What Is Dirty Talk?
Hate to break it to all the gardeners and landscapers out there, but dirty talk isn’t doesn’t involve talking about potting peonies or pansies. The only flowers dirty talk might involve are of the Georgia O’Keefe variety.
Dirty talk is the act of using your sound box during an in-person or distanced sexual experience. Despite it’s vaguely shamey nomenclature, there is nothing unkempt or wrong about it. On the contrary, narrating before and during sex is a powerful tool for building or heightening arousal.
Below, 8 tips for dirty talking that even the most awkward, non-wordsmithian sex-havers will find handy. Plus, insight on exactly how dirty talk can enhance play for everyone involved.
Dirty Talk Benefits
At its most distilled, the main benefit of dirty talk is that it introduces a new sense (sound) into play. As a general rule, the more senses and sensations we can layer into sex, the better it feels.
Dirty talking also enables people to have sex (think: phone sex and text sex) even when physical contact can’t be made. This makes dirty talk the unofficial hero of long-distance relationships. (well, that and the Cowgirl’s FeelMe App)
Dirty talk also allows people to explore fantasies that they’re not ready to explore in person, never want to explore in person, or not able to explore in person.
Someone, for example, my not be able to have anal sex on this particular day because they’re having an IBS flare up. But they can still verbally go back-and-forth on a fantasy where their partner is helping their anal canal relax into submission.
Similarly, someone might get off on the idea of being taken, then tasted by, a vampire. But vampires aren’t real (spoiler alert), so there’s no way for someone to literally explore that fantasy. Dirty talk, however, allows them to bring that fantasy to life as completely as is impossible in this metaphysical world.
How To Talk Dirty
1. First, make sure your partner wants to dirty talk
Raise your hand if you’ve ever let out an involuntary “of fuck” or “please!” during a romp. It’s incredibly common for people to spontaneously emit sounds, noises, and words during sex. (And for the record these sounds should be embraced!).
But for the sake of conversation, let’s say that dirty talk isn’t these involuntary emissions, but instead refers to more intentional dirty dialogue.
If you’re unsure if your partner is interested in R-rated back-and-forth or word play, ask.
Ideally, when you’re not already getting down. Both being naked and having nookie are vulnerable states of being. It’s common for people to respond defensively or self-consciously when they’re in a vulnerable state of being and dress.
The next time you’re on a long car ride or hike, pose an open-ended question. For example:
- As you know I’m going on a work trip at the end of the month. How would you feel about exchanging some sexy text messages while I’m gone? Do you enjoy sexting?
- Last time we were having sex I had the impulse to call you my good girl, but held back because I wasn’t sure if you’d be into it. Do you have any names you like or don’t like being called? Or any other words you like hearing.
- Baby, I’m just curious…are you into dirty talk? I don’t have a ton of experience but it’s something I’d be open to trying together if you are.
2. Find out what words and phrases are on (and off) limits
If your partner does express interest in trying dirty talk, ask a few follow-up questions about what words they like having their genitals referred to, as well as what adjectives feel most affirming.
Don’t shy away from taking the opportunity to share that information about yourself, either.
Here’s what that might look like:
- I really love being called muscular, capable, and sturdy during sex. Words that hint at weakness, however, really take me out of the mood. Are there any compliments you especially like?
- What words do you like having your genitals called?
- Just so I know: Are there any words or phrases that give you the ick? I really don’t like the word, cunt.
3. Don’t over-complicate it
You need to be the next Sylvia Day or Nora Roberts to open your mouth. Sure, if you’re an erotica writer, go ahead and try out some scenes you’ve been wanting to put on paper. But the majority of us are not, and dirty talk is still within our reach.
If you're not sure what to say, try:
- Narrating what is currently happening.
- Foreshadowing the things you are going to do to them.
- Remembering the sex you have had previously.
- Telling them about a dirty dream you had about them.
- Sharing how they taste, smell, feel, or look.
4. Learn more
As it goes, the epitaph practice makes perfect applies to dirty talking. So, practicing your dirty talking skills through sexting, phone sex, and role play will all have long-term pay off for your in-person dirty talk game.
But if you don’t currently have a friend with benefits or a boo to hone your skills with, there are ways for you to improve your skills. Yay!
For starters, you can build your sexicon by listening to audio-erotica or erotica novels as audiobooks. You might also read some romance texts, or play some ethical porn. All of these platforms will expose you to a new set of adjectives, verbs, and nouns you can incorporate into your play.
This might sound a little overboard, but you could even write down specific phrases in your notebook or Notes app. This will help engrain the phrases into your brain. Plus, it will give you something to copy & paste (and edit) during a sexy-text exchange
5. Be confident
Trust, your partner isn’t going to judge your grammar, word choices, or speed of speech when you’re talking dirty. They’re going to be much more focused on the fact that what you’re saying makes them feel desired!
Hopefully knowing that is enough to boost your confidence while you wax pornographic poetica. If not, reminder yourself of the following should:
- This person who I want to have sex with also wants to have sex with me.
- It is not possible to be bad at dirty talking.
- If I get tongue-tied, that’s okay. Laugher during sex adds to the experience.
- Sounds count as dirty talk too.
6. Invite them to participate in the exchange
Not all dirty talk exchanges are going to be fifty-fifty. There are some partnerships where one person does the bulk of (or all of!) the verbalizing.
If you happen to be the more-verbal partner and wish your partner would be a little more expressive, consider inviting them to respond by asking simple questions, such as the following:
- Do you prefer this [demo] or this [demo]?
- How does this feel?
- Does this feel good?
- Is there a toy you want to use right now?
- What are you craving right now?
- What would you do to me if I was there right now?
7. Ask consent before sending pictures
Consenting to dirty talk does not imply consent to receive/send photos. (Consent is never implied).
If you and your partner are engaging in long distance play and you want to send or receive pictures, videos, or audio-clips, you need to ask for explicit consent.
8. Engage in aftercare
Things can escalate very quickly when you’re using your words. That’s why whether you just wrapped up an in-person or virtual dirty talk session, it’s a good idea practice aftercare when the sex session wraps up.
Here’s what that might look like:
- Wow, that escalated quickly! How are you feeling right now, Baby?
- What kinds of affirmations can I offer you right now?
- I just want to verbalize that I really loved hearing you say the things you said. How did you feel saying them?
- Do you need anything to feel cared for right now?