Verbal play, commonly known as talking dirty, is one of the pillars of truly great sex — or so popular culture would have us believe. But what if you don’t know how to do it, or you’ve tried and felt awkward? Some of us cringe at the mere thought of whispering raunchy nothings in our partner’s ear, and let’s face it — we've all heard dirty talk that sounds like an outtake from a bad porn film.
But even introverts who loathe contrived, 50 Shades-style dialogue (and, um, who doesn’t) can enjoy verbal play. How do you start? With a little less listening to the dirty talkers around you and a lot more listening to yourself! Check out our tips and tricks for verbal play that feels hot, sexy, and surprisingly natural.
Notice How You Feel
So, you’re ready to claim your right to express yourself through verbal play, and we’re here for it! The first step is not to remember the dirty talk you’ve heard before, but to forget it. That’s right — put it out of your head as best you can (or at least shove it firmly into the background). Verbal play begins not with what someone else said, but with noticing how you feel and putting those feelings into words.
A great time to try this is during masturbation. Tap into a well-known meditation technique by paying close attention to physical sensations, sexual and otherwise. When you first touch your vibrator/hand/shower spray to your skin, how does it feel?
Notice how your body responds and what feels good. What makes you shiver, gasp, or grit your teeth? What do you like and want more of? Also be aware of what thoughts come to mind. Thoughts reveal which of your feelings are most important to express, and are your trusty guides into the erotic world of verbal play.
Now, Add Words
If you’re used to a sexual soundtrack limited to moans and gasps, it may be strange to hear intelligible words leave your mouth during solo play. Try to establish a mental no-judgment zone, where anything goes and nothing you say, whisper, or groan is right or wrong. Get used to the sound of your own voice speaking a new and sensual language.
Start by describing what you feel, even if it’s just “this feels good.” Articulate any sensation that catches your attention, from spine tingles to muscle squeezes. While this kind of carnal blow-by-blow may feel a little uninspired, saying anything — no matter how seemingly simple — is the best way to baby-step your way into full-blown dirty talk.
And besides, “my spine is tingling” sounds pretty damn good breathed into your partner’s ear in the heat of the moment.
Practice Makes Perfect
You’ve done it! You’ve taken verbal play out for a solo spin and survived intact. Before launching into it with your partner, try again. And again. As with all things sexual, talking dirty is a skill that takes a little time and energy to perfect.
If your current repertoire is limited to tame observations of your physical responses, try expanding to words that turn you on when you hear or read them. What language triggers you in a good way in movies and erotic literature, or during play with partners? Words that may feel forbidden in polite company can take on a new and arousing meaning when it comes to verbal play.
There’s a world of difference between the “fuck” you utter in traffic and the “fuck” you let out on a shaky exhale during sex. The C-word can be both a shocking insult and an alluring invitation (especially when preceded by “want” “eat” and “your”). Tone and intention matter just as much when you’re talking dirty as during ordinary conversation.
As you practice, try to get comfortable speaking your turn-on words and stringing them into sentences. Notice which language crosses the line between exciting and too much, and don’t be afraid to discard words that don’t sound or feel right to you. Verbal play has no rules, and is yours to create.
And remember — verbal play is all about pleasure! You don’t have to graduate to talking dirty with a partner, now or ever. Your private verbal sessions can be your little secret for as long as you like.
So, you’re ready to jump into verbal play with a partner. Maybe you’ve practiced and maybe you haven’t, but either way you’re itching to try. The moment has arrived and your partner is well within earshot. Should you let them know that tonight’ll be a little different? What if they don’t like dirty talk, or, horror of horrors, tell you to stop?
Don’t be afraid to clue your partner in before the fun begins. Just a simple, “Hey, tonight I want to tell you how good you make me feel. Okay by you?” is probably enough to set the stage. You can also remind your partner to let you know if they feel uncomfortable with anything, verbal play included.
Instead of jumping into the sack and verbal play at the same time, some of us like to ease in by sexting or having phone sex with our partner. A quick “can’t wait to feel your hands on me” text can help you gauge your partner’s reaction to your newfound lingual skills without the pressure of a face-to-face interaction. If your partner responds in kind or drops a smiling devil emoji in response, you know you’re on the right track.
What if they seem surprised, or even a little uncomfortable? “Too much?” is often enough to spark a conversation about verbal play that can help you both understand what you want and what’s okay.
Once you and your partner are in the same physical space, it’s time to get down and dirty talk. If all your practice melts away in the heat of the moment, try simple compliments or descriptions of how you feel. Even “I feel nervous telling you how much I want you” can be a form of verbal play in itself. You can also work your way into in-person dirty talk through role play, reading erotica aloud, and sharing words you find arousing.
Once you’re past the first thrilling/scary moment, you may find that verbal expression feels natural pretty quickly. There’s no shame in voicing what turns you on and how you feel, but there is a lot of pleasure.
Nudges for Newbies
Still stumped? Need a little dirtspo? Here are some easy prompts to get the verbal juices flowing:
- I like it when you...
- I want you to...
- That feels/I feel…
- Don’t stop...
- You look/smell/sound/feel…
- I can’t stop…
- All day I was thinking…
- You don’t know how much…
- You’re so good at…
- You know what I really want right now?
- Please (followed by just about anything)
- I wish I could…
- Your partner’s name
- Oh (followed by the deity of your choice)
Verbal play is more than just dirty words. It’s a form of erotic communication that reveals your personality and imagination, and can be just as arousing as physical and visual stimulation (or even more so!). With a little intention and practice, even the shyest among us can enjoy talking dirty to our partners and ourselves.
If you need a little personalized advice or just want to continue the verbal play conversation, feel free to reach out! We’re always happy to recommend books, other sources of info, and of course, great pleasure products! Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or DM us on Instagram or TikTok.