The new guy in my life was perfect, and I was thrilled. He was funny, creative, thoughtful and… really good in bed. It was awesome to be having the kind of energetic sex I think I would have enjoyed a decade earlier had I not been 20 and sexually clueless. I felt mature, liberated and confident between the sheets. For about a week.
“Tell me what you want me to do to you, baby,” he whispered.
I’m sorry. What, now? I panicked. What should I say? What does he want me to say? What do I want to say? How would I even say it?
I’m still not sure if I said anything. The best I can imagine coming up with is, “Whatever you want,” which could be sexy but more likely sounded like a sullen teenager’s response to the family meeting about which National Park to RV to this year.
This was a double bummer to me as a woman who always considered herself sexually liberated. Not only did I have a VIP card at Good Vibrations, I spent years as a sexual health counselor. I had no problem discussing sex outside the bedroom. Penis! Vagina! Ejaculate! No problem! I read Dan Savage like my forebears read the Bible. I took a sort of smug pride in my GGG, try-anything-once attitude.
So why, then, was I furiously googling, “How to talk dirty”? What was stopping me from engaging in something that should have been fun? Was I really not as cool with all things kink as I thought?
Instead of letting my insecurities ruin my orgasms, I decided to be pragmatic. I’d make some lists. (I love lists.) First, what was I already comfortable saying?
- “His Name Here!”
- Various “Mmmm” and “Ohhhh” noises at “naughty” decibels. (When in doubt, get loud!)
- “You feel so good!”
A meager list of pretty vanilla exclamations, but it was a start. Next, I’d focus on what I wanted. Risqué rhetoric didn’t matter if I had nothing to describe.
Blank page. Nothing.
I realized that when it came down to it, I’d spent my formative years reading, watching and studying how to be GGG, but I hadn’t really explored what did it for me. I had fantasies, and I knew orgasms were good, but I couldn’t for the life of me come up with something instructive to whisper, sexy or not. I not only had stage fright — I had no lines.
Figuring out how to talk dirty, I decided, was my opportunity to change all that. I started with (surprise!) more lists, this time of things I knew turned me on:
- Oral sex (duh)
- Having my neck and collarbone kissed
- Really slow penetration
- Being teased in various ways
- Light BDSM (spanking, wrist restraints, etc.)
It was a pretty easy rundown of my top five turn-ons. Awesome. But how did I want to talk about them? How dirty did I want my dirty talk to be?
My partner’s own sexual monologues really did it for me, so I started by plagiarizing him at first. Fake it ‘til you make it, right?
- Oral sex was easy: “I want you to lick me until I come (practical)/for hours (kind of fantasy)”
- The neck kisses were, too: “I want to feel your lips on my neck.” Simple but hot!
- Slow sex seems straightforward, but I realized there’s a noticeable difference in steam-factor between just “Go slow,” and “I want it slow.”
- Being teased had lots of potential. I could tell him exactly what I wanted him to do (saying “I want to feel you _____” made it easier), or I could just allude to general teasing (“I want you to tease me until I can’t take it anymore”). Both were super hot.
- Spanking almost felt like a cop-out. Just telling him I wanted him to spank me really did the trick.
Just like that, I had an arsenal of sexy speak to draw on when the mood struck, and the words came naturally with a little solo practice. After a few rolls in the hay, not only could I direct the dirty talk — a skill that felt empowering and bold — if I ever got tongue-tied I could just throw in a line I’d practiced without slowing things down or becoming self-conscious. I’m happy to report, too, that I’m now comfortable (and super enthusiastic!) about freestyling my desires, and I feel more connected to my own sexuality as a result. Give it a go!
Pro tip: If you’re just starting out, try initiating the conversation outside of the bedroom. Whisper in your partner’s ear at dinner or leave them a provocative voicemail. It gets things going in a low-pressure environment and sets expectations for the main event.