We-Vibe recently hosted a night of improvisational comedy at UCB Improv Theatre in New York City because laughter is the best way to get in the mood for … well, anything, but especially great sex.
The evening got us thinking about some improv tricks that we can take into the bedroom. After all, improv — much like sex — is all about putting yourself out there and reacting to your partner so you both have great time.
1. Repeat after us: “Yes, and…”
This basic principle of improv states that in order for a performance to work, you’ve got to be positive and supportive of your partners’ ideas – and you’ve got to add something to the mix yourself. For example, if your improv partner says, “I’m a French maid,” you might reply “Yes, and as your supervisor, I have some surprising things for you to tidy up.”
Your bedroom takeaway? When your partner suggests something new, try to make sure you have an open mind before you nay-say it. The same goes on your end: don’t be afraid to take a risk and surprise your partner by being spontaneous. It’s no fun being the only one in the relationship coming up with new ideas. Of course, communication is key: don’t say yes to something that makes you truly uncomfortable.
Sexologist Dr. Robin Milhausen comments, “It would be great if people would go into sex with the same spirit they go into improv: relaxed, flexible, creative – if they could be non-judgmental when someone says or does something a little silly or that doesn’t come off as intended. When with a trusted partner, the best sex can be had when you are vulnerable, but secure, and while being creative and trying new things.”
2. Create a safe place to fail
In Bossypants, Tina Fey writes,”In improv there are no mistakes, only beautiful happy accidents.”
In the bedroom, not everything flows perfectly every time. If a certain sex position feels awkward, don’t sweat it, just change it up. Following the same sex playlist can get stale fast; while experimenting might seem intimidating, it doesn’t have to be.
Sexologist Dr. Jess O’Reilly has tips on how to spice things up at a comfortable pace. “Improv is about taking a chance,” she says. “It’s about taking small risks that build in intensity according to your audience’s reactions. Sex is much the same.” Practically speaking, Dr. Jess suggests trying new things one element at a time. “Wait until you’re both highly aroused (that is, 70 percent of the way to orgasm) to experience the benefits of the endorphins, adrenaline and oxytocin that help to lower your inhibitions — much like laughter! Just as a comic would read his/her audience’s reactions to gauge the direction in which to guide the routine, so too should you look for physical, verbal and facial cues of your partner and adjust your sexual improv accordingly.”
3. Watch and listen
In improv, you have to always be anticipating both you and your scene partner’s next move. If you’re too in your own head, you will miss so many unspoken prompts and hinder the flow of the scene.
NYC-based comedian Conler Mandt says that “On stage, listening doesn’t solely mean the ability to reiterate what someone else has said. It also manifests itself through picking up on cues and recognizing what someone else wants from you. This is essential to the bedroom.”
Social science has taught us most communication isn’t verbal—it’s spoken through the body. Listen with both your ears and your eyes.