Behind Closed Doors: Talk dirty to me, or not

Since I challenged all of you to talk about sex and push the boundaries of your comfort zone, I decided to challenge myself this week. I want to talk about one of the few sex-related topics I have always felt uncomfy talking about: dirty talk. 

I have no problem faking orgasm in public (à la Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally), but when it comes to dirty talking, I get tongue-tied. I will happily give you a play-by-play of how to pleasure someone with a vagina, but I turn into that guy who texts back “haha, and then what (;” when I receive any sort of sexually-arousing text message. I even talk openly and proudly about masturbation, but in the heat of the moment, all I can manage is to mutter profuse expressions of agreement and some vowel sounds. 

I really like the idea of dirty talk, both over the phone and in the bedroom. I just happen to be totally incompetent at it. When it comes to receiving sexually explicit and arousing text messages, I just never know how to respond. You can only text back “wow” so many times. Do I reciprocate? Do I say “thank you?” I never know.

Once, I tried to respond to a “dirty text” in kind and was told I was doing it wrong. This could have been a result of the fact that the text I received was from someone with a penis, and, considering my lack of experience in the area of penises, I was pretty much guessing at what I could say that would be even remotely arousing. 

I still have trouble dirty talking with someone with a vagina, despite my experience in the area of vaginas. I think I’m pretty good at talking about my wants and needs with my partner in casual conversation so that we have a really positive physical relationship. Within our physical relationship, however, I often feel I’m not saying enough. 

Frankly, I’m getting tongue-tied writing all of this, which is weird for me because I talk. A lot. I like talking. Let’s be honest, I love talking. My friends used to joke that I talk too fast because my mouth is trying really hard to keep up with my brain. 

The perplexing thing about dirty talk for me is that my brain doesn’t shut off. I think sexual, arousing thoughts. Sometimes I even think them in full sentences. I usually just can’t bring myself to say them. It feels strange and forced somehow, especially when I’m writing out a text message. 

I love talking, but I try to be very intentional about what I say. I spend a lot of time thinking while I’m talking. Maybe I overthink my “dirty talk” until it becomes awkward and feels like an embarrassing thing to say. 

That’s what it really is, I think. There is something that embarrasses me about explicitly stating what I would like to do in a way that is intended to arouse. I worry so much about it sounding awkward instead of sexy, so I end up mute. 

That’s pretty silly, don’t you think? I guess I never really recovered from that one time I turned off that guy during an explicit texting session. 

What I want you to know is that it’s okay. It is really, truly okay that I never managed to find confidence in my dirty talking abilities. Who knows, I still have plenty of opportunity to work on that area of my sex life, but I also definitely do not have to. I am very confident about most of the other aspects of my sex life. I am confident in the way I express my sexuality, the way I communicate my wants and needs, and the way I am able to talk to others about sex in a more casual setting. My inability to talk dirty does not detract from my overall sexual confidence. 

So, if you struggle with dirty talk like me, that is perfectly okay. If you don’t, that’s also okay. Just keep doing you. 

Katelyn R. is a Behind Closed Doors columnist who believes that the silent ones can also be the sexiest ones.


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