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31 Jan 2017 (Last updated 28 Jun 2023)

Do we talk about sex too much?

Sexual Health 4 min read
benefits of talking about sex

Who hasn’t watched a very glamorous scene in movies where a woman shares the juicy details of her last date night with her best friends around a fabulous cocktail? If not, tell us, we will give you a list of movies!

This scene is based on the very widely spread idea that women talk a lot about their sex lives among themselves. We wanted to run a reality check on this.

Do women talk about sex, and to whom?

Surveys carried by Smile Makers over several countries provided interesting insights about that question.

To the question: “Do women talk about sex, and to whom?”, the answer is: it all depends on where we are.

In Malaysia, the majority of women surveyed (61%) mentioned talking about sex to their partner. It was the same proportion in Australia (60%). You might be asking yourself if there was any difference at all in the numbers between these two very different countries. Yes, there was one and it lied into the fact that Australian women talked about sex to their girlfriends as well, but not Malay women (45% versus only 18%).

In conservative Singapore, more than half of women consider talking about masturbation a taboo. Similarly, 60% of Thai women said being too afraid to tell anyone about having pain during intercourse.

On the other side of the spectrum, in the US, a recent study by Penn University showed that women are pretty much used and comfortable to talk about sex to their female friends (refer to the girlfriends talking about sex around cocktails). Another survey highlighted the main subjects discussed over that cocktail: details of the intercourse (“how far did you go?”), the performance of the partner, and judgment on the physical appearance of the partner.

Every country has its own habits, and these habits even change depending on factors such as the geography within the country (urban/rural), religion, education level.

So, should we or should we not talk about sex?

Well, yes, that is exactly what we are doing right here, right now, talking about sex, but that doesn’t mean that you should feel OBLIGED to do as well!

Sex should not be taboo. It is a natural part of life, a natural energy present in our body. When turned into a taboo, it can bring frustration, misunderstanding and miseducation. This can create issues such as non-safe sex, non-desired pregnancies, without mentioning behaviours deriving from frustration such as abuse.

Sex not being a taboo does not mean we have to all start talking about it to everyone, everywhere. Everyone of us should feel free to choose to talk or not, and with whomever they would like to. This can actually be quite a challenge in our modern society where sexualization of women is everywhere, from movies to ice cream TV commercials. Everything seems to be pushing us, women, to be over-open about our sex life. It is giving us a model to follow on how we should talk about sex, with whom and on what exact topics.

This creates a one-sided conversation, where we are on the side of the receiver. But really, should we follow what TV commercials say or what we feel is right for us ? You know the answer…

Sex is an intimate part of our relationship with ourselves and our body, so we should feel totally free to talk about it… or NOT talk about it!

What are the benefits of talking about sex?

Whatever your “policy” about the subject –or if you don’t have a policy yet, we thought we would share what we see as benefits of talking about sex depending on whom you share with :

With a physician: it obviously helps to solve problems, understand phenomenons and processes. It is usually good to do so if you feel you need medical advice about an aspect of your sex life. Many gynecological conditions such as yeast infections or HPV viruses can be detected or confirmed through consultation only.

With your partner: as would the famous axiom say, communication is the foundation of a successful love relationship. For sex, communication is key: it will allow you to solve a problem or share a discomfort. It is also great way to simply show your gratitude for something amazing your partner did to you ! If you don’t communicate to your partner, how would they know what you like and dislike? Also, talking about sex during sex can be an amazing turn-on !

With your friends: sharing experiences with people you trust can be a great way to feel better with your sex life. Obviously, you can get non-medical advice, you can look for support in case of problems, or just to have a good laugh at embarrassing situations! Plus, studies show that talking about intimate subjects such as sex with a friend will deepen the friendship.

In any cases, talking about sex is made easier and more comfortable when done in a conversational way. So if you would like to talk about it and feel that the conversation does not give you room to non-judgmentally express yourself, that might be the sign that the person you are talking to is not willing to take you as are.


  • Penn Study :
  • Smile Makers consumer survey (Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore)
  • Elite Daily, “The Difference Between How Men And Women Talk About Sex To Friends” by Candice Jalili, 2015
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