When I first started having sexual encounters with lovers and partners and started to try out dirty talk, I found it super hard — and I am a Gemini (a master of communication!). I was afraid to be an amateur. I didn’t realise that being awkward was going to be an essential part of my sexual journey throughout my whole life. It’s like when we first learn to ride a bike: we wobble, make weird jerking motions with the handles, and sometimes fall. But when we practice regularly without worrying about what others think, we can glide down the streets confidently. People need to think of learning new sexual skills as learning any other non-sexual skill in life. Practice. Practice. Practice.
Since most of us are concerned about getting it wrong, we may never actually begin. But we have to start somewhere right? Here are some ideas to get rolling:
Speak your mind and ask questions
Tell them what things you are enjoying as you are going. This is always fail-proof. You can try saying things such as:
Not only do these statements help confirm to your lovers that you like what is happening, but it is also extremely helpful to get things going in terms of dirty talk.
You can also figure out what your lovers like by asking them directly. Communication is sexy, and questions like “Does this feel good?, “Should I keep going?” or “Do you like that?” can also help increase confidence, improve intimacy between partners and make for a better sex life.
Roleplay as a way of dirty talk!
This is a fun way to experiment, especially if you haven’t found your creative flow yet. You can take inspiration from a fantasy you have, or maybe something hot you saw in porn, in a movie, heard in a song, or read in your favorite erotic book. By doing this, you can collect hot things to say and also have a rough idea of a script, which will help you put them into practice. It’s okay to just say things you’ve heard before but have never tried yourself.
Expressing your dirtiest thoughts while texting is a great way to loosen up.
Since it does not happen in real time — meaning you don’t usually get an instant reaction from texts, a lot of weight is lifted off your shoulders. In this context there is a lot less pressure, so you can take your time and let your imagination guide you in writing out the horny things that come to mind without holding back. “Guess what I am doing right now”, “I’ve been thinking about this all day”, and “I can’t wait to get home and [insert action]” are great sentences to start sexting.
Make more (and louder) sounds!
If you have tried the first three suggestions, didn’t feel at ease and you are still having trouble getting started, there’s no need to stress. I have a great solution for you! Saying words or full sentences can be very intimidating, so why don’t you allow yourself to be louder while getting intimate with your partner(s). You can start by breathing heavily, moaning, and making little or big sighs. A small moan like “mmmmmm”, can eventually turn to “ohhhh yessss”, to “I’m so hard/wet”, to “Give it all to me!” I know it sounds like a far reach but, trust me, reacting more to pleasure with sounds is an easy segway into talking and blurting out sentences that you never thought you could!
Now that you have some basic ideas to start, you should also know a bit about consent and safety.
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Consent & Safety
Even if we practice safer sex in terms of using condoms, dental dams, or birth control, we don’t often think about safe practices when it comes to its emotional aspect. As with any sexual activity, there is always an element of risk to sex, whether physical or emotional.
Regarding the emotional risk, it’s important not to assume that someone wants to do something at all times just because they agreed to it in the past. You also need to make sure you establish safe limits and try learning about your partner’s triggers. For instance, you could call your partner a name you think is hot but to them is offensive.
Chat beforehand about boundaries, wants, needs, expectations, and care. Whether it is an elaborate conversation or just yes/no questions, it’s important to figure out the hard no’s, the grey areas, what things have worked for you so far, and what you are excited to explore together.
Also, in order for someone to feel cared for prior to, during, and after sex, certain conditions will most likely need to be put in place. Your partner(s) may only enjoy certain acts if it is clear that those dynamics are not in place anymore outside of having sex. For example, someone might like to be called degrading names, but only if there is a comedown and aftercare where they feel reassured. Although reorienting back to reality and aftercare are concepts used in the context of BDSM scenes, they are very much applicable to any kind of sexual practice, including dirty talk.
Dirty talk does not have to be gendered! Although a lot of words have gendered connotations, there are plenty of alternatives for people that are genderqueer. Figure out what words work for you both — the words you use do not always have to correspond to your gender identity. Returning to consent and communication, check in instead of assuming what words you can use to describe them and their genitalia.
Once you have set good communication practices with your partner, a lot of free room opens up to enjoy yourself and try out new things.
A good way to start being playful and innovative is to take what you already do and spice it up.
The journalist and LGBTQIA+ community activist Dan Savage recommends this simple approach to start the creative juices rolling:
Here are some examples you can use:
As said before, it’s hard to master a skill from day one, but there is always a starting point. Hopefully this article can serve as a good base — maybe you can even ease into having a casual conversation about dirty talking with your lover(s) by reading it together! Whatever the approach is, remember the most important part is staying playful together and having fun.