How to Talk Dirty, According to 3 Sex Experts (Because You Know You’re Curious)

Spoiler: Listening is a big part of it

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

how to talk dirty: lips speaking into an ear
Getty Images/Roman Prysiazhniuk

After learning how to sext, I started to think more about the role of words in the bedroom. So, I talked to three experts about how to talk dirty, including details on ways to heighten everyone’s pleasure. What I found out surprised me and gave me a whole new perspective on ways to spice up intimate encounters, and overall have another secret weapon in my bag of tricks (besides the best places to buy sex toyssurfacing and the best gizmo for my experimental Gemini sexual nature). Whether you’re a dirty talker from way back or you’re curious to start exploring the intersection of filthy and fun language in the boudoir, read on.

Mindful Masturbation Could Take Your Sex Life to the Next Level—Here’s How to Do It

Meet the Experts

  • Dr. Pepper Schwartz, PH.D., PhD, is an acclaimed author, researcher, sexologist, and relationship expert who has devoted her career to furthering the fields of sexuality and intimacy. An Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, Dr. Schwartz is also the relationship expert on the hit show Married at First Sight. Schwartz is a Ro Medical Advisor.
  • Dr Melissa Cook is a relationship expert and AASECT-certified sex therapist with a doctoral degree in psychology. In their practice, they have provided compassionate and non-judgmental support to individual and couples addressing concerns including low sexual desire, fetishes and gender identity issues. Dr. Cook is currently a consultant atFunWithFeet.
  • Dr. Emily May is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Her experience includes helping couples with conflict resolution, intimacy problems and poor communication in various aspects of life. She is an advisor to Private Sugar Club.

What Is Dirty Talk?

“Dirty talk is when someone uses suggestive, provocative or explicit language to increase the sexual atmosphere, tension or excitement between two people—and it is often used before and during intimate acts,” says Cook. She emphasizes that the practice is“a great way to boost communication and does wonders for sexual pleasure” and is “a very personal thing, varying among individuals and couples, according to their preferences and comfort levels. “It requires open and honest communication about desires, interests and boundaries,” Cook says, “to be enjoyable for everyone involved and respectful.” It needs to be natural and not forced, according to May, who suggests starting by beginning with subtle language during intimacy, “then you can adapt this, including taking it to the next level, based on their responses and reactions.” Don’t be discouraged, May says: “It’s all about timing and just because you might have tried it before, it doesn’t mean it won’t necessarily work again.” Schwartz prefers other terms for intimate language: “I am not fond of the term “dirty talk" because I don't think that erotic talk is ‘dirty.’ Maybe it seems more naughty (and therefore sexier) to call it dirty, but come on, really?” she says.

Getty Images/Rudzhan Nagiev

How to Talk Dirty, For Beginners

1. Start Sessions Slowly (and PG)

“Begin by using softer, suggestive language to create a comfortable environment and enable you to gauge your partner’s reaction. “I’ve been thinking about you all day” is a great opening line,” says Cook.

2. Ask a Question

“Ask in the rising heat of a moment, for your partner to tell you in as hot a way as possible, what they would like to do to you – or if they would like you to describe what you would like to do to them,” suggests Schwartz. “If they encourage you, keep stepping up the descriptions.”

3. Try Texting

Especially when you’re apart from your partner, this is a way to build anticipation, Cook says, and heighten sexual tension.

4. Intro It on a Phone Call

Start with a fantasy or a sexual experience that you enjoyed with your partner and describe the situation, how it made you feel and what you want to do and feel. 

5. Have a Few Planned Phrases Ready

While spontaneity is great when it comes to erotic talk, introducing the practice might be awkward initially. “Planned phrases can be useful in the beginning when you don’t know what to say,” advises Cook.

10 Examples of Dirty Talk—SFW Prompts to Try Tonight

how to talk dirty: woman walking happily with a male police officer
Getty Images/lioputra

1. Dominant/Submissive Play

  • “You’re all mine tonight”
  • “I’m in control this evening.”

Lines like this are great for playing around with the power dynamics of a relationship. 

2. "User Manual” But Make It Sexy

  • “I love it when you…”
  • “Can you do this to me…?”

These are great ways to be specific while also keeping the momentum going.

3. Role Play

  • “I’ve been naughty and deserve to be punished”
  • “Whatever can I do to thank you for saving my home, Mr. Fightfighter?””

The best role play is in tune with your desires and interests, but popular scenarios include a doctor and nurse, pilot and air hostess, and someone with power like a police officer. Lines like “I’ve been naughty and deserve to be punished” and using “Sir, Madam, Miss” can all enhance tension. 

4. Adult Films

  • “Let’s pretend you’re the guy/girl in the movie.”
  • "How would you act if you were in the movie?”

Role playing situations from your favorite adult films or even describing the scene is a great way to enhance the atmosphere. 

5. Praise Their Performance

  • “You feel so good.”
  • “You’re the best I’ve ever had.”

Praise works really well during moments of intimacy so consider lines like these.

6.  Single Words

  • “Harder”
  • "Yes”
  • "There”

These are all powerful single words that can improve dirty talk and increase the atmosphere during moments of intimacy. 

7. Memories

  • “Remember when we made love in the car, I want that again.”

Describing a positive past experience between you and your partner is a great way to start dirty talk. Describe how you felt, what they did, what you want to do again. 

8. Give Compliments

  • “Your strong legs turn me on”
  • “I can’t stop looking at your sexy hard nipples”

Compliments during dirty talk can be about their appearance, what they’re wearing, what they’re doing or even how they’re reacting. Mix up a few different approaches and see what works best. 

9. Make Observations and Share Descriptions

  • “The way you do this makes me feel…”
  • “I like it when you do that…”

Again, don’t be afraid to go into detail about what you saw, what you felt and why you liked it. 

10. Build Fantasies

  • “Imagine us at night…”
  • “I imagine us meeting a new lover on vacation…”

Why not describe intimacy in a public place or under the stars on the beach? Don’t forget the little details add a lot to the experience.

The Bottom Line

Sex experts advise that talking dirty and erotic language overall can not only make for an entertaining sex life but also build trust and intimacy in a relationship. Start slowly, use different methods of communication and pay attention to what’s working for both you and your lover. And when you get so good at it you write a best-selling erotic novel, be sure to thank PureWow on the dedication page, you spicy creative, you.

dana dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...