The old ads for phone sex made dirty talk look so easy - and also super vanilla, long-haired ladies wore standard-issue Victoria’s Secret garb and murmured things like “You sound hot” or “I’d love to show you what I’m wearing” - so basic, right? At the same time, kinksters can still feel stymied when it comes to articulating our desires or narrating a kinky scene with our partner(s). Our great negotiation skills do not necessarily translate to knowing how to talk dirty.
As a kinkster myself, and a former phone sex operator for nearly eight years, I understand the hesitation: kinks and fetishes and power dynamics are hard to pin down in words. Thanks to social stigma and lack of general information about kinky sexuality, most people have little experience getting specific about their kinks. There may even be residual shame about speaking those kinks out loud, which, unless you’re into humiliation play, is not fuel for fun times.
The main thing to remember, whether you’re talking with your lovers about vanilla sex or trying to speak over the whoosh-crack of canes at a dungeon party, is that dirty talk is a conversation. The only thing that’s different between those two situations is the content, e.g. kink. Therefore, the same basic strategies apply: ask questions; accept and elaborate; be descriptive. I’m going to offer a few dirty talk examples to illustrate these strategies.
Listen up kinksters!
This is dirty talk, not psychic sex-pervs. If you don’t know what to say, ask a question. You can get lots of useful info about your partner and what they want, which is especially true if you’re doing something new - like a new piece of equipment or a new role play. You do need to check in, but you don't want to disrupt the flow. “So, is that prostate stimulator working the way that the lady in the shop said it would?” No. Not sexy. Instead, ask the right questions.
You can gather information, without being intrusive: "What are you looking at, when I walk into the room?" You can also clarify the effect that your actions are having on the other person, by saying something like "Do you like it when I do that?" Whatever "it" is, this is both a useful and sexy-sounding question. Yes/no questions may be easier for your partner to focus on in the middle of the frenzy, but of course, you can also ask open-ended questions like "How does that feel?”
When it comes to setting dominance, questions are perfect. SAY what you want them to feel, and punctuate it with a leading question: “You want my heel on your balls, don’t you?” Want to crack down? Insist on an answer, tell them to speak up, or ask them to answer the question in full.
“Say it! Louder! I can’t hear you, you little slut!”
In improv, this is known as the “yes, and” principle. If your partner says something in the course of setting up a scene —“you’re a stern teacher”— you don’t argue about it, like, “No, I want to be an army sergeant.” Instead, you agree (explicitly or tacitly) and then expand on the theme: “I have a lot to be stern about. I see that you haven’t been paying attention in class recently. Is something distracting you?” And then thwack a ruler against the desk or something.
If your partner says something that is a hard limit for you, you get to stop the scene and say no. But in general, keeping a “yes, and” attitude is crucial for making your play times a safer place for people to be open about their needs and wants. Accept their ideas and run with them, without judgment (either artistic or sexual).
Words matter, especially if you are doing long-distance dirty talk. But even if you are right there to admire your partner’s full-body latex outfit, some detail when you talk dirty is essential: admire that outfit out loud and with specifics. For the best connection, relate at least some of your comments to something about them; saying “Oh, god, I’m so hard” is important information for your lover to have! But “Oh, god, I get so turned on when you hold the rope like that” is better.
Add some tension by describing what you want your partner to do to/for you, or what you are planning to do to/for them. Treat this like a play-by-play: “I’m going to strap you down until you can’t move at all, and then I’m going to light the candles. When I drop that first bit of wax on you, I want to hear you say, ‘Yes, please.’” Then this becomes a fantasy that will immediately happen.
Finally, wherever your dirty talk goes, remember to listen. Talking dirty isn’t a monologue; it’s a conversation. Make sure to leave space for your play partner to answer, or gasp, or give you their dirty best.
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