Ask Emily: How Do I Get Better at Dirty Talk?

Attractive couple kissing upside down
Dear Dr. Emily,

Do you have any tips on how to dirty talk? This turns my partner on so much but I find myself totally tongue-tied. I feel instantly nervous and self-conscious. I find it really hard to vocalize despite being a very sexually experimental and open person. Why is talking in the moment so hard? Please help!



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Dear Jessica,

What a great question, and I hear you! If you’re new to dirty talk, it can definitely feel a little unnatural at first. And that’s normal—your first time doing anything is going to be a bit strange. But before I dive into some tips, remember that talking dirty isn’t required to have hot sex. It can, however, be a great way to add some variety, increase eroticism,  and help you and your partner connect in a totally new way.

Get into the practice of making more noise.

Just like any other skill, the first step is simply to practice. Try out phrases when you’re masturbating, taking a shower, or even in the car (sounds like a great way to stay occupied during traffic.) Don’t pressure yourself to go from zero to absolutely filthy right away, just get comfortable finding your voice. You want the dirty talk to still sound like you, after all. 

May I also suggest making noises, as a way to ease into talking dirty? Heavy breathing, moans, yelps, and other pleasure-laced sounds all tell your partner: “wow, I’m turned on right now.” Many people find that these noises eventually turn into words, like “yes,” “mmhmm,” and “more.”

Unleash your creative side.

After you’ve started practicing your “sex noises,” you can get more creative. When it comes to dirty talk, an easy onramp is to say what you want or like. For example, “take me from behind, baby” or I love it when you pin me down.”  You can also vocalize what you’re feeling in the moment, like“that feels so good” or “your _____ feels amazing.” Both affirming and both very hot.

Another take on dirty talk: if you’re struggling to know what to say, you can also experiment with role playing. Pick a scenario (masseuse and clientele is one of my personal favorites) and say something provocative that  fits that situation. It’s sort of like writing a “sexual script” and can help you overcome your hesitancy to talk dirty. 

It could also be beneficial to talk to your partner beforehand, and level with them about where you are with talking dirty: “I’m into this, but I’m still getting used to it.” Simply verbalizing your apprehension can calm your nerves, and build more intimacy between the two of you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or set ground rules for how dirty you want to get, and if anything is off the table (maybe you’re okay with specific names but you draw the line with words that offend/don’t resonate with you). Either way, opening up to your partner about it will build trust, and trust helps when trying out any new technique. 

Get dirty (digitally). 

For some, sexting can be less intimidating than IRL dirty talk. It’s also a nice (and hot) way to practice.

Try this: type out your favorite sexual memories (“remember last week, you and me, in the backseat?”). Or, tell your partner what you want them to do to you, next time you hook up. Don’t be afraid to get specific, get detailed, and make it a story.

You can also try telling them your sexual fantasies. Start with the setting, go slow, and get as detailed as you can to create the best erotic experience for all.


Remember, talking dirty is supposed to be fun! It might feel a little awkward at first, so start small, and accept that it might take some time to feel authentic. You get to focus onn saying what makes you feel sexy. 

And for even more tips on how to talk dirty, check out my podcast Talk Dirty To Me w/ Joanna Angel. Good luck, and trust yourself. We’ve all got the power to explore a new sexual side of ourselves.