Are you a Chatty Kathy in the bedroom, or more of the strong-and-silent type? It turns out, there’s a reason so many of us love a little dirty talk between the sheets! If you’ve been too embarrassed or shy to give it a whirl, now’s the time to give dirty talk the old college try.
What is Dirty Talk?
Talking dirty is the practice of using explicit word-imagery to heighten sexual excitement before and during sex. Basically, it’s using language in a way that turns you and your partner on, while communicating what you want – and enjoy – in bed.
Have you ever asked a partner to touch you somewhere specific during foreplay? Have you ever moaned for them to go faster during sex, whispered that you love their [adjective] [body part], or simply told them not to stop what they were doing during a pivotal moment? Congratulations – that’s dirty talk!
Why Talk Dirty?
We all know communication is the key to any success romantic relationship… and that includes how we communicate our needs and desires in the bedroom. Adding verbal play to physical sexual activity creates a powerful, erotic combination. It’s about building tension, and lacing sex with fantasy and anticipation.
Dirty talk also helps you express what you like and want in bed – serving not only as seduction, but also as instruction. In fact, research has shown that those who communicate pleasure during sex are more likely to experience sexual satisfaction than those who do not communicate.
It’s also often celebrated as a sexy, non-awkward, and non-disruptive way to give and receive sexual consent. After all, there's no clearer way to express your desire than looking someone in the eye and whispering, "f—ck me."
Beyond being undeniably sexy, talking dirty also appeals to our brains and our bodies while disrupting standards of societal decorum. It introduces an additional sense (hearing) to any sexcapade, which stimulates the brain in a way that goes beyond just touch for a total mind and body experience.
Yes, it Can Be… Awkward
Dirty talk is sexy and naughty and nasty in the best possible way… but, especially if you’re new to the game, it can also feel downright awkward! As easy as it might look on the silver screen or in porn, dirty talk IRL doesn’t always flow off the tongue. Many of us stutter, fumble, freeze up, or feel too embarrassed to even give it a try.
Remember this gem from Friends?
The key thing is to relax and HAVE FUN with it. Talking dirty isn't an exact science, and navigating it relies more on how comfortable you are versus how much you know about it.
Here's are some top tips for getting comfortable, leaning in to the experience and bringing your dirty talk A-game.
If you’re a total dirty talk newbie, give yourself permission to go at your own pace! If you’re usually silent during sex, suddenly cranking the dial up to 100 and telling your partner you want to be their filthy little cum-dumpster will probably feel unnatural for you, and might throw them off – taking you BOTH out of the moment.
Remember, you're on nobody's schedule to learn how to dirty talk except your own so start slow and build from there as you get more comfortable expressing yourself. Let dirty talk ELEVATE your sexual experience, not hinder it. The sooner you disregard the pressure you put on yourself, the easier exploring the sexual experience will be.
…Work your way up
The raunchiness ladder, that is. Generally, the sex words we use fall into one of four categories: romantic terms (“making love"), clinical terms ("having sex"), slang terms ("doing it"), and raunchy terms ("fucking").
If you're new to talking dirty, you may want to start with more subdued or romantic words before progressing to the more raunchy or graphic. Sometimes people think that they have to go ALL THE WAY to nail dirty talk. Instead, think of talking dirty is a continuum – or a ladder you can climb as you gain confidence.
If you're shy, start by telling your partner what you're hoping to do with them using a romantic term. Once you get more comfortable, up the raunchiness until you feel like you've hit your sweet spot. Most people have a raunchiness threshold when dirty talk stops feeling hot and starts feeling uncomfortable, and it takes a bit of experimentation to find out where yours is, and – just as importantly – where your partner's is, as well.
Keep it simple
‘Dirty’ talk is a bit of a misnomer, because dirty talking isn't about it being crude or vulgar. It's more about what turns you on. What makes a phrase ‘dirty’ is how sexually aroused you get from hearing it, so focus on what turns you on!
The dirty things you say to your partner should feel natural and in the moment. What you say doesn’t have to be wildly elaborate — just ease into things by saying exactly what's happening, or what you want to happen. Start sentences with phrases like “I want…” or “I wish…” and once that feels comfortable, you can get a little more descriptive. It doesn't have to be super creative: it just needs to feel good to you and your partner.
Keep an open mind
Don’t worry about sounding silly, and embrace being playful during dirty talk because there are bound to be occasions where one of you laughs! It’s totally okay to have a giggle. In fact, that can help take some of the pressure off, and make the experience even more enjoyable.
Think of dirty talk as a kind of sexual improvisation, where you try to stay in the moment with a mentality of 'Yes, and...'. Refrain from judging your partner, because they might be finding their feet and feeling just as nervous as you are. If someone says something a bit off, just roll with it, add to it, and readjust course. That being said, if your partner says something that makes you really uncomfortable, it’s okay to express that to them. Which leads us into…
Define Your limits
Some words or phrases might be out of bounds for you or your partner, and it’s both of your jobs to know what they are. Sexual fantasies aren't always PC, and words that can be offensive in day-to-day life can be really hot in bed.
For example, few women want to be called the "c word" IRL, but being told how hot and wet our "c word" is in bed can be a real turn on. That being said, everyone is different, and every couple should have an open discussion about their limits and draw their own line in the sand when it comes to words, body parts and phrases that are turn-ons or completely off-limits. Your partner may not find anything inherently wrong with dirty words for body parts (pussy, cock, tits), but they may also have strong reactions to some of those words over others.
Have a conversation before sex about likes, dislikes, turn ons, turn offs, and even triggering names or phrases. Talking about it when you're not in the middle of sex is best so no one feels pressured to answer one way or another. Whenever you’re unsure of what your partner is into sexually, just ask them. Lead with consent, rather than attempting to throw in dirty talk on the fly.
Engage your senses
Love the way your partner tastes? Do the sounds your partner makes arouse you? Tell them! Engaging all the senses can help provide inspiration for your dirty talk, and telling your partner where you want to taste and smell them, and how you want to see them, can really turn them on as well.
Asking questions is the easiest way to get started with dirty talk – and it’s also a great way to incorporate consent into your sexual experience in a non-awkward way. Ask things like:
- Do you like that?
- How does that feel?
- Do you want me to use my mouth on your…
If you’re on the shy side, role playing characters that align with your greatest fantasies might make talking dirty a little less uncomfortable. After all, you’re only saying what Harley Quinn or Geralt of Rivia would whisper – or command – in this situation! You have to stay in character!
Roleplaying is a great way to introduce dirty talking in your sex life without taking full responsibility for your words. It also pushes you out of your comfort zone, and allows you to explore and experiment with things while taking the pressure off. It’s fun, silly and sexy. And WELL worth a try.
Engage in aftercare
Dirty talk can get kinky, fast! Particularly for anyone that enjoys consensually degrading verbal play, aftercare is essential to ensuring consent, communication, and boundaries are respected. Make an after-sex convo part of your routine to check in with one-another on how you’re feeling, what worked, and what could be swapped next time. Making sure you both feel heard and safe is vital to ensuring the best sex ever!
Practice makes perfect!
Zero in on what you like to say and hear in bed, and communicate it to your partner in whichever way feels good and sexy to you. A little fumbling is totally normal as you figure things out. The more often you talk dirty, the more comfortable and confident you’ll feel doing it. Fuck, yes!