I Can't Hearrrrr Youuu

My Wife Likes To Talk Dirty. I’m Not Good At It. What Can I Do To Improve?

What’s a not-so-vocal-in-bed guy to do? Fatherly’s sex columnist offers some advice.

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I'm usually down to try new things in the bedroom, but I'm not the most vocal person. Bedroom me, like regular me, has always been on the quieter side. I'm okay with that. Recently, my wife has encouraged me to dirty talk more (she likes it) and just be a bit more vocal all around as far as louder grunts and such. Talking dirty has never really appealed to me and always made me feel a little uncomfortable. And grunting — is that even something to work on? I'd like to give her what she wants. I guess my question is are there ways for quieter guys to be more vocal?" — Corey, 36, Michigan

Grunting, I’m sorry to report, can absolutely be sexy. No one is looking to screw a caveman. (Well, maybe they are — Rule 34 and all that). But vocal feedback in most forms is hot. People want evidence that their partner is turned on, they want to share in their arousal. Imagine if you made a fantastic meal for someone and they sat there silently and said nothing about it? It would bum you out! I can assure you, most people find vocalizing in bed hot.

Regardless of what the world at large prefers, your wife wants to get auditory feedback on her actions in bed. Woo! This is great news! Why? Because you know something that would make sex hotter for your partner. What a gift!

Now, you shouldn’t do anything that makes you feel bad during sex. Stretching your comfort zone — even if it means feeling silly or uncomfortable for a bit — isn’t the same as having sex you dread or dislike. Sex is for both of you. But sometimes, the truth of the matter is that a part of sex — a certain moment or act — is more for one partner than the other. Not everything is equally hot to both parties. That’s just the reality, perhaps especially in a long-term relationship.

But enough with the theoretical; here’s some practical advice.

First, know that you don’t have to dive off the deep end here into the filthiest dirty talk or the most robust paroxysms of passion. You can say simple (and hopefully true) things like, “God, you’re so hot,” or “I want you so bad.” Basically just tell the truth. Say what turns you on or what you’re feeling. Narrate what’s happening in the moment (but not in a dry, clinical way, more like “It feels so good when you do that.”). Describe something that you guys did last week that was hot.

If you can’t feel a little vulnerable with your wife, then when can you?

It’s not revolutionary, but it doesn’t need to be! Also, again, your wife has specified that even sounds get her going— you aren’t going to mess this up. The very, very worst thing is that you feel a little silly. But if you can’t feel a little vulnerable with your wife, then when can you?

If you really want more dirty talk guidance, I strongly recommend reading a romance novel or erotica or listen to audio porn that is aimed at women. It might give you ideas of what is hot. (Not all erotica is 50 Shades of Grey/BDSM filled; much of it is relatively tame). You can also ask your wife what she reads, if she does, or simply borrow a book you’ve seen her read. Again, though, you can’t go wrong with basic truths like, “I’m so into you.” You aren’t meant to be Pablo Neruda.

If you’re having a hard time saying the words out loud — this is going to sound weird — you can practice somewhere like in the car on the way to work. When I got my job as a sex columnist, I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t used to saying words like “prostate” or “climax” in a work setting; I would end up blushing like a sixth grader. So I literally would drive around and practice saying words and phrases until I became comfortable with them. You’d be amazed at what I can say without flinching now.

As you stretch yourself beyond your normal comfort zone, it will become easier and more natural. You’ll feel less like you’re doing a little performance and more like you’re simply doing another part of sex.

Outside of turning your wife on more — which obviously is its own mega-reward — there is a possible upside in all of this for you. Most of us get taught to be silent during early sexual experiences and masturbation, out of fear of being caught, and often we carry that behavior over into adulthood. There are many downsides to this, but a possibly overlooked one is that making sounds can apparently can stimulate your vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve in your body, kind of like a neural superhighway. Vagus nerve stimulation is said to help with all kinds of things, but especially calming you down — it’s reported to be a big reason for “om” in meditation — and is also purported to help with arousal.

Basically, this whole endeavor is likely to lead to much hotter sex for both you and your wife; you just have to have the courage to feel a little silly a couple times for like 20 seconds. Worth it.

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