Laughter in the Bedroom: Creating an “Us” Experience
This weekend I enjoyed the chance to introduce what I do professionally to some friends I haven’t seen in awhile. As we all were catching up about what keeps us busy these days my answer of “couple’s coaching elicited the question, “You mean you talk about sex with people? My answer? Not always, but pretty regularly, sex is a focus. That touched off the usual curious response including questions like what are the typical concerns of clients and the many ways of asking: “What is normal?
One thing did strike me as particularly interesting as we bobbed and weaved through the many different conversation tangents. As we were discussing my recommendations to the typical couple, I mentioned that I encourage couples to do a lot of laughing in the bedroom. My friends balked. Laughing they got¦in the bedroom? Not so much.
My statement of “if you aren’t laughing together occasionally, you need to branch out resulted in quizzical looks and even more questions. After sharing my perspective with friends, it dawned on me that perhaps this is a perspective I should share a bit wider; if only to result in even more quizzical looks, but hopefully to inspire a bit of laugh-inducing mischief in your bedroom.
Culturally, we all suffer from the perception that sex is a goal-oriented activity, for some simply a task. Some people have arrived at that perception through experiencing shame around their sexuality. It is difficult, or perhaps impossible, to truly find joy while experiencing shame.
Even when people have moved away from or banished shame, they still hold on to the perception that sex is an activity that doesn’t require practice. It is a natural act that should, well, come naturally. In fact, nothing is farther from the truth. Becoming a skilled lover requires time, patience, sensitivity, focused attention and a willing partner.
As we have all experienced when we are learning new skills, like perhaps roller skating, the first attempts often end with a fall. To learn, we get up again and keep trying. And during the process, the best way to maintain our momentum for learning is to have a sense of humor. Furrowing our brow and brooding about setbacks makes the learning more serious and challenging than it should be. The same goes for becoming acquainted with the nuanced tastes of your partners during sex.
Skating forward in a straight line is fun, but isn’t skating backward or learning to spin just that much more exciting? To learn those things you have to take some risks. And doing that learning with a partner adds another element of variation and complexity. Often it feels uncomfortable to not quite hit the mark when someone else is involved. It is still totally worth the risk. You have to just go for it and know you might fall. It is a natural part of all learning. When that happens, having a sense of humor and sharing a giggle or full out laughing fit together cultivates trust and intimacy in a way that shy brooding never will.
Leaving room for humor when exploring together lets you off the hook. It diffuses tension and seriousness where neither is useful or necessary. Building trust and intimacy through sharing levity allows you to create an “us experience. It isn’t laughing at or about what one partner may be doing or trying, it is about the shared experience and the emotions and opinions about that experience. A bedroom-based esprit de corps, if you will. Cultivating that sentiment of an “us experience through laughing together is powerful and transforming.
Expanding your erotic repertoire has its risks, but when paired with the allowance for laughter in the bedroom it becomes a joyful and mischievous adventure. Lace up your skates, grab your partner’s hand and give that spin a try. When it doesn’t go as planned the first time, your partner is there to catch you and your shared laughter will cushion you both.
Photo by Anya Quinn