Lovehacker: How Can I Stop My Girlfriend From Talking Dirty?

Lovehacker: How Can I Stop My Girlfriend From Talking Dirty?

Dear Lovehacker, My girlfriend and I have been having pretty great sex for the two months we’ve officially been together. One thing I’ve noticed though is she’s really into talking trash — like, REALLY into it. I mean anyone with some experience knows how to talk dirty, but this is heading into some rough AF territory I’m not 100% comfortable with.

It’s not that I’m prudish, it’s more I don’t quite know where the line is with this sort of stuff and what she’s expecting from me – it’s getting to the point where I sort of stop responding and she looks kinda disappointed. I don’t want to ruin the atmosphere – how do I bring this up in a non-bang context without causing an issue. Thanks, twigRibbon.

Hey twigRibbon,

It’s good to hear that you’re having great sex! Not only is that fantastic for you, it indicates that you’re not turned off by the dirty talk.

Communication is important here — and I don’t just mean in a “non-bang” context. Like with all relationships, you really need to be open and honest with each other. But I don’t think that should be exclusively delegated beyond the bedroom.

Silent sex isn’t helpful for anyone. How are you supposed to know what each other want, or if you’re enjoying it, if you don’t communicate? Unfortunately, saying nothing can be common due to anxiety or embarrassment.

Your girlfriend may feel more comfortable expressing herself in bed because the environment makes her feel more sexy and relaxed. She may also find it easier to communicate the sexual roles she wants you both to play when she’s in that moment and mindset.

If you feel like you need to chat to her about it with your clothes on, go for it. Just be considerate in case it’s uncomfortable for her.

A 2012 study from the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that people who are comfortable talking about sex will have more satisfactory sex lives. Sadly, it also found that even a small amount of anxiety surrounding communication and sex could affect communication happening at all. So it’s imperative that you are comfortable with each other — the better you feel about talking the better the sex will be.

Comfort seems to be the main issue here for you — you’re up for the dirty talk but have a few hangups and questions on how far is too far. It all depends on whether what she is saying is a turn off for you, or if you’re just concerned about accidentally taking things too far.

You’re only two months in, her personal brand of dirty talk will continue to turn her on. If you’re not a fan you’ll need to talk to her and evaluate whether it’s a deal breaker.

If you’re just worried about how to approach it yourself — take the lead from her. It sounds like she wants you to. Perhaps start by repeating and riffing off of what she says, or agreeing with her, and building your confidence from there. If she likes being called names and being told to do things — go with it.

It’s important to remember that playing with dirty talk isn’t degrading or anti-feminist in a trusting relationship. Calling each other names and getting your freak on doesn’t mean that you think less of each other.

In general, this type of behaviour can be misconstrued as being offensive to women, but it can actually be incredible liberating. Some of us like that it helps to break down the socially constructed barrier of being a Good Girl. This is the idea that women shouldn’t be sexual beings or take any real, personal pleasure from sex.

The bedroom is a place where we can subvert this traditional notion of femininity and explore our desires and sexuality in a safe space. With a partner we trust, this can seem a whole lot more secure than the outside world.

There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a little verbal burlesque to explore some of your darker fantasies. The roles we play in the bedroom can be different to who we are in everyday life. Someone who dominates in the boardroom may love being submissive in the bedroom. Sex is a chance to explore things that we may not be comfortable with in other situations.

As humans we’re hardwired to be turned on by verbal cues. Daryl Cioffi, a specialist in couples, relationships, sex and neuropsychology says, “People very much enjoy dirty talking because it activates all regions of your brain while your body is also getting stimulated… Similar areas of the brain are touched upon during dirty talk as when we curse. So, very often as your brain sees it, the dirtier the better.”

So don’t forget — our brains are erogenous zones too. Don’t be afraid to communicate and stimulate.

Lovehacker is a weekly relationship and sex column where our resident Agony Aunt answers your questions. Need help? Drop a comment below or email [email protected].


  • I mean anyone with some experience knows how to talk dirty, but this is heading into some rough AF territory I’m not 100% comfortable with.

    Said no real man ever.

  • Did you not think it was relevant to ask what kind of things she’s talking about?

    He might not have the problem, she could be talking about some pretty horrible scenarios that are legitimately a turn off for 98% of the population.

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