Have you heard of the Love Languages? Popularized by Gary Chapman, The 5 Love Languages have become a standard reference point for intimate communication - and the realization that we may not enjoy receiving "love" in the same way that we enjoy giving our love. While the original books have some inclusivity problems, among other issues, the premise behind it is sound, and if you haven't looked into it, it's a real eye-opener.
Why Your Love Language Matters For Sex
What Is the 5 Love Languages Concept?
A very interesting read (and a fun way to find out more about yourself), the 5 Love Languages theorizes that people feel loved in different ways. It postulates that most of us will give love in the way we want to receive love - but our partners may not even see what we're "giving" as their idea of receiving affection.
The book also theorizes that this mismatch in expectations and needs is part of where many interpersonal conflicts come from. If you believe spending time together is the best way to receive love - but your partner thinks giving you gifts is the way they're showing how much they love you, you're both going to end up feeling upset and resentful because your expectations are entirely mismatched.
Essentially, the 5 Love Languages gives us a framework to talk about our needs and giving styles to lead to better romantic and non-romantic relationships.
The 5 Love Languages and Sex?
With the rising popularity of the book, there have been a multitude of related guides that help you figure out how your love language translates to other aspects of your life - like how your love language determines what self-care you enjoy. Here, we're going to be talking about why your love language matters during sex - and how to ensure that your needs are being met in the framework of your love language.
I actually find this to be a really, really helpful way to view our sexual needs. While many of us here on Kinkly are probably better-than-average at expressing our sexual wants and desires, it still isn't always comfortable, and a lifetime of societal "don't talk about it" has left a lot of us feeling entirely unsure what our sexual needs actually are. So when a partner asks us "What do you need?" we're not entirely sure how to articulate it, and we're left with a general, uncomfortable sensation of "this isn't enough" with no way to figure out or phrase what it is we really need.
Taking the 5 Love Languages and applying them to sex helps you view your sexual needs in a whole new way - and it opens a comfortable, easy way to talk about your needs too. It might even open up your eyes about why certain encounters have felt refreshing while others haven't.
With that in mind, let's hop into each one of the 5 love languages - and how you might fulfill your needs during sex with that language.
Read: Sex Communication 101
What Is It: For someone who has "receiving gifts" as their love language, it's all about receiving trinkets, tokens, or experiences that show you were thinking about your partner - or putting your time and effort into doing something for the one you love. Your "gifts" can be surprise experiences or physical objects, but it's all about tailoring the "gift" to the preferences of the receiver. That's part of how this becomes an act of love. It shows you know your partner's preferences enough to surprise them with something they would love. (Can you tell my love language is Receiving Gifts?)
During Sex: Someone who's into receiving gifts is going to be the perfect choice for surprise sex toys. Knowing what they love in the bedroom, you can pick out a toy that would pleasure them - and surprise them with it during sex! Normally, I wouldn't recommend surprising anyone mid-sex with new activities or items, but for someone who loves receiving gifts, this can be a really pleasant addition.
The biggest caveat, though: you can't let your ego get wrapped up in the gift. Sometimes toys don't work for specific bodies - even if it's something that person would have normally loved. You'll negate all of the positive feelings you brought into the sexual encounter if you get upset because your gift didn't work how you wanted it to. Remember: it's about the thought behind the gift - not how successful the gift is.
If money is tight, sex toys aren't the only option. Your "gift" can just be something surprising - like a night of pampering in bed, a specific sex scene you've planned out just for them, a bedroom set-up for romance when they're least expecting it, and more.
Words of Affirmation
What Is It: The easiest love language to understand, people who prefer Words of Affirmation prefer you to express how you feel about them with your words. Praise them when they've done something well, compliment who they are and how they look, and verbally recognize the things they've done for you and accomplished in their personal lives.
During Sex: Surprisingly enough, while Words of Affirmation might be the easiest love language to understand, it can be a difficult thing to incorporate into your sex life. To help someone with this love language in the bedroom, praise, compliments, and recognition are the way to go.
Verbally tell your partner how turned on you are by them. Talk about how much you love how they do "that thing". Thank them for the things they do for you in the bedroom - like unexpected oral sex or having sex on a day where they're otherwise exhausted. Express how thankful you feel to be close and intimate with them during sex.
If that seems too hard at this point in time, consider writing a sensual love letter or a sassy message on the Satisfyer Connect app about the things that turn you on about your partner. Unless you're going for pornography, try to keep it in the realm of a sensual "tease" instead of full-blow erotica. Remember, the goal is to compliment and help them see all of the amazing things you see about them during sex - not just for arousal.
People who enjoy Words of Affirmation during sex might also tend to be people who enjoy dirty talk, too. As you practice Words of Affirmation and find them easier and easier to provide, I recommend branching out a bit into dirty talk too - and see how that fits in.
