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FAQ: When is it okay to laugh about sex with my partner(s)?

Q: When is it okay for me and my partner(s) to laugh about the sex we have? I feel like everyone’s so serious all the time, and I really don’t want to offend anyone or seem immature.

You’re right in that there’s definitely things that are okay and not okay to laugh at during sex.

Sex can be a really intimate and vulnerable activity for people. Because of this, laughter can be a really powerful thing, both positively and negatively. The only way to know for sure if or when it’s a good time to laugh is to talk to your partner(s) about it. But since that’s a really short answer to your question, here are some scenarios to think about whether or not laughing is appropriate:

Was someone just vulnerable with you?

This can include things like taking off clothes, trying an activity for the first time, or sharing an intimate fantasy. These moments can feel like big risks for people, and laughing then can feel like you’re laughing at them.

What kind of mood are you trying to create?

Some people don’t find laughing sexy, so it might not be great to do if you’re trying to get into a sexy kind of headspace. On the other hand, laughing can sometimes break through tension and help people feel more relaxed.

Are you the only one laughing?

If nobody else is laughing, that can be a sign that maybe something happened that wasn’t funny. Maybe a boundary was crossed or you’re not taking your partner’s needs seriously enough.

Does laughing help you break the ice?

Sometimes laughing can help break tension or help people feel more relaxed. Maybe consider saying something to make your partner laugh (instead of just you laughing). And if something funny happens, sometimes it’s easier to recognize and laugh at it then pretending nothing happened.

If you find yourself laughing and it turns out to be the wrong moment, it can help to pause, take a breath, and apologize before re-engaging with whatever conversation or activity you were involved with before. Check in with the other person about how they felt about your reaction.

If you know that you’re going to laugh at some of sounds, smells, or experiences of sex, it might be a good idea to let your partner know ahead of time. People find all different things funny, offensive, or immature, and talking ahead of time can help you know how to navigate situations as they come up. There’s nothing inherently immature about laughing during sex.

Hot Tip:
Laughing is great if it’s an expression of fun, but maybe less helpful if you find yourself laughing a lot to cover up for feeling awkward or to avoid saying something that’s on your mind. If that’s happening for you a bunch, it might be a good idea to pause, take a break, and talk about your feelings with your partner(s).

Resources

For more of our info pages on sex and relationships, consider reading:

If you have questions about this topic, feel free to contact one of our peer educators. [Link]

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