Don’t say my name

There are lots of words I enjoy hearing during sex.

Hard, dirty words: Fuck. Cock. Cunt.

Softer words, full of aching need: Please. Now. Yesssss.

Words that command and words that beg. Words whispered and words pitched somewhere between a shout and a scream. Words strung together with a precise, casually devastating elegance, and words forced out in a jumbled, incoherent mess.

Words are good. All of them. Almost all of them. Because there’s one word I really don’t want to hear during sex: my name.

Before sex, yes, fine. When I’m kneeling naked on the floor and you’re in front of me, tossing out instructions: absolutely.

But not when everything is hot and smudged and blurry. Not when I’m pounding into you and there’s a buzzing in our heads, and both of us are struggling to remember our own names, let alone anyone else’s.

Not even if we’re draped naked around each other, a soft-focus tangle of limbs and sheets, barely moving because it’s enough to stay still and feel. When you say it then, it drags me out of the moment; I feel it float between us and cut at the natural intimacy that our bodies have created.

It’s not a horrible name, nor an ugly one. I like to hear it in the street, when a friend catches sight of me and shouts a hello, or to read it written down in a card from someone I care about. I’m identified by it – called by it – addressed by it, and that’s just fine.

In bed, though, I don’t need it for those things. Identify me by smelling my skin, or running your fingers through my hair. Call me by moving my hand down between your legs – or by placing yours between mine. Address me with your lips and your fingers, then press our bodies close together – believe me, I’ll pay attention.

Tack my name onto any of those and it suddenly feels out of place – a little porny, and not in a hot way. Like you’ve added it consciously – too consciously – to show that it’s me you want.

There are other ways to do that. Better ways. Hotter ways.

“Baby, say my name.”

Baby…please just don’t.

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39 Responses to Don’t say my name

  1. Vida says:

    Huh. I have to admit, I feel exactly the opposite about this. I had a husband who barely ever said my name, ever, and it left me feeling unwanted, incapable of moving someone. I love the idea of someone being so in the moment, so focused on us, on me, that they say my name like it’s the only thing they have to cling on to. the anchor, the lifeline, a prayer.

    I know what you mean about self conscious and porny, but I suppose I like to think about it as out the other side of that.

    • Yes, and I’m aware I’m probably in a minority on this one. I suppose I instinctively latch onto different things – different signs that someone is that focused on me/us. I’m glad you commented though, because I suspect your take on it will be shared by a lot of people who read the piece.

  2. Oleander says:

    I was nodding in agreement while I read this piece. Besides not wanting to hear my name, I don’t want to hear words, period. Save the talking for later, or before, but not during. Communicating through touch alone, well, to me, it’s easier to “hear”. It’s easier to interpret. And, it doesn’t bring me back to reality like words do.

  3. Malin James says:

    It may be that I have little attachment to my name as such, (perhaps because I’ve had several in my life), but I completely agree with this post. I tend to like spontaneous, subconscious reactions during sex, and someone calling my name almost always sounds conscious and deliberate, (to my ears, anyway). It can be absolutely sweet, but it’s much more “mindful” than I tend to want to be in a sexual context.

    To me, the best sex is a bit primal, and the sexiest form of communication during sex is a bit primal as well – sounds, sure, but more in the form of wordless exclamations rather than my name. The pressure of his fingers on my skin, or a particular look on his face tells me that he’s right there with me far more than hearing my name does.

    That said, sex is such an individual thing. It’s not surprising that some people really want to hear their name said, while others don’t. It’s just one more thing that turns a person on.. or not.

  4. Kinky Mia says:

    Interesting, thought provoking perspective!

    ~Mia~ xx

  5. Aloysius Patrick McGillicutty says:

    I completely agree with you. Where words are concerned, “oh god” and “uggnhh” are where it’s at. Everyone who’s said my name have been the kind of over-romanticizing partners who’ve been too busy in their fantasy to be busy with me.

  6. Vida says:

    Looks like you’re wrong, and I’m completely the odd girl out here!

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  30. Huh. I’ve never slept with someone who didn’t love hearing his name. I think many people like it to be a little “porny.” The show is as much of the fun as the feeling, but I also enjoy being reminded that I am still me and the sexual part is just another part of me, part of my life and the complex human being that I am and that I can be myself in the bedroom because life doesn’t stop when your clothes come off.

    Call me baby, though? And you’ll likely need some stitches.

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  35. I tend to use Oh god, fuck, yes, and also lots of incoherent gasps noises. If it’s working for me it’s highly doubtful I could manage a name, let alone the right one. 😉

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