06/21/2010 02:29 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Pillow Talk: A User's Guide


Take a stroll through your local bookstore, and you'll find self-help guides telling you what to say during a job interview, a funeral, a corporate speech, a language lesson, a tax audit, a police arrest, even a conversation with a dolphin. Nowhere, however, will you find even one paragraph describing what might be appropriate to say to your lover while making love. Hence the need for my hopefully-soon-to-be-in-bookstores-despite-having been-rejected-by-over-100-publishers guide, Pillow Talk: Yes, Yes, God, Yes!

The book is based on the candid replies of hundreds of men and women who filled out my intimate survey, in exchange for sending them my Grandma Rivka's secret recipe for Matzoh Ball Ice Cream Cake Supreme With Kosher Sprinkles. It's a sure-fire crowd-pleaser, and is just as good, if not better, the next day. But I digress.

First of all, a rather surprising finding: A substantial portion of the lovemaking population apparently doesn't talk at all during sex. The feeling seems to be that 1) They're too exhausted from having already done all that talking to convince the other one to have sex. 2) They might miss one of Leno's monologue jokes. 3) The process of fantasizing about Brad or Angelina could be ruined by hearing one another's actual voices, which are invariably closer to those of Harvey Fierstein and Darth Vader.

Of those who do talk, however, the words "I love you" are among the most popular terms of endearment. Coming in close behind them are "I want you," "I need you," and "Do that again, only a little slower and this time could I be the chain gang leader and you be the brand new, virginal convict?"

Complimenting one's lover is also a very common technique. Frequently employed compliments include: "Your body is so beautiful," "You are so smart," and "Pretending that glove was too small was absolutely brilliant -- I really think that may have been what got you acquitted."

Sometimes, a problem weighs so heavily upon one's mind, that it needs to be discussed even during sex. In such cases, the other partner should be sympathetic and supportive, offering such responses as, "I agree, honey -- your boss has no right to keep referring to you as 'a complete waste of space whose only reason for being here is that he somehow tricked my simple-minded daughter into marrying him.'"

Other times, the mood may be so light and carefree that loving little nicknames seem the most appropriate things that could be uttered: "You're my little peach cobbler," "You're my big mountain explorer," and "You're my rack and pinion steering gear." (This last one popular primarily among auto mechanics and guys named Wade.)

There are certain areas deemed inappropriate for bedroom conversation. Topping the list is the phrase, "Good lord, what is that thing on your back!?" Equally mood-shattering is any kind of request for a loan, any attempt to make a citizen's arrest, or a tattoo indicating the professional sports teams serviced during "a very confusing time for me, but I swear it will never happen again, and a lot of times I don't even write them back when they send me requests for my panties, so quit making such a big deal about it, Wade."

Poetry has long held nearly aphrodisiacal qualities, when employed properly -- that is, when it truly comes from the heart. Which is not to say that verse along the lines of, "There once was a young lad from Venus... " would not yield romantic results. It's just that there are more eloquent and sophisticated poetic techniques that should be explored before resorting to, "Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, I want to hop on you."

One of the keys to successful bedroom conversation for lovers is gratitude. It is so important to continually show one's gratitude to one's partner. This can take many forms, including the classic: "Oh, Mr. President, never mind about my blue dress -- I'm just honored to be here!"

Another important key to keep in mind is acknowledgment and acceptance of your partner's differences: "I really love how when you become most excited, you make the sound of a World War II German ambulance siren... Wade."

As you can see, there is a whole world of ways to communicate while making love. The important thing is to be true to yourself and really share what you feel with your partner. I myself enjoy sharing the true story of the time my Uncle Benny trimmed his chest hair into a recreation of Moses leading his people out of Egypt. It's surprisingly effective among those of my dates who don't immediately run out the door, shouting, "And don't even think of following me!"