News flash: Dirty talk sounds way easier than it is. You might think that it’s just murmuring sexy nonsense into someone’s ear until you’re both so overcome with animal lust you tear the clothes off each other, but in practice, it’s just as likely to give you stage fright as it is a lady boner—at least at first. Let me tell you, nothing kills the mood faster than drawing a deep breath, leaning in close enough to regret how much Axe body spray your date wears, and completely losing your grasp of the English language. It’s like when you gave your first-ever book report presentation in third grade, except this time you’re half-naked and the stakes are much higher. Either way, the outcome is still the same: muttering some nonsensical word and excusing yourself to the bathroom, awkward silence still ringing in your ears. And while your sexting game is on point, IRL dirty talk is a whole other game. Your DMs to this dude may read like a 50 Shades novel, but suddenly you’re in person and end up blurting out something like, “your penis is very round” and the mood is officially killed.
But that’s the worst case scenario. Dirty talk takes practice as much as anything else, and if there’s anything worth putting effort into, obviously it’s getting laid. For future reference, here are the ins and outs of dirty talk (pun obviously intended).
Step 1: Start Vanilla
First of all, and most importantly, resist the temptation to blurt out the absolute nastiest shit that’s on your mind. That way lies awkwardness and wilted boners. Start super vanilla at first—don’t expect some dude you met on Tinder to be chill with you calling him daddy right off the bat. Focus on the easy stuff at first: why he turns you on, what you want him to do next, etc. (If you’re a control freak in bed, dirty talk should be right up your alley.) You can always get weird later, but as far as dirty talk goes, it’s a bit of a “crawl before you walk” situation. Like, if you can’t describe where on your body you want your partner to touch you, you’re probably not going to be able to weave some elaborate whispered role play scenario in which he’s a wealthy foreign prince and you’re the maid assigned to clean his sex dungeon. I mean, get to that eventually but start with the basics.
Step 2: Practice Sexting
Sexting is something that anyone with a Snapchat or a Tinder account probably has at least some level of comfort doing, but it’s also the best place to start practicing your dirty talk. If you can’t be sexy over text, where you can respond after five minutes of agonizing and don’t have to watch the confusion on his face when he reads your sext, you’re definitely going to have trouble dirty talking in person. Also, just as importantly, you don’t even have to leave the house to sext someone. And even more importantly, you can’t just stop responding once he shows you his weird crooked penis in real life the way you can over text.
Step 3: Know Your Fantasies
If you’ve tried dirty talk before but your mind always goes blank, it’s time to put your vast stores of creativity and your favorite Ludacris song to work. Figure out your favorite fantasies and use those to guide what you’re talking about at first. Do you want to get spanked? Now’s the chance. Have you always wanted to do weird stuff with food? No time like the present. Do you have a recurring sex dream about Jeff Goldblum in a firefighter’s uniform? Maybe keep that one to yourself. Basically, don’t stick to a script or anything, but it helps to have something to come back to if you run out of ideas. Which you probably will, unless that Jeff Goldblum fantasy turns out to be an unexpected hit. Weirder things have happened.
Step 4: Do Your Homework
Start paying attention to what turns you on outside of actually having sex. If your panties automatically drop when your SO wears a suit, or he does a Thing (capital T very much necessary) when you’re having sex that opens the vaginal floodgates, remember it, and tell him at an opportune moment. Or an inopportune one, but for god’s sake, use your judgment in that case. Don’t try to dirty talk someone at their mom’s birthday dinner or something. Unless that’s what you’re into. Just don’t be surprised when his mom asks what you guys are whispering about and he immediately bursts into tears.
Step 5: Don’t Overthink
Reading all this shit makes dirty talk sound way more complicated than it is. I know you’re already writing a script in your head for next time you hook up, and I need you to chill TF out immediately. You can’t rehearse dirty talking the way you would with a presentation. Do you want to sound like a politician giving a campaign speech about riding dick? No. No, you do not. Just remember, like literally everything that happens during sex, it’s all gross and awkward when out of the moment. Aside from the exceptional “throwing up while giving a blowjob” or “guy who cries when he finishes,” most people forget all the little awkward things that happened and just remember the fact that they got laid. If people remembered every awkward moment (or smell) that occurred during sex, they literally wouldn’t have it, so cut yourself a break if you say the wrong thing or totally blank and call his dick by your dad’s name. He’s way more concentrated on the fact that he’s inside you. (But maybe talk about that dad thing with your therapist?)
Step 6: Know When To Stop
Not everyone is meant for dirty talk. If you’ve tried it a few times and nobody’s enjoying it, there’s no rule saying you have to keep digging yourself into an awkward, unsexy hole. Not everything works for everyone, and not all dick is created equal. Maybe you had a previous partner who was amazing at dirty talk, but your new guy is more into shutting the fuck up and going down on you for hours—certainly nothing wrong with that.
Also, your partner might just be a prude, but you’re the one who picked him.