Understanding Your Love Language—And What It Means For Your Sex Life

A Language for Better Bedroom Communication

Knowing our love language (and the love languages of others) can help improve communication and deepen connections within our relationships. And this couldn’t be more true than with our partners.

The concept of love languages, developed and published by a radio talk show host in the ‘90s, claims that couples can benefit from understanding their partner's specific love language. There are five love languages, the primary ways partners receive and give affection: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

We can look to our dominant love language to help us better understand how we like to give and receive love.

People, of course, have a combination of all five, and some resonate more or less during different seasons of life. However, we can look to our dominant love language to help us better understand how we like to give and receive love. Likewise, identifying with your partner's love language can significantly impact sex and intimacy and empower us to ask for what we want.

It’s important to note that the theory of love languages has evolved significantly since its original debut. While the original framework is helpful, authors and therapists are working to ensure the love language theory is inclusive and accessible to everyone. Anne Hodder-Shipp, a certified sex and relationships educator, is one such educator. We recommend reading her book, “Speaking From The Heart: 18 Languages For Modern Love,” for a current and comprehensive guide that not only includes partners but also platonic relationships. 

Ready to discover your and your partner's dominant love languages? Take this quiz to identify your most spoken love language, and then read on to see what each one means for your sex life.

Discovering Your Love Language

If your dominant love language is receiving gifts:

If gift-giving is your love language, you may feel most seen and appreciated when your partner gives you physical presents. And this can be as simple as flowers or a surprise coffee at work.

For sex, ask your partner to incorporate intimate gifts into your relationship. Massage oils, lingerie, or an aphrodisiac herbal supplement are all fun and exciting gestures that can spice things up in the bedroom, all while making you feel loved.

If your dominant love language is words of affirmation:

Of course, we all enjoy it when people say sweet things to us. But for some, words can make or break how loved we feel. If this is your or your partner's love language, communication is especially important (though it's essential in every relationship).

When it comes to sex, words of affirmation can be useful, especially when trying something new together. Ask your partner to affirm what they like and speak positive words about your relationship together. Also, let them know how much you appreciate sincere conversations and how this can often spark arousal and a desire for physical intimacy. If words of affirmation is your love language, you may also benefit from trying mindful sex practices.

If your dominant love language is acts of service:

Acts of service is similar to gift-giving in that there is an emphasis on spontaneity. You may feel most loved when your partner does chores around the house or runs an errand you don’t have time for. These small gestures can offer you a sense of trust and satisfaction.

Acts of service is a practical love language, so let your partner know if there are things you prefer to be done or checked off your to-do list before getting intimate, like dishes or cleaning up the bedroom. You may also favor receiving foreplay from your partner and appreciate it if they take the lead (with consent).

If your dominant love language is quality time: 

Every relationship needs quality time, but for someone with this dominant love language, making it a priority may dictate how loved you feel—and this can translate to the bedroom. 

Spend intentional time together, however that looks for you and your partner. Perhaps you enjoy going on a walk or watching a movie at home (phones and other distractions put away). For sex, quality time can help you feel aroused, so “Netflix and chill” is a great option!

If your dominant love language is physical touch:

Last but not least, this language is probably the most directly connected to the "physical" act of having sex. Physical touch should always and only be practiced with consent, so let your partner know what feels best and okay for you. 

If physical touch is your love language, you may like it when your partner goes out of their way to hold hands, massage your shoulders, or hug you. To ignite physical intimacy, communicate with your partner how simple touches throughout the day can help you get aroused later on.

Discovering your and your partner's love languages can expand your understanding of each other and allow for new ways of communicating. What is your love language? Share in the comments below!


Courtney Jay Higgins is a writer at The Good Trade. She is also a yoga instructor, health enthusiast, and sustainable fashion advocate. You can find more of her writing and take one of her online yoga classes on her website Coincide.



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