Read: How Do We Stay Connected in a Time of Anxiety?
What Is It: If Quality Time is your love language, it's all about spending time with your partner. Not just any ol' time though: this needs to be time where you both are fully present and focused on one another. It's a focus on the "Quality" - not the "Quantity". While "Quality Time" generally refers to sharing a physical space, some long-distance couples have found ways to enjoy "Quality Time" with one another as well.
During Sex: If you're looking to please someone who enjoys quality time, don't try to rush sex - or squeeze it in as an afterthought between appointments! As you can imagine, someone who prefers quality time will prefer you focus completely on them during their sexual encounters, too. So take your time, stay entirely present in the moment, make lots of eye contact, and make sure your partner feels like there's nowhere else in the world that you'd rather be.
You might also consider drawing out the "inevitable" sexual experience with a long tease. People into quality time will likely enjoy your constant, undivided attention as you both look forward to an intense sexual experience later on. Consider shopping for sex toys together - or undertaking a sexual challenge that takes a few months to complete. Maybe you both want to sit down and make a sexual bucket list to complete before the end of the year? Things that keep you both coming back for more quality time together are a great fit here.
Acts of Service
What Is It: This love language means people find love in "acts of service". Whenever you do something to make your lover's life easier, it can easily fall under "acts of service". While most people don't think of chores, favors, and doing the laundry as a romantic or loving activity, people into Acts of Service will find those an amazing way to receive love. Not only does it show that you respect their time (and want to make their lives less stressful), but it also means that it opens up more time for them to enjoy activities that they love - instead of to-do lists they need to achieve.
During Sex: As you can imagine, being selfless in the bedroom is the easiest way to provide an "act of service". Choose to spend the entire evening providing pleasure the exact way your partner wants it. (Not just the way you "think" they want it!) This might mean cycling through their favorite sex toys (like the Satisfyer Men Wand) or it might mean a seriously intense oral sex session. Whatever it is, providing acts of service in the bedroom is all about focusing on how you can serve them.
You can also provide an act of service by taking care of anything required for sexual activity. Do you use condoms or lube? Take it upon yourself to ensure they're always replenished. What about the special sex blanket? Make sure it's clean. Is your partner's Satisfyer Pro 2 fully charged up? Make sure it's ready for sex. All of those "to-do list" items will make sex flow easier later - and can be an amazing act of service.
Read: 5 Tips for Practicing Intentional Aftercare
What Is It: I saved this one for last because it's the most obvious - and even in non-sexual settings, most people assume that the "physical touch" of the 5 Love Languages is related to sex. It can be - but it doesn't have to be. Physical touch can involve things like holding hands, a possessive slide of a hand on a lower back, or anything else that puts you and your partner into direct contact with one another. No sexual contact required!
During Sex: If your love language involves physical touch, I'd recommend ensuring that there's a lot of intentional, skin-to-skin contact during sex. "Intentional" is key here! If you happen to need to conjoin your hips to have intercourse - and you treat it that way, it's not going to feel like an intentional act of love.
The easiest way to involve physical touch during sex is just to take your time. Drag your fingers along their skin. Intentionally grasp and squeeze your favorite parts of their body (the non-sexual ones too!). Cup the back of their head while making out. Rest your forehead or cheek against their skin. Instead of pulling away and replacing a hand somewhere else, trace that hand along the skin through its entire journey. If you're using sex toys, occasionally stop to touch their skin with your bare hands too.
If you're still having a hard time visualizing how to provide intentional physical touch, I recommend thinking about expressing worship and awe to your partner - but only through the physical movements of your body against theirs.
Consider adding more skin-to-skin contact during foreplay too - and don't forget about a lot of it afterwards too. Coming together after sex or intercourse can be a great time to snuggle and reiterate how much you care for one another.
Blend It All Together for Seriously Loving Sex
As you've been reading through these, you likely recognized yourself in a few of these - whether that's as the giver or the receiver. Turns out, most of us are a combination of all of these! (I mean, love is pretty amazing, so it makes sense that most of us would want to receive love in as many ways as possible!)
That being said, most of us find one or two of them to be the "Primary" Love Languages - the ways we fill up our imaginary "love cup" the most. Through discussion with your partner, thinking about how these suggestions resonate with you, and some trial and error, you can figure out which Love Languages speak to you most in your sex life.
And I hope these tips help you bring more love and romance into the bedroom!
Mistress Kay has a fondness for all things sexual. With a house that's quickly running out of room for all of her reading and vibrating pleasures, she spends her free time reading, writing, and learning about the sexual universe with her partners. She can be reached at Kinky World.