The student weekly of St. Olaf | Tuesday, September 2, 2014 | Subscribe
ISSUE 116 VOL 18 PUBLISHED 5/2/2003

Easy Listenin’

By Jennifer Hancock
Online Editor


Friday, May 2, 2003

Scenario: You're in your room with your sexual partner. He/she looks at your CDs. You turn away a little nervous, but say nothing. He/she hands you the music that will serve as the soundtrack to your intimacy. Ace of Base. You've seen the sign.

Various kinds of music may result in various kinds of sex. Take the following:

Punk music will result in punk sex. Think aggressive. Think politically charged sex. Sexual roles of dominance and submission are thrown out the window: think anarchy.

Classic rock sex: why don't we do it in the road? Location is key. Potentially a car.

R & B sex is narrated. "Turn the lights down low," etc. Put hand here, kiss there. "Lick, lick, lick."

Funk sex is sheer fun. Bouncy, energetic and hilarious: moaning on the off-beats.

Classical music sex is problematic. For one, it's incredibly long. Also, classical music sex is climax-based; this is not a good thing. It places too much emphasis on performance and not enough on satisfying each other throughout the experience. Also, there is the issue of unexpected musical solos. A piccolo solo is rarely appropriate in these times.

Techno sex is straightforward; follow the bouncing ball. Problem: virtually no foreplay. The beat starts from the beginning, resulting in rushed, often unhappy sex.

A CD specifically designed to listen to while being intimate, "Erotic Moods," for example, is a bad idea. No one wants to be sexual while listening to a Native American flute play Pachebel's Canon.

Jazz sex. "I like my sex like I like my coffee: smooth and hot," said one jazz-listening girl. Jazz is inherently suave; vintage wine preferred. If you are having jazz sex, be careful that your music selection does not become more appealing than you. No one licks like Coltrane.

I say turn off the music and listen to your partner's feelings and desires. Just as music must communicate mood, partners must communicate what they want to each other. Silent sex (or sex muted by intensely loud music) is rarely satisfying for either partner. Talking about sex should happen both during the act and long before it.

Sharing your sexual history is very important. Both partners should have some sense of what the other has experienced. It is not enough to know how many lovers. We need to ask deeper questions: how you learned about sex, what your parents told you about sex, how your views of sex have changed since coming to college. Caring partners will inquire as to all elements of his/her partner's sex life.

Many people clam up in sexual situations, which almost guarantees a mediocre, if not negative, sexual experience. Here are two things partners can do to ensure they are really listening to one another.

One: listen actively. Do not space out; be engaged. Show that you are genuinely interested in what your partner is telling you. This is important throughout a sexual relationship, but especially so in the early phases when both partners are learning vital things about the other. I have heard many of my female friends express the embarrassment and difficulty they experience when trying to talk about their sexual needs with their partners. Because of the stigma against female sexuality, it is even more important that partners of women be encouraging and supportive of their thoughts and wants.

Two: ask questions. In their book, "Our Sexuality," Karla Baur and Robert Crooks present two types of questions I found helpful. The first is the yes-or-no question. Examples include "Was I gentle enough?" or "Do you like it when I touch you this way?" These questions will yield straightforward responses and may give you an in for further sexual discussion.

The second kind is the open-ended question. "What do you think needs to change in our sexual relationship?" or "What is the most enjoyable way for you to reach orgasm?" The open-ended question is perhaps the more direct way leading to dialogue. We can't expect to communicate sexually if we're not communicating verbally first. Before you decide to sleep with someone, talk to them. And it wouldn't hurt to check out their music collection.

– The Manitou Messenger’s sex columnist is available for dialogue and questioning at sexcolumnist@stolaf.edu.





Printer Friendly version of this page Printer friendly version | E-mail a Copy of the Article to a Friend Email this | Write the editors | More articles by Jennifer Hancock

Related Links

More Stories

Page Load: 31 milliseconds