The best 5 things I learnt from a ‘dirty talk’ class

In Relatioships


After successfully finishing a dirty talk class, Stephanie Nuzzo shares her top five tips to ramp up the heat in the bedroom with your words.

It’s a Thursday night, and I’m in the back of a Babeland sex store in the Lower East Side of New York. I’m standing with a group of strangers, and we’re all repeating the word “penis” back to our instructor, Sam.

We make our way through several other body parts – giggling as we go. Sam explains that this is a good way to relax the room and get us feeling more comfortable with sex words. We are, after all, about to partake in a dirty talk class.

What followed was an eye-opening look at how to make this type of sexualised play work for you. And despite my being a self-conscious weirdo who can’t even hold eye-contact for too long (let alone yell “pu**y” in public), I actually had a lot of fun.

If you too are looking to bolster your sexual education, pay attention because I’ve created a list of five revelatory tips I learnt during my dirty talk class.

Because I’m a giver, I also thought I’d further our schooling by speaking with Lisa Finn, brand manager and sex educator at Babeland and Lauren Clair, founder of Melbourne’s gender-free sexual health and pleasure store, Nikki Darling.

Ready to ‘get down’? Here we go….

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#1. Dirty talk is more than seduction

Yes, at its core, dirty talk is a way to turn people on. But it can be much more than that.

During our class, Sam pointed out that dirty talk is a great way to thread in enthusiastic consent and to draw lines. She explained that if your partner suggests something you’re not into, you can express your feelings with a sentence like, “how about instead, you do ‘XYZ’ to me”.

Finn expanded: “Dirty talk is a way to facilitate communication, consent, negotiation, boundary-setting – all of that – in a way that feels natural… and in a way that feels sexy and empowering.”

#2. If you want to build confidence, practice

In class, Sam suggested something as simple as trialling dirty talk while washing the dishes. I raised an eyebrow at first, but when she gave the example, “I’m gonna scrub you so hard, you dirty little dish,” I realised she had a point – as bizarre as it might sound.

Clair added that using dirty talk during solo play is also an easy way to get more comfortable: “Talk out loud about what you are going to do to yourself… Talk through your fantasies – get comfortable saying the words out loud,” she said.

#3. It doesn’t matter what you’re saying (mostly)

If you watched the latest season of Sex Education, you’d recall there’s a scene where a couple gets off from saying “baba ganoush”.

It’s hilarious, but in truth, it’s not all that ridiculous. You don’t need to use words you’re not comfortable saying to be a hottie while talking dirty. Finn points out that you can say the most “unsexy” thing, but if you do it with confidence, it’ll sound racy.

Just find your “sexy voice,” she said.

“Is it your regular voice? Do you have different cadence? Is it higher? Is it lower? Do you drag out your vowels?” Once you find your voice, use it in any way that works for you (references to eggplant dipping sauces included). Just remember to keep it respectful and consensual.

“If you have words that are hard limits, then the best time to address that with your partner is before you are getting down and dirty,” Clair said.

#4. Texting helps

Sam explained that sexting is an excellent introduction to dirty talk, as you’re solely relying on words to paint a picture.

“Because you’re not in that scene physically… it gives you the opportunity to explore fantasy without the pressure of needing to perform,” Finn added.

Just keep in mind that not everyone likes receiving erotic messages at all times.

“When you are sexting, there isn’t the same ability to ‘read the room’ as there is in person,” Clair said. “…being sure that we are asking questions; seeking permission; making our own needs known is really important.”

#5. Get inspiration from cheeky content

In our workshop, Sam passed around a game of ‘kinky truth or dare’. She pointed out that it’s a fun tool for building confidence that also gives you an opportunity to voice your desires. It includes questions like “What’s your naughtiest sexual fantasy?”

Clair shared that porn, erotica and classes are always good for inspiration but creating “a dirty talk cheat sheet” is a more personalised option.”Consider making a list of words that get you really hot, and a list of words that definitely don’t,” she said. “Create some dirty mad libs, where you use your world lists to fill in the blanks.”

In the end, I left my dirty talk class having learnt way more than I’d expected to. The inclusive environment really highlighted that as long as everyone is having a good time, dirty talk (and sex itself) can be whatever you want. And like with any area of your life, building confidence takes time, practice and a few dirty dishes.

If you’re interested in taking a similar class, keep an eye out on Nikki Darling’s website. Work-Shop also hosts a selection of sex-related classes in both Melbourne and Sydney.

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