How To Talk Dirty

Clients often ask about ways to spice up their sex lives in long-term relationships and I regularly suggest introducing new repertoire into their bedroom (or better yet – laundry room) routine as a great way to keep things hot and lively. Talking dirty during sex play is one fun, easy and no-cost add-on to your coupled sex life.

I’ll start by highlighting that “dirty” talk is not actually all that filthy to begin with. Our culture tends to illogically equate sex with filth, but rest assured that sexy talk is healthy, natural and extremely common. Respect and honesty are of utmost importance when experimenting with all components of sex play and you will need to ask your partners how much (or how little) talk they enjoy during sex.

The first step to talking sexy is to offer generous and honest positive feedback: moan, groan, exhale deeply and let your partner know that you are enjoying it. There is no need to exaggerate. You are not a porn star and are not being paid to have porngasms.

You can then begin to turn your moans into words and phrases: “Yes!” “More!” “Give it to me!” “I love that!” “Touch me there!” “That feels great!” “Right THERE!” “You are amazing!” “Thank you!” “Wow!” “I love feeling you on top of me.” “You look so damn hot.” These are simply some phrases to get you started. Obviously each person will react differently, so be sure to say what comes naturally to you as opposed to repeating what you have seen in films or read online.

And remember that sexy talk goes both ways. It is not only about receiving pleasure and offering feedback, but also involves giving pleasure and soliciting reaction. You can gently ask your partners what they want as you explore their bodies: “Do you like that?” “Where do you want it?” “What can I do for you?” “Tell me how you like it.” “Lay back and let me give it to you.”

If you want to take it up a notch, consider telling your partners about the fantasies you have that include them. Tell them that you thought of them earlier in the day and started aching to feel their touch or tell them that you saw someone else checking them out and it turned you on. You might tell them that you were watching them work, bend over or get undressed and it made you tingle in all the right places.

Be honest with regard to your fantasies and remember that fantasies do not need to become reality. Just because you are willing to talk about filming your sexual escapades because it turns you on while you are having sex does not mean that you need to pursue this fantasy in real life.  If you find that you are turned on by talking about a fantasy, but draw the line at talk alone, make this clear in advance. It is important to set boundaries before sex play and debrief after sex to discuss how you feel about the things that were said.

Other phrases you might consider whispering, groaning or screaming during sex include: “I want it in my mouth.” “Nibble on me a little.” “Let’s watch ourselves in the mirror.” “I’m coming (again)!” “I want more!” “I love the way that sounds/tastes/smells/feels.” “You’re making me dizzy.” “I would pay for this!”

Let me reiterate the importance of honesty in great sex. Sexy talk will be much hotter if you mean what you say, as your partner will sense the full intensity of your genuine desire and enjoyment. Again, as adults we can differentiate between fantasy and reality, so a willingness to talk about a sex act and enjoy the dialogue does not imply that you actually want to engage in the act itself. Simply put, be honest about what turns you on and acknowledge your limitations.

Start slowly, have fun and remember that it is okay to giggle a little. Obviously you do not want to laugh at your partner, but sex is supposed to be fun and a sense of humour can carry you a long way. If you feel silly at first, you can practice on your own to get used to saying all the fun sex and swear words that you do not get to use on a regular basis.

If you are going to continue to expand your dirty talk repertoire, chat with your partner ahead of time about topics, fantasies or words that are off-limits. Each person has his/her own unique set of limitations and sensitivities and these can change over time, so it is a good idea to revisit your ground rules periodically.

Have fun, experiment and always practice safer sex.


Jessica O’Reilly is a Toronto-based sexologist and PhD researcher in sexual health education. She is passionate about human rights, sex-positive education and social justice issues and works as a consultant with private clients, corporations and social service agencies. Learn more about Jessica and her sex-positive work at

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