Q: Do girls enjoy it when you talk to them during sex? If so, what should I say? —Nelson S., Everett , WA

A: Talking to her in bed serves two purposes. The first is to successfully extract information from her about what she wants. To do so effectively, you need to communicate in a way that allows her to tell you honestly what she feels. “What do you want me to do?” or “How do you want me?” are perfectly reasonable questions for a woman to hear in bed. And, just so you know, girls do not like to hear the porn-popular phrase “Do you like that?” It is completely pointless and obnoxious. (What’s she going to say, “no”?)

The second reason to talk to her in bed is to turn her on by keeping her mentally in the action. This is the trickier one because what does it for one woman may gross out the next. So pick up cues. Terms like “cock” and “pussy” can be polarizing, so unless she starts talking about them first, keep those words holstered. However, here are some fail-safe options that any woman will respond to: “You’re so sexy,” “You’re amazing” (if she’s on top), “I just want to please you” (if you’re on top or about to pleasure her in any way), and “I don’t want this to stop.” Be sure to continually remind her that she’s turning you on and that you’re going to concentrate on her pleasure—those are things no woman can argue with.

Amber Madison is a New York–based therapist, author, and sex columnist. Send your questions to askamber@mensfitness.com.