We're often encouraged to keep our mouths shut when it comes to our private lives. What happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom, right? This may be a rule of action we're fed, but does anyone really keep their sex life on the DL? Don't we all have at least one friend we talk to?
How could you not? In such a sex-negative culture, there is very little good information out there on sex. Openly talking about it with your girlfriends is, for many of us, our only outlet.
There is something soothing about reliving every toe-curling detail of your sex life with your friends. Spending time discussing your sex life can also help you figure out issues you may be having with your partner. There aren't many avenues by which to access the right information, so crowd-sourcing (on a micro level) can sometimes be the most reliable way to get advice. Then again, we don't know many women who would want their stories getting back to their partner, especially when it concerns sexual issues.
Is their such a thing as over-sharing with your social circle? Can talking too much about your sex life damage your relationship?
There's a difference between genuine concern and blatant over-sharing
"There is value to keeping certain aspects of your sex life private, which doesn't mean you can't ask questions or try to solve problems," says Madeleine Castellanos, sex expert and author of Wanting to Want: What Kills Your Sex Life and How to Keep It Alive. "But it means not putting your life out there on display."
Meaning, it's totally OK to ask your girlfriends for advice on certain sexual concerns you might be having, but constantly talking about how gigantic your partner's penis is or how wet your wife gets might be a bit much for some. Then again, if this is your personality, your friends are probably used to it.
The key is to strike a balance. We need to be able to talk about sex without having sex be the one and only thing we ever talk about.
Your friends will usually have great advice and tips
Who better to assist in making your sex life better than the trusted friends who love and adore you? They just want to help. And let's face it, we like to talk about sex. "People love to give their two cents, even if their words of advice are way off," says Castellanos. "Sometimes suggestions and comments from your friends can be helpful, but everyone and every relationship is different, so what may work for them may not have the same effect for you."
Keep in mind that not every piece of advice will apply to you. Always take suggestions with a grain of salt. One of your friends may have a host of ideas on how to make your partner's erections last longer, but upon further investigation, they may not work for your situation. It helps to talk things out, but unless your friends are professional sex therapists, coaches, or educators, they don't have all the answers!
When your sex life is poppin', sometimes staying quiet can be hot
While there is merit to sharing details of your sex life in order to find workable solutions for sexual concerns or share details of some sexy new things you're trying, experts say that keeping some details to yourself can up the ante on your sex drive. It's a buildup of sexual tension within yourself, if you will.
See more: 5 Things You Should Never Say During Sex
Keeping your lips sealed about what you do between the sheets (and anywhere else around the house wink wink) stokes your sexual desire and excitement because it nurtures and protects your individual eroticism, Castellanos tells us. "Part of what adds eroticism and excitement to a sexual relationship is the specialness that comes with the shared knowledge of the details of that relationship," she explains. "By sharing that information, you risk taking the specialness out of it and reducing it to ordinary. For example, if everyone knew what your partner looked like when he or she reaches orgasm, it might take the eroticism out of it."
Sometimes it's hotter to keep the deets on DL. Who knew? Next time you're itching to tell the girls how your partner tied you to the bed-frame and spanked you, consider keeping it quiet. Your dirty little secret. Is it hot in here or is it just us?
Gigi Engle is a sex educator and writer living in Chicago. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.