How to talk dirty: A guide to help improve dirty talk for any gender

Sometimes the sexiest thing your partner can do is tell you what they’re going to do to your body without doing it at all. That slow, descriptive build-up to climax? Oh yes, we’re talking dirty, and just how lush and sublime the verbal sexual experience can be.

Dirty talk is one of those tools that can be brought out during any part of the sexual experience. It requires trust in your partner, and an openness for play, one that can help build or rebuild intimacy between the two of you. Dirty talk can certainly help spice up your sex life through the introduction of fantasy and visualizing sex or with reality and the pleasurable moments soon to come.

Here, we’ll discuss what dirty talk is, how to get through the awkwardness of talking dirty to someone, and some tips for any gender to up their dirty talk game.

What is dirty talk?

Dirty talk is exactly what it sounds like: using words or sounds to spark arousal for a partner (and perhaps yourself!) What constitutes dirty talk exactly is sort of up to you: every person is different when it comes to what they find attractive or hot to hear. For some, dirty talk can simply be saying “yes,” or moaning, and for others it can mean a more elaborate narrative, building a fantasy world that describes sexual positions, foreplay, or using sex toys. A dirty talk middle ground is describing to your partner what you like about them, such as how sexy they are, or telling them if you’re turned on.

How to manage awkward feeling while talking dirty

Dirty talk isn’t without its discomforts. It might make you self-conscious to say you quite like anal play with sex toys and want to use a lubricants like K-Y® Lubricant -Naturals* during it. It’s okay to feel awkward at first because it’s a real act of vulnerability to open up to someone this way; to verbalize what fantasies you might have or how you like to have sex. A crucial part of dirty talk in your sexual practice is for how much it reinforces trust and rebuilds intimacy to be open and communicate your desires—avoiding any development of intimacy issues.

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In any case, here are some tips to temper any awkwardness:

  • Ask your partner what they like. Start by having a simple conversation about what your partner likes. Asking “what are you into right now?” or “how often can we do this in our sex life?” in a judgement-free zone can go a long way.
  • Describe what you like. Vulnerability goes both ways: let your partner know how you like to have sex and what things turn you on. They may pop up in some dirty talk later on.
  • Have you tried sexting? Saying what you like aloud directly to your partner can be intimidating. Try dipping a toe into the world of sexting to gauge interest, depth, and how often dirty talk can be incorporated into your sex routine.

Sex tips: How to improve your dirty talk

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a pro at dirty talk, here are some tips to keep the sizzle in your dirty delivery.

  • Go slow. Dirty talk is part of a seduction game. Take it slow. Let the heat simmer and come to a boil.
  • Consent. Like checking in with your partner during sex to make sure everything feels okay, it’s important to do so here. Everyone’s fantasies and level of comfort are different. Stay on the same page by asking if they like it.
  • Anticipation. Dirty talk can be the oral version of edging, helping sex last longer. Keep building anticipation by not giving into physical contact just yet.
  • Remain present. Nothing’s a bigger mood killer than distractions. Keep the phone on silent and out of the room. Focus on your partner and the heat building in your body.
  • Play into the fantasy. Sex is ultimately a really fun thing to do, and one way to keep that play alive is through openly fantasizing with your partner about the sexual situations, positions, narratives, and acts you both enjoy.