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Ask Dr. Ruth: What You Should Do When Your Body Makes Strange Sounds During Sex

2 minute read

After 30 years of working as a sex therapist, the legendary Dr. Ruth isn’t done sharing her wisdom. Here, she answers your most pressing questions on sex, relationships and life. Email your own queries to drruth@time.com, or catch up on previous installments of the Ask Dr. Ruth series.

Q: How do I become less self-conscious about unwanted body sounds and actions during sex?

A: My philosophy about sex is that it should always take place within a loving relationship. If two people love each other, whatever they do together, whatever happens in terms of sounds, leaks or even failures to perform can be overcome. I’m not saying that you won’t feel embarrassed for a moment, but if you’re with someone you care about, and who cares about you, and you’ve established good communication, any damage will be limited.

On the other hand, when two people who barely know each are in bed together, then anything about the experience that might be considered less than ideal will be magnified, and you’ll both feel self-conscious. And one key reason for this is that you won’t have an established rapport or good methods of communication. There might also never be a next time to iron out any difficulties that arose that first time.

Sex can be messy, and one might even say it should be messy. If you’re too fastidious, you’re going to have a hard time letting go, which you need to do in order to find sexual satisfaction. But when two partners care for each other, no one should feel embarrassed by whatever took place. There will be a next time to make corrections — several hopefully.

If there’s a problem that a couple can’t overcome, then they should seek out professional assistance, but for the everyday variety of issues that might arise when having sex, all the motivation that is required to fix things comes from the desire of keeping that relationship going.

Email questions to drruth@time.com.

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