My new girlfriend makes dolphin noises in bed! Make her stop! Please!

I'm a good communicator, but I have no idea where to start with this.

Published August 20, 2007 11:08AM (EDT)

Dear Cary,

Over the years I've become a much better communicator in relationships. For example, when an ex-girlfriend wore putrid perfume I asked her to change her scent. She willingly complied. In turn, when my uncontrollable laughter after orgasm made her uncomfortable, I cut back on the hysterics (until she missed them and then I gladly returned to my laugh-gasms).

But now I face a unique problem with a new friend. We slept together for the first time the other night -- and I'd like to spend more nights with her. However, when I excite her, she sounds like a hybrid between a tortured ghost and a dolphin needing Ritalin. Two minutes of this would be bearable, but her expressions become louder and higher pitched as her enthusiasm grows.

How can I tell her that her moaning drives me crazy -- literally? These types of noises seem to come from a deeper part of ourselves, and I feel that I would be robbing her of her sexual authenticity.

Afraid to Please

Dear Afraid,

Since you have had some recent success communicating about touchy subjects, it may be tempting to take the direct approach, to just tell her that her moaning is driving you crazy and ask her to stop doing that.

But I would urge caution; you need to learn more about her.

So here's what you do. You go first. You take the first risk. You tell her about the laughing. That's right. Keep it light, but tell her how you used to laugh uncontrollably upon orgasm, and how you talked with your lover about that, and how it turned out. Don't obviously use it as a prelude to complain about her dolphin noises. That would be too transparent. Just tell her the story and observe how she reacts.

If she doesn't come forth spontaneously with stories of her own, if she doesn't ask you right away if anything she's doing is freaking you out, your next move would be to ask her, in the context of your having had that laughing thing, if there is anything you are doing that she would like to comment on.

She might say, well, what have other women commented on?

Ha ha, now you realize: Dolphins are very, very smart.

But you press her. And she says, "Well, my eager Doberman, there isn't really anything, except ... you know, when you enter me, sometimes, I can't tell for sure if it's in there or not?"

Oh, my. Dolphins can also be very, very mean!

Hang in there, soldier. In for a penny, in for a pound. You have laid yourself open. But that's what you have to do. You have to lay the groundwork by opening yourself up.

Now, what you were hoping for was that she would ask, reciprocally, "Is there anything I'm doing that you wanted to comment on? What do you like about our lovemaking? What do you not like?"

That would be your opening. But, sensing how things are going, feeling that they're slipping out of control, you might at this point decide that it's better to leave this conversation for another day. You might say, "Well, I just want to say, I really like you and I'm enjoying our lovemaking, so let's keep doing this and having fun and see where it goes."

But she's a pretty smart dolphin. That sounds fishy to her. She senses that you've been cleverly leading up to something and now you seem to be backing away.

So she might say, "I know you're thinking of something. What is it?"

At that point, if you were cagey, you could still survive. You could say, "Well, I told you about a past lover and what she said to me. Did that make me any less desirable to you? Did it make me seem like a fool?"

"Well, no," she would say.

Now keep your head, soldier. This is where it gets really hairy. If this dolphin noise she makes is as strange and otherworldly as you say, you can't have been the first lover to notice it.

"Then what about you?" you would say. "Have you ever had past lovers comment on your lovemaking? What did they say?"

"Why do you want to know?"

"Well ... it sort of turns me on?" Ah! A stroke of genius!

"Well," she might say, "I had this one boyfriend who didn't like the sounds I make when I orgasm."

Careful, now: "What sounds, my peach, my ripe nectarine, my luscious grape? What sounds?"

"Um, you know. The sounds I make."

"Oh, those sounds?"

She looks at you. She's feeling wary.

You ask, "So he made a comment about the sounds you make? And what did you do?"

"Oh, I dumped him. If a man can't take the sounds I make when I'm passionate, I have no use for him."

"Oh, the heartlessness!" you say.

"Of dumping him?" she says.

"No, not of dumping him! Of him telling you such a mean thing! What a mean, thoughtless person he must have been!"

"Well, yes, he was. Not like you."

"No, not like me. No."

Well, then. Not like you at all.

I don't suppose you could wear your iPod to bed? She would notice the wires, wouldn't she?

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