How to Talk Sexy in Bed
Are you shy when it comes to talking dirty in the bedroom? Here are eight ways to heat things up -- with your mouth.
People have been using graphic language to charge their erotic batteries since time immemorial. Pillow talk has two key benefits, according to therapists. First it serves as a powerful bridge to communication between couples. "For the average man, it's very exciting knowing what his woman wants and exactly how he can give it to her," says Jaime Corvalan, M.D., a Los Angeles sex therapist. And, since the signs of your pleasure are not quite as obvious as his, expressing your desires in no uncertain terms can clue in your husband that whatever he's doing, he's doing right. The second main benefit of talking dirty is that it heightens sexual anticipation and excitement.
So, if your husband is hinting he'd like you to be a bit more vocal, and you have no objections, but just lack the courage or the experience, here are some fast and fairly painless ways to get you talking.
First, establish some ground rules outside the bedroom 鈥?because talk, just like action, must be consensual. If your husband is into language or fantasies that you find offensive or degrading, say so up front. Many women 鈥?and men 鈥?have specific requirements about the language they like, but fail to communicate those requirements to their mates.
"You know what's the worst? When a guy has a pet name for his penis: Wiener, Love Hammer, Lucky Chuckie...forget it," says Carey, a lawyer in San Francisco. Her ex-husband, Harold, named his penis after himself. "I cringe whenever I think about it now: Say hi to Harold...Ugh. I didn't want him putting a whole entity in me! I wanted an organ, not an alien life-form!"
Try practicing what you want to say to your husband before you say it. Hmmm, I love it when you put your finger... is a lot less cringe-inducing the 20th time you say it than it is the first. "The idea is to make sure the words don't sound foreign and uncomfortable to you anymore," Dr. Corvalan says.
Don't be afraid to plagiarize. "For many women, the biggest problem in talking dirty is that they can't think of anything to say. But that's what sex magazines and adult videos are for," laughs Sydney Biddle Barrows, the former Mayflower Madam and the author of Just Between Us Girls: Secrets About Men from the Madam Who Knows. "Find some scenarios you're comfortable with and ad-lib around them." One caution: "Don't create this incredibly female-style scenario," adds Barrows. "Forget describing the long dinner and the red roses and the soft candlelight. He doesn't want to read your romantic novel. To a man, that's not erotic."
The real benefits of borrowing prefab sex scenes? One, you turn up your own heat just by looking at this stuff, and anything that adds to general sexual excitement is good. Two, you certainly raise his temperature when you share your little discoveries with him. And most important, exposure to such graphic details will give you the words to use to describe to him what it is that you want. After all, it's not as though we're born with a sexual vocabulary. Nor do most of us have the experience that guys have with locker-room talk, which, for better or worse, at least gets them comfortable with naming the specifics.
If the idea of face-to-face talk is still uncomfortable, start with the phone. Gloria Brame believes telephones are the ultimate sex toy; some men and women are at first more comfortable confiding their fantasies over the phone. And she should know: For several months she taught English literature at New York University by day and worked as a phone-sex operator at night. "Men were constantly calling to discuss fantasies they didn't dare mention to their girlfriends 鈥?and most of these stories were basically so harmless, it was too bad they couldn't share them."
What's amazing about the power of sex talk is that it doesn't hinge on the use of graphic or crude words 鈥?or even anything recognized by the English language. Take it from Arthur, an architect from Chicago who, for some reason, is very turned on by the French language, though it took him several years to admit this predilection to his wife. "She worked as an au pair in Paris for a year, and her conversation is limited to things she discussed with children, but it doesn't matter, because I don't actually understand French. It's the sound I find sexy." Arthur's wife eventually admitted that what she was murmuring to him in bed actually translated into something like "Do not stick your hand out to dogs you don't know."
Just as the right tone can strike an erotic chord, so can the bare facts, delivered directly. "Creating sexy images is, in itself, erotic," says Barrows. "For example, if you're at his parents' house or out to dinner, you can whisper in his ear, 'When I get you home, I'm going to undo your shirt button by button...' Something to put the image in his head." Why do you think they call it foreplay?
Children can put a particularly strong damper on erotic expression. "Before we had Sam and Tina, it was easier for us to switch into fantasy mode," admits Leah, a homemaker from Erie, Pennsylvania. "My husband would call me from a bar when he was out with the guys and say, 'The moment I get home, I want to make love on the floor.' Then he'd walk in the door and attack me in the foyer. But when you've been with someone a while, it becomes so...familial. You begin talking baby talk to each other, and the next thing you know, you sound like two idiots, nattering away. It's not sexy."
Couples with small children also often find themselves talking to each other through their children ("Tell Daddy..." or "Can you ask Mommy to..."). So when they are in intimate situations, they find it more difficult to talk to each other directly. "There can be more missed signals and missed communications, both in and out of the bedroom," says Jane Greer, Ph.D. "For some couples, the children become an excuse not to deal with each other as sexual adults."