WHAT IS DIRTY TALK?
You like that, don’t you naughty girl?
Pop culture has influenced what we consider as “dirty talk.” We’ve seen examples in movies, TV shoes, music videos, songs, pornography, etc. While dirty talk may include being called certain names, or using vulgar language in referring to genitals or other body parts, what “dirty” means in the context of sex depends on YOU and your partner(s). In essence, dirty talk is erotic communication that generates arousal. Although dirty talk can improve sexual satisfaction, some people find it awkward or jarring. Talking dirty is a vulnerable thing. It requires trust with your partner(s), feeling safe and accepted so that you can settle any concerns about feeling rejected or ashamed in trying it out. It’s crucial to find the right erotic talk with your partner(s). It does not have to be mean or degrading. It can be used for empowerment and reclaiming words which have had a negative association in the past. When there is distance involved, dirty talk through virtual means can be an amazing way to stay sexually connected to your partner(s).
WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE TO TALK DIRTY?
Dirty talk helps us communicate our desires. It can also be used to give positive feedback to your partner(s) so that they can understand your enjoyment. That being said, it’s important not to be agreeable to instructive dirty talk statements that don’t feel right so as not to misguide your partner(s). By integrating dirty talk into you sex life, you will have a more multi-faceted experience that goes beyond stimulating just your physical body. In fact, neurological research has shown that the “mind” is the most powerful sexual organ of all. Dirty talk is one practice that can help activate two parts of the brain that are important to sexual arousal: the hypothalamus and amygdala. The hypothalamus produces and regulates molecules that make us exhilarated, furious, horny or happy. In the same way that dirty talk stimulates this part of our brain, so does cursing. The amygdala is our fear centre which gets excited when presented with strong emotional information. Name-calling is a form of submission that stimulates the amygdala and makes a person feel vulnerable and receptive.
DATA ON DIRTY TALK
A recent study conducted by Superdrug Online Doctor, a service that offers online sex health test and treatment deliveries, examined sex talk preferences of 990 participants from the US and Europe. Here are some of the key findings:
- Over 9 in 10 respondents revealed feelings of arousal when their partners used dirty talk
- 29% of respondents engaged in dirty talk during every sexual encounter
- 20% of respondents had stopped intercourse because they were turned off by their partner’s dirty talk
Top responses for what terminology turned people on were sexual requests and compliments about appearance and performance. When it came to nicknames, results were varied. Derogatory nicknames or slurs (e.g., “whore”) were considered a sexual turn-on for some and a turn-off for others. Some preferred the use of relationship nicknames instead (e.g., “baby”, “sweetheart”, etc.). Ultimately, this underscores the point that we all have unique likes and dislikes, and it’s important to discuss and be honest about what terms are deal-breakers in the bedroom!
WHAT KIND OF DIRTY TALK FEELS GOOD TO YOU?
Before delving into dirty talk with your partner(s), it’s important to sort out what language you like, dislike and how you want the conversation to unfold. Your dirty talk lexicon does not have to be full of explicit, crude language. Use words that are authentic and feel comfortable. Here are some questions you should ask yourself:
What would you like the mood of the dirty talk exchange to be like? For example, is it bossy, imaginative, or romantic?
What names do you want to be called? For example, are you a “badass bitch”, “dirty whore” or a “good girl”?
How would you like your genitals to be referred to as? For example, do you have a monster cock or a beautiful dick?
Once you have the answers to these questions, have a pre-talk with your partner(s) so that you can have an exchange on preferences and establish consent on what language to use. You never know what negative associations someone might have with a word that you personally enjoy. That’s the wonderful thing about dirty talk, it can take many forms and be adapted to meet everyone’s boundaries. Remember that dirty talk can be simple as short bursts of words in between pants and moans. While it doesn’t require rehearsing, you may wish to try out saying a few terms out loud on your own before testing them out in action with someone.
INTRODUCING DIRTY TALK
While spontaneity may work in some instances, it’s best to err on the side of caution and socialize the idea of dirty talk with your partner(s) before launching into it. How might you first bring this idea up with your partner? Here are some conversation starter suggestions:
“If you’re into it, I would love for you to tell me what you want me to do to you.”
“It makes me hot when you desribe how you’re feeling during sex.”
“Can I tell you some dirty things on my mind right now?”
“What sort of things do you want to hear from me in bed?”
GETTING DOWN WITH DIRTY TALK
If you’re nervous about doing dirty talk in person, try it out digitally first through a sext! You can use recollection for this by describing a past hot sexual experience you had with your partner(s) or fantasizing about what you would like your partner(s) to do to you next time you are together. Once you are ready to do it in-person, there are three main styles of dirty talk to consider. You can use both “I” and “YOU” statements with any of these styles.
Real-time: Describing what is happening - how you feel, how your senses are responding, and what you’re thinking about. These statements can be compliments about your partner’s appearance and/or performance.
“The way you caress my leg feels so nice and makes me wet.”
“I love watching you ride my cock.”
Permission: Asking for consent as you explore each other and the sexual encounter develops.
“May I kiss you between your legs?”
“Can you please slide your thick cock inside me?”
Instructional: Playing more with power and telling your partner what you want them to do to you.
“Suck on my toe, you filthy boy.”
“Turn over so I can spank you for being bad!”
Once you feel confident with these, here are some advanced suggestions for erotic verbal exchange:
- Incorporate fantasy-weaving using invented scenarios or role-playing
- Play around with tone of voice - either yelling loudly to build excitement or whispering softly to build anticipation
- Heighten power dynamic play by bringing begging into your dirty talk
Whatever style you choose, using words that feel good or honest to you will allow you to deliver dirty talk confidently. Trust what flows and feels sexy in the moment!
FOR A DEEPER DIVE ON DIRTY TALK…
For those who want to want more information on how to develop stronger dirty talk skills, here’s a mix of excellent resources to check out:
Podcast hosts and sex educators, Amy Baldwin and April Lampert, interview Amberly Rothfield who is a best-selling author, sexpert/educator, phone sex operator, dominatrix, and marketing extraordinaire. Amberly struck gold as a phone sex operator on Niteflirt and her breakout book “How I Made $10,000 A Month As A Phone Sex Operator” has be an inspirational manual for many entrepreneurs in the XXX world. In this podcast episode, she shares her advice on what makes a really good phone sex operator and the tricks to the trade for amping up your dirty talk game.
Casey Calvert is an award winning adult performance, producer, writer and director. This is part of a free, explicit sex education video series from LUSTZINE, the uncensored online magazine created by Erika Lust. in this video, Casey provides her practical advice, examples, tips, and do’s and don’ts on dirty talk.
Luna Matatas is a Sex and Pleasure Educator with over 10 years of experience in sexual health and wellness. In this webinar course, Luna explores creating fantasies with words, compliments and communication to help people develop playful confidence. She shares tips for using sexy language combined with other techniques to overcome shyness, find the right amount of words and give feedback through dirty talk.