You Need Help: How Do I Get More Comfortable With Dirty Talk?

Q:

I really struggle to be vocal in bed. It’s not that I’m not having a good time, but I have a bit of anxiety — hangups about being too loud and end up being so quiet that my partner will sometimes ask me multiple times if I’m okay. I really enjoy it when my partner makes sounds and moans and I think if I could relax more and speak more that would be hot for both of us because I want them to know I’m enjoying myself too. I’d love any practical tips on how to feel more confident to get louder in bed and maybe if there’s any recommendations on trying a bit of dirty talk?

A:

This is a very common problem, so fear not! A lot of things factor into a fear of making noise in bed, but I promise you can overcome them. Being vocal doesn’t mean you need to be screaming; you can whisper or speak in hushed tones, and it will still count (and be totally hot!). We learn so much about how people act during sex from TV and movies, and those people always seem to know exactly when to moan or how to say the right thing during sex. Of course they do — it’s been written for them! It’s not always so easy for us regular folks.

Think about where your anxiety comes from. Do you have thin walls and you’re afraid your neighbors might hear? Did you have sexual encounters with people who made you feel bad about making noises? These are barriers you can work through, especially if you can identify them.

Find things that can help you get out of your head and into your body during sex. Music is great for this. You can find lots of playlists out there that are full of sexy songs. Lighting candles or dimming the lights are also ways to create ambiance. Do you have an outfit that makes you feel really sexy? Maybe try wearing it and focus on how good it makes you feel.

One way to get more comfortable with making sounds is touching yourself and seeing what kind of reactions you naturally have. Even if you’re not moaning loudly, try to be aware of what makes you breathe a little heavier or what makes your pulse race. Sounds during sexy time are usually involuntary, so just feel it out in a no pressure situation, like while you’re taking a shower or bath and no one can hear you.

Another way is to get your partner involved! It may sound counterproductive, but it could be extremely hot to go on this journey together. Tell them a little bit about your dilemma and ask them to help you out. Instead of them asking if you’re okay, have them ask “how does this feel?” or “do you like this?” Then you don’t have to think much about your response. If something feels good, don’t be afraid to ask for more. If there’s something you want or need, say so! “I’d like you to touch me here” is a great one, and then show them where and how you want to be touched. Asking for what you want is super hot and a way to start communicating a little bit more. I find that words are often easier than moaning at first.

If you want to start feeling more comfortable with making sounds, mimicking (but not mocking) your partner is a good way to start. Match their sounds while kissing or touching, and after a while, you’ll find yourself naturally reacting without thinking about it.

This leads me to dirty talk. It can absolutely be hot and sexy, but it’s also easy to get stuck in your head with the “right” things to say. A great way to start with dirty talk in bed is to articulate your wants out loud. “I want to touch you (insert place here),” or “I love when you do x,y,z” are solid openers. Asking your partner if they like what you’re doing to them is also a great jumping off point for dirty talk as well! Dirty talk also doesn’t have to be explicit to be hot. I’m a naturally sweary person, so the word “fuck” naturally finds its way into my bedroom talk, but that’s not always the case either.

Experiment with pitch and tones too. Like I said before, whispers can be so hot. Get on top of your partner and whisper in their ear what you want to do to them. Take a deep breath and speak on the exhale. That breathiness is sexy as hell, too. Scream into a pillow if you want to. The possibilities are endless.

Remember, this is an active practice. You’re not going to feel comfortable for a while. If it feels ridiculous, don’t be afraid to laugh! Laughing is also a sound. It doesn’t always have to be serious. My wife and I laugh during sex a lot, and it’s still incredibly hot. Just take your time! This is meant to be fun.


You can chime in with your advice in the comments and submit your own questions any time.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!

Sa'iyda Shabazz

Sa'iyda is a writer and mom who lives in LA with her partner, son and 3 adorable, albeit very extra animals. She has yet to meet a chocolate chip cookie she doesn't like, spends her free time (lol) reading as many queer romances as she can, and has spent the better part of her life obsessed with late 90s pop culture.

Sa'iyda has written 114 articles for us.

4 Comments

  1. One thing I ask people I’m going to be intimate with is if they like naughty talk during sex just to get a feel what I’m getting into. I like it. Some don’t. I’m not particularly loud and did have a partner once shush me and cover my mouth. That did not go well with me. That was the first and only time that ever happened. I do think about it sometimes even now but it’s hasn’t stopped me. I’ve had a the same sexual partner for years and they have asked me if I could talk *more* dirty because it boosts their confidence. It was kind of refreshing TBH cause sometimes I’ve felt maybe I say too much during sex. Lastly I love to laugh during sex. Weird stuff happens sometimes and you just have to laugh. Better when it’s together. Keep in mind the other person might be sensitive and sex can be a vulnerable time.

  2. I am here to represent noisy people who don’t especially like dirty talk and to say it’s okay if that’s (eventually) you too! Nobody has any doubt that I’m having a good time, but words-wise, aside from, like, asking for what I want or telling my partner they’re hot, effusive cussing is where I hang out; full-on Dirty Talk has just never been an authentic part of my sexual self and it’s not something I’m interested in forcing. Likewise, I have had one partner ever who was a dirty talker in a way that was, uh, compelling to me, and a lot of times I honestly just think it’s silly (in a bad way). Basically, by all means, turn up the volume a little, but don’t feel like you have to go all the way to the other extreme for the effort to be worth it.

    • Hard agree. I also often feel awkward talking about stuff I might want us to do, which means I would actually rather talk at a time when we aren’t going to have sex soon, so my awkwardness doesn’t mess up the mood. Or, more accurately, so the possibility of my awkwardness messing with the mood doesn’t add to my feeling self-conscious and awkward.

      As someone who is very much a bottom, I’ve also gotten a lot of milage out of the simplicity of the repeated “please” with an occasional “fuck” and letting physical reactions (and previous conversation) add detail/guidance rather than trying to be coherent in the moment.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!