about their actions.
  • Serious communication–a must in any relationship, regardless of the level of connection. I have found that midlife women aren’t always comfortable expressing their sexual needs. It can feel awkward asking for what we want—particularly if we have the mindset that a ‘good’ lover should know. And surely after so many years of marriage our partners should have figured us out, right?


Our partners aren’t mind readers. And if you’re in a relationship with a traditional midlife or older man he may also feel some discomfort when it comes to talking about matters of intimacy. It’s not something we learned to do nor do we have role models for that kind of communication. And yet there is something incredibly sexy and powerful about stating what you need and want.

Most importantly, when you give voice to what you’re expecting or hoping for you avoid misunderstandings by communicating clearly. You know your body, your desires, and your comfort level better than anybody. The burden is on us to state our needs. We forget that sometimes.

If giving voice to your intimate needs feels hard, then start small. Tell him/her why you liked the kiss you got earlier in the day. Talk about what you think would be fun to try—do it in a nonsexual setting so it feels less vulnerable. Ask for what you want. Directly.

“I would love it if you would rub my feet as we get into bed.”

“Could we spend some time _____________ tonight?  

Finding and using one’s voice is the ideal way to nurture and sustain your relationships—easier when things are smooth sailing, but vital to having the experiences you want to have. It requires a certain amount of trust in your partner and a willingness to be a little vulnerable. Suppose he says no, or ignores your wishes? It might hurt, but it’s a good judge of character and useful information. Chances are your partner will appreciate the trust you’ve placed in him or her and respond in kind. The possible benefit of giving voice to your aspirations, your needs, your comforts and discomforts far outweighs the possible negatives.

So, Sweet Cheeks…start practicing!

  • Cathy
    Posted at 07:49h, 24 September Reply

    Well I can see why you and I are talking about using our words for communication and active listening today. You are absolutely spot-on here, Walker, and you give great advice. For someone like me who is often “shy” about such things I value what you wrote about here. Good job.

    • Walker
      Posted at 08:35h, 24 September Reply

      Thanks Cathy. I think we often forget that using our words is helpful in every situation!

  • Carol Cassara (@ccassara)
    Posted at 10:51h, 25 September Reply

    You’re very right. The idea about mind-reading has had legs for years, decades even, in relationship. But we only get what we ask for, so, speak up!

    • Walker
      Posted at 12:25h, 28 September Reply

      Yep when we are silent I think we shortchange both parties in a relationship.

  • A. Wilson
    Posted at 13:03h, 15 October Reply

    I’m with such a kind, wonderful man now, I work in a sex-positive environment & industry, and I comfortable talking to just about anyone about sex.. And I still find it difficult, in the moment, to just nudge my partner in the right direction. “Can you go back to what you were doing before” or “I like it a lot when you..” etc seems to work, but I know that’s just the early PG stages. I’m focusing on increasing my communication in our relationship, and I notice as soon as I do, he expresses more back as well. How rewarding and what a beautiful thing. Thanks for sharing!

    • Walker
      Posted at 14:24h, 15 October Reply

      Hi A,
      Thanks for sharing… and validating this experience of communication.

  • I choose Desire for 2016. What will you invite into your life? - Walker Thornton
    Posted at 11:12h, 01 January Reply

    […] of things that felt dicey in my life. Voice has been important for me and popped up several times here and in my life. Voice as in ‘speaking up about what’s important for […]

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