Pillow Tawk (or NOT?). By Mary Palm

Pillow Tawk (or NOT?). By Mary Palm

. 3 min read

To talk or not to talk in the bedroom…and how to do it? That is the question one writer explores.

I’m a talker—except in the bedroom. I’m just not into dirty talk or saying things I just don’t want to say. I either start to nervously laugh or my mouth seals tighter than a cherry stone clam. Talking dirty may be fun for some—or a necessary auditory delight for others—but it completely snaps me out of the pleasure zone.

Hear me out. It’s not that I can’t verbally express what I desire (or don’t): “Don’t stop/harder/faster/slower/a little to the right—you get the picture?  Every time I hear the dreaded question “Who is your DADDY?,” though, I freeze faster than still water in Antarctica. I feel compelled to blurt out my father’s name. I envision him standing over me while in the throes of passion. (A horrifying and cringe-worthy moment, as you’d expect). When I ignore the question, it’s inevitably asked again. REPEATEDLY. I reluctantly submit, and unconvincingly utter, while rolling my eyes, “You, Daddy…of course…” But the torturous questions continue. “Did you miss your Daddy? Are you hungry? Tell Daddy that you’re hungry.” (And It’s not for an Oscar Meyer Weiner). In silence , I am screaming, “Just STOP, PLEASE!” I am warned in a punitive tone, “I  won’t visit you anymore if you don’t appreciate your daddy.” He adds, “my other girls…blah..blah..blah…” Gee, if that’s supposed to motivate me, you’ve just squashed me like a cockroach trying to dart across the kitchen floor when the light is unexpectedly flicked on at 2:00 a.m.

I bolt my head up from his crotch, grab his bearded face in my hands and look intensely into his glazed and bewildered eyes. I firmly declare, “Please stop telling me what to say, stop forcing me to reply from a script.  Let me be myself, let things flow.” Silence. I think we were both stunned by my outburst. Granted, it probably wasn’t the best time to spew my pent-up criticism, but I couldn’t bear one more minute of his commands.

I’m feeling degraded and manipulated. My partner’s need to control the narrative in order to feel empowered and turned on, strongly stinks of misogyny. It’s a major turnoff and I’m now totally in my own head and not feeling the slightest bit amorous. I’d rather be scrubbing the mold off the grout of my bathroom tiles with Clorox.

I can certainly understand wanting to have fun in the bedroom, to please yourself and your partner, either by role playing, dressing up (don’t you just love the stiletto, lucite fuck-me-pumps from Frederick’s Of Hollywood?) or incorporating paraphernalia. Keeping things stimulating can be fun, exciting and worth exploring, however, when it’s not something you want to do or say, it can quickly turn sour.

So, how do you express your desires without alienating your partner or deflating their delicate egos without fear of rejection, triggering insecurities and hurtful judgments?

Prior to sexy time, in a neutral, non-threatening environment, would be the opportune moment to have a sensitive discussion about what is acceptable, desired or off limits on the menu of bedroom activities. Choose the time and a private place where you both may feel relaxed and receptive to each other (during a leisurely stroll or sharing a cup of coffee) and NOT expected to have sex. (Don’t save it for date night.)

Intimacy issues may be triggered from past history from our family, previous partners and/or self-esteem issues. It’s wise to be open, without blaming or shaming. (Remember your partner is not a mind reader and you are ultimately responsible for taking care of your needs.) Ask questions: What do you need to feel turned on? What are some of your fantasies? Be empathetic, listen rather than tell or assume.

Honest communication, as difficult and clumsy as it might be, is the path to clarity, avoiding needless misunderstandings.

As Paul Newman’s character experienced in the film Cool Hand Luke, the failure to communicate has its consequences. When you don’t communicate respectfully, clearly and set boundaries it becomes nearly impossible to feel safe and vulnerable to loosen the reins of passion in the bedroom.

Since we are tawking…I already have a Daddy…but can I interest you in a pair of handcuffs?


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