Master the art of bed banter with these tips.

By Laura Tedesco
August 15, 2019

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, guys were actually seen as less attractive when they tried to sound sexy.) If your partner is a woman, then congrats: Your lesbian 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."

But when you do know what to say? The erotic payoff is huge. That's why we've gathered a few basic guidelines on how to talk dirty to help you tap into your inner sex goddess. Prepare to arouse your partner like never before-with your mouth.

Do: Discover Their Trigger Words

Chances are, your partner has a specific favorite term for their body parts-as well as for sexual acts, like 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 his 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, helping you create your bedroom vocab.

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-an often-difficult task for us-while giving him 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'rethinking, ‘Yes! I'm turning her on.' That makes them feel more confident." We call that a win-win. (Related: 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," Jaiya adds. If you're not sure which they prefer, try alternating sweet phrases (e.g. "I love it when you kiss me") with more risqué ones (e.g. "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. But just because Jenna Jameson said it doesn't mean you have to-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'll will feel that," says Jaiya.

And you don't have to use a deep, throaty voice. "Your tone can be funny and joking. It can be 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 giving presentations at work, for example, a powerful bedroom vibe may be your go-to; if you love laughing with your friends, a fun approach may be better. (Also valuable: Spend time masturbating to figure out what you like.)

Do: Master the Art of One-Word Dirty Talk

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. They're the verbal equivalent of a moan.

Don't: Focus Too Much on Size

If you're dating a man, know this: Sure, some guys 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 his erection is. "Generally, people respond well to hearing how aroused their genitals are," she says.

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 his beard stubble," says Neustifter. So start with descriptive statements of what turns you on about your partner. 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

Ready for advanced dirty talk? 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. So ease into it by suggesting a move you've tried in the past that both of you enjoyed. (Like, for example, these sex positions for clit stimulation.) That way, you know they'll receive your proposition positively, which can make you feel more confident taking charge.

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