“Let your inner creative out and slowly increase the stakes. The risk is part of what makes it so exciting”
BY GEORGIA BUTLER
Talk dirty to me. It’s a phrase that should fill your extremities with excitement, an opportunity to confess to every imagined touch and maybe even actualize them. But say talk dirty to me, and I cannot help but shiver – with stage-fright.
Human beings are just clay figurines with charming nuances. These subtleties are things that we all do in varying forms, no matter who we are. Whether it’s leaving plates on top of the empty dishwasher instead of putting them inside, vaguely throwing laundry at the washing basket, or the instinctive self-doubt which makes you suck in your stomach as you walk past a mirror. We are inherently flawed animals; gifted with just the right amount of self-awareness to revolutionise and quickly self-destruct.
She whispered it in my ear. Or maybe it was more of a moan: an exhaled request. I froze. Rather than say what was going through my mind, which trust me, was a lot, I spiralled trying to figure out just what she wanted to hear. Did she want to hear how good she looked, how she felt? Did she want to know what I wanted to do to her? What I wanted her to do to me? Yet again, I was tripped up by an all too acute self-awareness. Stuck in the desire to do something just right.
Now that I am outside of the situation and thinking objectively, I think the answer is quite clearly all of the above. I know exactly what I like to hear, and the reality is that unless it was super out of my comfort zone (no kink-shaming of course, love how you want to love) I don’t think that anything could put me off. I understand that dirty talk is just the verbalisation of desire, it is just another aspect of sensation and stimulation to contribute to the experience, as well as an opportunity to direct your partner towards what you would like. But in that moment, I managed nothing more than an awkward silence.
Cue several weeks of internal bollocking. My imaginary blued testicles and self-esteem are still recovering. But what is dirty talk? Is it just the nastiest sexualised slurs you can think of, or is it really about communication? I think the answer is probably a bit of both.
Dirty talk is different for everyone, but without the key ingredient of communication, it is null and void. If you want to be called a disgusting whore, all power to you, but your partner is never going to know that if you don’t discuss the matter beforehand.
A girl I met recently told me a story of a time she was having sex with her partner and, whilst inside of her, they decided to tell her how much they wanted to fuck her best friend. For the record, despite being in the bedroom, this kind of talk is absolutely the wrong type of filthy.
A study conducted by Elizabeth Babin investigated communication and its importance to sexual satisfaction. Interestingly enough, what she found was that verbal communication was not necessarily essential to sexual satisfaction, but physical communication alone only partially mediated the relationship between the “apprehension of communication” and sexual satisfaction. In other words, verbal communication is the rainbow sprinkles on top of the ice cream… of physical communication! (You know what I’m saying) …and the only way to get over the apprehension of dirty talk is to, well, talk dirty.
Let’s get back to the basics. A friend of mine (I’m not lying, you are!) told me a story once of when she was trying to woo a boy. He was demonstrating his guitar playing skills (knowing the boy in question it was probably Wonderwall or something equally tragic). She told him she would like him to “strum” something of hers… he didn’t get the joke. Honestly, I’m not sure I can blame him, it was a pretty weak joke and he was clearly in his zone. Come on, the boy was playing guitar that is a major opportunity to flex. Either way, she didn’t get any sexual tension out of it just an extensive lesson on finger picking.
Now I think about it, maybe he was just continuing the metaphor…
What we can learn from this, is that sometimes subtlety isn’t your friend. When it comes to starting the chatter of the filthy, of course, ease your way in. But play it too safe and you’ll find yourself embarrassed and misunderstood. Sometimes a direct statement or compliment, like, “You look so fucking good in that dress,” followed by the all-important lingering look is what you need to get through the door.
I know you will have heard this so many times that it will definitely be a cliché by this point, but confidence is key. It is a safe assumption that everyone is embarrassed and uncomfortable, but we are all drawn to a leader energy, that alpha vibe, so be the one who brings it.
If you aren’t comfortable jumping straight into the overtly sexual, start by talking about the person in front of you: what looks good, feels good. A cheeky little trick I have always found is that the more physically close you are to the person the easier it is to have that slightly unscrupulous conversation. A whisper in the ear can save many an uncomfortable eye contact. Besides, you gain bonus points for the ASMR tingles and you can intermingle your absolute poetry with kisses along their neck.
Once the initial subject has been broached, things should start to flow naturally. Let your inner creative out and slowly increase the stakes. The risk is part of what makes it so exciting.
Ultimately the biggest piece of advice is to just go for it. If you can’t trust your partner enough to try something you want in bed, then maybe you shouldn’t be in bed with them at all.
DIVA magazine celebrates 26 years on the newsstands in 2020. Get behind LGBTQI media and help us celebrate another 26, at least. Your support is invaluable. Get the latest issue here now.