Communication between the sheets is as important as it is in professional settings. On an intimate level, sensual talk is of universal interest and curiosity. Lines of communication should be as open in the bedroom as they are in the boardroom. But are they? This is not to say that we should engage in pillow talk or dirty talk in the boardroom; it is more about the transparency or the openness that occurs during honest and intimate conversations.
I realize that my craving for transparency and vivid and compelling descriptions might date back to my childhood when my mother inspired me to get my feelings on the page by buying me my first journal, followed by boxes and boxes of stationary when she sent me off to sleep-away camp. Fast-forwarding a few years, for the first five years of our relationship, my husband-to-be and I wrote love letters to one another when we lived in different countries. In many ways, it was easier sharing intimate thoughts with him when not looking into one another’s eyes. Over time, when I let myself go, my words became honest, sensual and sometimes I ventured into eroticism.
Years later, when I became Director of Nursing in a chronic care hospital in Montreal, I held weekly staff meetings and encouraged employees to speak about what was going on inside of them. The meetings were rarely about patients, but more about how they felt as a caregiver and provider. I believe that this ritual minimized the risk of burnout, in the same way that intimate writing with loved ones keeps the communication channels open and minimizes misunderstandings. In offering this sort of staff meeting, my openness transcended normal workplace communication boundaries. As a writer, verbal, nonverbal and written openness transcends the usual communication boundaries, and has always been very important to me.
Glancing at my bookshelves, they are a testament to my belief in the importance of good conversation. For starters, I notice: Intimate Kisses, and The Poetry of Sexual Love,(link is external)both edited by Wendy Maltz. She writes about how we can learn from poets how to communicate our deepest emotions. Poems help us cultivate a deep awareness and sense of mindfulness and offer the opportunity to celebrate our feelings. Even my latest poetry collection, Lust offers this deep sense of sharing intimate feelings.
More recently, while wandering around a local chain bookstore, I stumbled upon a book by Sallie Tisdale called Talk Dirty to Me: An intimate philosophy of sex.(link is external) At first glance, the cover looked like a buttock, but on a closer examination, the cover featured someone holding an apple. The reason the book caught my eye was not so much the cover, but the subject of the book. The first chapter entitled, “Desire,” starts out by saying, “We talk about sex all the time, us moderns.”
Whether in a professional or personal relationship, collaboration is essential to accomplish mutual results and happiness. In summary, the advantages of transparent communication in the bedroom and boardroom include:
- it provides the needed information for everyone involved to understand what is going on
- it has a minimum of surprises
- it sets a forum for follow-up discussion and inquiry
- it builds trust and security between individuals
- it creates expectations for everyone
- it holds people accountable
When the characteristics of communication are transparent, then there is an increased chance of happiness and success in the relationship, whether personal or professional. In other words, communication is an essential ingredient to a successful outcome.
To read more of my articles, please visit The Empowerment Diary on Psychology Today.
Maltz, W. (2001). Intimate Kisses: The Poetry of Sexual Pleasure. New World Library: Novato, CA.
Rao, A. (2009). “Transparency in Leadership Communication.” Chetana’s Institute of Management and Research. Bandra, Mumbai.
Tisdale, S. (1994). Talk Dirty to Me. Anchor Books: New York: NY.