Master the art of bedroom banter with these ~sexy talk~ tips.

By Laura Tedesco
Updated February 04, 2021
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Does the thought of your partner saying, "talk dirty to me" send you into a panic? You're not alone if the prospect of dirty talk (beyond "yes" and miscellaneous moans) makes you feel awkward.

Here's some good news to take the pressure off: When it comes to sounding sultry, women can easily sex-up the sound of their voice, while men simply cannot, according to an Albright College study. (In fact, men were actually seen as less attractive when they tried to sound sexy.) And if your partner is a woman? Then major congrats: Your dirty talk is about to be hot as hell.

The downside? Just because you have a natural oral ability (hello, raspy bedroom voice!) doesn't mean you know which words will put you both in the mood. "Many people feel silly talking dirty," says Jaiya, a sex educator and author of Blow Each Other Away. "Because they don't know what to say, they get tripped up."

So, while you can definitely learn how to talk dirty (and this article's got you covered), you also don't need to start throwing around sexy sayings. When it comes to preferences in the bedroom, everyone's likes and dislikes are different and some people (maybe even your partner) might not care for all the erotic chit-chat. There are a myriad of methods for spicing up your sex life and using dirty talk during sex is just one of them.

Now, if you are ready to tap into your inner sexy self and take your bedroom banter up a notch, then look no further than these basic dirty talk guidelines. Oh, and one more thing: Once you learn how to talk dirty, be prepared to arouse your partner like never before.

Women_Whispering_In_Bed
Credit: Olezzo/Getty

Do: Discover Their Trigger Words

Chances are, your partner has a specific favorite term for their body parts — as well as for sexual acts, such as intercourse and oral — that turn them on the most. Jaiya calls these trigger words since the mere sound of them is often enough to crank up their arousal. "Start by sending dirty text messages back and forth," suggests Ruth Neustifter, Ph.D., author of The Nice Girl's Guide to Talking Dirty. "This is a great way to figure out what words they like."

Your line: "I can't wait to see you tonight. Tell me all the places you want me to touch you." They'll use the words they find most erotic in their sexts, helping you fine-tune your bedroom vocab and ultimately learn how to talk dirty in a way that works best for them. And, in turn, they can pick up on what words (and sexy emojis) you prefer as well.

Do: Update Them on Your Arousal

"I'm so wet right now." "I'm about to come." "You feel incredible."

These moment-by-moment updates help you tune into your own arousal — which can be a difficult task — while giving your partner an erotic earful. "When you speak about what's happening in your own body, you're bringing awareness to it," says Jaiya. "On top of that, you're arousing them even more, because they're thinking, ‘Yes! I'm turning them on.' That makes them feel more confident." And that's what you'd call a win-win. (While sexy talk can definitely help you get close, here's exactly how to have an orgasm every time.)

Don't: Feel Pressure

"Dirty talk" is perhaps a misnomer, because bedroom banter doesn't have to be crude to be a turn-on. "Some people find cursing to be completely un-arousing," says Neustifter. "The words that turn your partner on might be tender and loving — that can be just as highly arousing," adds Jaiya. If you're not sure which type of sexy talk they prefer, try alternating sweet phrases (i.e. "I love it when you kiss me") with more risqué ones (i.e. "I want your [body part] inside me"), and see what revs them up the most.

Do: Stick with What Works for You

"Women think they're supposed to sound like porn stars," says Yvonne Fulbright, Ph.D., author of Sultry Sex Talk to Seduce Any Lover. Even if your partner watches porn, that doesn't mean you need to dirty talk during sex the same way they might on-screen — the hottest words are the ones that get you in the zone, even if they're comparatively tame. "If you're not being authentic or you aren't comfortable, they will feel that," says Jaiya. (And you deserve to feel comfortable and confident in the bedroom, no ifs, ands, or buts.)

And you don't need to use a deep, throaty voice. "Your tone can be funny and joking, cute or teasing, innocent, or absolutely naughty," says Neustifter. "I encourage women to think about times when they feel the most confident and carefree." If you feel your best while giving presentations at work, for example, a powerful bedroom vibe might be your go-to; if your love language is joking around (think: laughing with your friends, poking fun to make your partner chuckle), a fun approach may be better. (Also valuable: Spend time masturbating to figure out what you like physically.)

Do: Master the Art of One-Word Dirty Talk

When learning how to dirty talk, it's important to remember that, oftentimes, less is more. Trying to string together a full, filthy sentence can actually tamp down your desire since you're inside your head, says Jaiya. "When I do sexuality workshops, the word ‘yes' is consistently one of people's favorite words," says Neustifter. Other sexy words that can stand alone: "faster," "harder," and "more." One-word directives let them know they're doing a great job, says Jaiya. Think of this simple sexy talk as the verbal equivalent of a moan. (Related: What Your Sex Noises Really Mean)

Don't: Focus Too Much On Size

If you're dating someone with a penis, know this: Sure, some people love being told their penis is impressive, but for others, hearing about size may remind them of their own insecurities, says Neustifter. A better route: Talk about how firm their erection is. "Generally, people respond well to hearing how aroused their genitals are," she says. (See also: Finally, the Answers to *All* of Your Pressing Penis Questions)

Do: Outline Their Qualities That Excite You

Talking about specific sexual acts can be uber intimidating —especially when you're first figuring out how to talk dirty. "It's oftentimes easier to talk about attributes or objects — how sexy a piece of underwear is or that you really like their beard stubble," says Neustifter. So start with descriptive statements of what turns you on about your partner when you're trying out dirty talk during sex. Most people like to be complimented. Plus, it's almost impossible to flop when you're telling someone how much their body excites you.

Do: Tell Them What You're Going to Do

Now, for the more advanced portion of "how to talk dirty 101." Tell your partner about the sexy moves you want to perform. "It's easier for women to care-take than to say, 'Here's what I want you to do,'" says Jaiya. Ease into the dirty sex talk by suggesting a move you've tried in the past that both of you enjoyed. (Such as, for example, these sex positions for clit stimulation or the way they used their tongue during oral.) That way, you know they'll receive your proposition positively, which can make you feel more confident taking charge.