It’s sexy time, and you want to change things up. Specifically, you want to speak up. Maybe it’s been a request from your partner or maybe learning how to talk (or text) dirty is something you want to try. Communicating in bed is always a good thing, but knowing what to say during sex can be awkward at first. “In general, talking about sex, our desires, and what turns us on and turns us off is not normalized in our culture. We live in a complicated state of shame when it comes to sex, and it follows that talking about it is complicated,” Dr. Sandi Kaufman, LCSW, CST, tells Scary Mommy. “People are vulnerable and afraid of saying the wrong thing when it comes to dirty talk. It can be deeply revealing. There is fear of being judged, which leads to uncertainty and anxiety regarding what’s a turn on or turn off. People are vulnerable and afraid of saying the wrong thing, which doesn’t lead to freedom of expression.”
But talking during sex and experimenting with dirty talk can be a healthy and happy turn-on for your relationship, according to Dr. Jess O’Reilly, host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast, as learning how to seduce with your words is a skill that will enhance your sex life and may also improve overall communication. “Learning to talk dirty can make sex more compelling and intense, as it engages multiple regions of the brain, including those involved in processing sound and emotion,” she says. “This mind-body experience can be overwhelming and encourage you to use sex as an escape from reality.”
Curious about how to talk dirty without being awkward? Read on for titillating tips to make you sound like a smooth operator.
Set the Scene to Practice
For newbies, Dr. Kaufman recommends practicing and setting the scene to do whatever you need to feel safe and keep it simple before jumping in bed. “Dim the lights. Light a candle. Do whatever you need to feel safe. Set a timer for about 15 minutes. Ask your partner for one word or phrase that would turn them on.” From there, “Sit across from each other and bounce a word back and forth between you. First, choose a word that’s uncomfortable but not highly triggering. Say it back and forth to one another. Change the tone. Be silly with it. Remember, sex is supposed to be fun, so play with it. Then, express appreciation to your partner when the timer goes off.”
Dr. Kaufman also suggests using a similar practice alone to help you get over any inhibition or discomfort around talking dirty. “Pick an inanimate object that symbolizes your partner,” she advises. “Dim the lights. Start with one or two words that make you uncomfortable and repeat them for 30 seconds. This may take multiple sessions. Try it a couple of times a day for three days. See if your discomfort eases. Now practice using a mirror. When you notice an easing of tension, or that you can laugh with it, recognize that something is shifting. What’s triggering for one person may be easy for another. Don’t judge yourself. Go slow and recognize that this will take practice.”
Consider Your Intention
Dr. Jess recommends considering your intention and how you want to feel or how you want to make your partner feel. “This can help you to identify your dirty talk style,” she says, which can change during each sex session. “If you begin with the feeling, it can help you to be more creative and authentic.”
Questions to consider:
- Do you want to feel submissive? Dominant?
- Do you want to feel playful?
- Do you want to feel powerful and confident?
- Do you enjoy teasing?
- Do you want to feel connected or have a sense of romance?
- Do you want to stroke your partner’s ego? Or your own?
- Do you want to break the rules and indulge in the excitement of doing something taboo?
- Do you want the relief that comes from escaping from reality?
- What would you like to try sexually if there were no consequences or guilt?
- What's one thing you've never done that you'd like to try?
- How do you feel most comfortable telling me what you want?
- What’s the most flattering thing someone has said about your naked body?
- What’s your favorite blowjob technique?
- What words do you like and not like to be used to describe different parts of your body?
- In your opinion, what does it mean to be good in bed?
- What’s the most reliable way for you to orgasm with a partner?
- Do you watch porn, and if yes, what kind of porn do you watch?
Get to Know Each Other’s Turn-ons
“Sexual partners need to discuss what their individual preferences, turn-ons, and turn-offs are in terms of dirty talk,” says Dr. Kaufman. “They need to define what ‘dirty’ talk is to them.”
One exercise she suggests is to create a list of dirty talk words and phrases for you and your partner and write out what you would like to say to each other. For example:
- “I want to f**k you.”
- “I love your p***y.”
- “Pound me.”
- “Lick me.”
- “You turn me on.”
- “Call me a bad girl [or bad boy].”
- “Tell me how good this feels.”
- “I want you to pull my hair.”
- “I think of you when I’m masturbating?”
- “I can feel your d*ck throbbing.”
- “It would be really hot if you...”
- “I love holding your d*ck him in my hand.”
- “I'm getting closer.”
- “I love it when you first slide into me.”
- “Feeling your d*ck get hard in my hand makes me so hot.”
- “Baby, you’re making me so wet.”
- “You’re going to make me cum.”
- “How are you doing that?”
- “Tease me until I am begging for it.”
- “Spank me.”
- “Your dick is like a paper towel roll.”
- “Come on my ass.”
- “Do whatever you want to me.”
- “Lick that pussy.”
- “Touch me right there.”
- “I want to watch.”
- “Can you take me from behind?”
- “I want you in my mouth.”
- “I love the way you smell.”
Another exercise is to go through a vocabulary list of body parts, slang, and sexual acts commonly used. Rate them as a possible turn on, a (5), to an absolute turn off, a (1), so you are both clear as to what you like. You can practice these phrases in the practice that Dr. Kaufman recommends above.
Start With Simple Sounds
If you are new to talking dirty, Dr. Jess recommends simply beginning with a word or two to let your lover know how you are feeling. “‘Yesss. Mmm. Ahh. Do not stop.‘ These simple words go a long way to provide generous but honest feedback. Let out a few moans, groans, and wide-mouthed exhales to indicate your pleasure. Allow the tension to mount gradually and start quietly allowing your volume to mount with time.”
Or you might find that you are more comfortable with dirty talk if you keep your volume low or your sounds muffled. “For example, you might whisper in their ear or place a blanket over your mouth while you try out a few new lines,” Dr. Jess continues. “If you are on the phone, you can stifle your sounds with your hand over the mic, and if you are video-chatting, turn the lights down low and dampen your sounds if you are feeling shy. It can be hot to keep them guessing.”
Practice Makes Perfect
Probably the most crucial point of all, Dr. Jess reminds us, is that you don’t have to be perfect or do it all. “In fact, it can help to get comfortable with laughter and awkwardness,” she explains. “Sometimes you will misspeak, and sometimes, the awkwardness will make you giggle — and that’s OK. Laughter can help cut the tension and bring you back to the present moment. Sex need not be serious, so relax and have a good time knowing that, if something doesn’t work out, you can try again tomorrow or next week. “
This article was originally published on