Take a stroll through your local bookstore and you’ll find self-help guides telling you what to say during a job interview, a funeral, a corporate speech, a language lesson, a tax audit, a police arrest – even a conversation with a dolphin. Nowhere, however, will you find even one paragraph describing what might be appropriate to say to your lover while making love. Hence the need for my hopefully-soon-to-be-in-bookstores-despite-having been-rejected-by-over-100-publishers guide, Pillow Talk:  Yes, Yes, G-d, Yes!

The book is based on the candid replies of hundreds of men and women who filled out my intimate survey, in exchange for sending them my Grandma Rivka’s secret recipe for Matzoh Ball Ice Cream Cake Supreme with Kosher Sprinkles. It’s a sure-fire crowd-pleaser, and is just as good, if not better, the next day. But I digress.

First of all, a rather surprising finding: according to my informal research, a substantial portion of the love-making population apparently doesn’t talk at all during sex. The feeling seems to be that…

  1. They’re too exhausted from having already done all that talking to convince the other one to have sex.
  2. They might miss one of Jimmy Fallon’s monologue jokes.
  3. The process of fantasizing about Bradley Cooper and Scarlett Johansson could be ruined by hearing each other’s actual voices, which are invariably closer to those of Tom Waits and Phyllis Diller.

Of those who do talk, however, the words “I love you” are among the most popular terms of endearment. Coming in close behind them are “I want you,” “I need you,” and “Do that again, only this time a little slower and this time could I be the chain gang leader and you be the brand new, virginal convict?”

Complimenting one’s lover is also a very common technique. Frequently employed compliments include: “Your body is so beautiful,” “You are so smart,” and “I get so hot when you describe yourself as a warlock and a rock star from Mars.”

Sometimes, a problem weighs so heavily upon one’s mind, it needs to be discussed – even during sex. In such cases, the other partner should be sympathetic and supportive, offering such responses as, “I agree, honey – your boss has no right to keep referring to you as ‘a complete waste of space whose only reason for being here is that he somehow tricked my simple-minded daughter into marrying him.'”

Other times, the mood may be so light and carefree that loving little nicknames seem the most appropriate things to utter: “You’re my little peach cobbler,” “You’re my big mountain explorer,” and “You’re my rack and pinion steering gear.” (This last one is popular primarily among auto mechanics and guys named Wade.)

Poetry has long held aphrodisiac-like qualities (when employed properly, that is) when it truly comes from the heart. Just know that verse along the lines of, “There once was a young lad from Venus…” won’t likely yield the best romantic results. It’s just that there are more eloquent and sophisticated poetic techniques to be explored before resorting to, “Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, I want to hop on you.”

One of the keys to successful bedroom conversation for lovers is gratitude. It is so important to continually show one’s gratitude to one’s partner. This can take many forms, including this historical classic: “Oh, President Clinton, never mind about my blue dress, I’m just honored to be here!”

As you can see, there is a whole world of ways to communicate while making love. The important thing is to be true to yourself and really share what you feel with your partner. I myself enjoy sharing the true story of the time my Uncle Benny trimmed his chest hair into a recreation of Moses leading his people out of Egypt. It’s surprisingly effective among those of my dates who don’t immediately run out the door, shouting, “And don’t even think of following me!”

Mark Miller is a marketing specialist, Facebook fanatic and comedy writer who has performed stand-up comedy in nightclubs and on TV, written on numerous sit-com staffs, been a humor columnist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate and is a current humor columnist for The Huffington Post. But he says he’d trade all his success away in a minute for immortality, inner peace and limitless wealth.
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