Reaching into the mail bag, I came across this query from a wannabe dirty talker:
“I’ve always wanted to try dirty talk with my boyfriend but I’m nervous because I don’t know what to say. I feel like smoking weed beforehand might help, but I don’t want it to make me so stoned that I can’t actually form words. Help?”
Oh goodness, Canna-spiration, you are not alone in not feeling comfortable with dirty talk! Most of the people who attend my dirty talk workshops have always wanted to try it but, like you, weren’t sure what to say or where to begin. You pose an interesting question: does cannabis loosen the tongue or cause it to freeze up entirely? Will this rush of creativity lead to the best dirty talk of your life, or will it leave you too much in your head to communicate what you want to say? As with all things, everyone is different so strain, amount, and method of consumption will ultimately affect outcomes. What I can tell you with certainty is this: it helps to go in with a plan.
Lay Out Some Ground Rules
One of my fundamental rules for mixing sex and cannabis in a mindful way is negotiating before medicating. Dirty talk is not something you want to spring on people, especially if it’s a skill you’re just beginning to employ in your sex life. If you’re in the midst of sexy fun times and your partner suddenly, out of nowhere, starts growling some dirty insults at you, you may get whiplash from your head snapping around to look at them. Maybe it lands well with you. Maybe one of your most cherished fantasies is to have a lover say just that thing. Conversely, maybe you have issues with being called (or hearing) certain words and it completely takes you out of sexy space. Have a dirty talk pre-talk with your partner beforehand where you lay out a yes/no/maybe list of words and scenarios that you’re comfortable exchanging (this sexual inventory from Scarleteen is great and it has a section on words and terms).
Choose an Appropriate Strain
There are of course, potentially negative effects of cannabis on dirty talk. For the giver (the dirty talker), it could quickly become a situation where your dirty talk becomes rambling and incoherent, or at best tangential. “I love the way it feels when you lick that spot. Speaking of licking, I feel like we should maybe go out to dinner more often. I was sitting a restaurant the other day and I saw a squirrel licking a nut. Isn’t it weird how squirrels climb trees?” Not ideal. Keep an eye on particularly cerebral strains that turn you into a junior philosopher. Likewise, watch out for strains that make it challenging to string words together.
For the listener, your brain might be on the nonverbal side and you could find dirty talk distracting and tune it out altogether. Check in with yourself regularly and let your partner know if you want to adjust what’s happening. Just because you start doing a thing in bed doesn’t mean you have to continue doing it one second longer than you want to. Don’t be afraid to change your mind, just be sure to communicate that change with your partner.
The realm of fantasy is glorious because literally anything goes. You can pretend to be a pirate or an alien; a naughty flight attendant or a famous rock star. Experiment! Notice where your inclinations lead you when you’re high, and write down any fantasies that come to mind. If a particular phrase comes up repeatedly that always seems to turn you on, keep that one in mind and let your partner know about it. Remember: it’s all normal and it’s all okay.
If you want to flex your creative dirty talk muscles but aren’t sure where to start, here are some suggestions:
- Practice solo. Yes, I’m serious. Practice creates new neural pathways that make it easier to default to new behaviors. I suggest finding a particularly creative strain like Blue Dream and noticing what sensations arise in your body while masturbating. Narrating what’s going on in your body is a great baseline for dirty talk — you can always come back to that because you know what’s happening in your body if you tune into it.
- Utilize erotic literature. A common frustration that my dirty talk workshop attendees share is that they don’t know what to say. My favorite hack for this comes from my colleague >Ducky Doolittle, who suggests buying a book of erotica and two highlighters in different colors. Each partner goes through and highlights all of the passages that turn them on. You’ll have great data on what kinds of words and phrases turn on your partner, and a great way to see where your interests overlap.
- Stay hydrated. Dry mouth is a common side effect of consuming cannabis, and it’s really challenging to make words happen when your mouth feels like a desert. Plan ahead — keep a glass of water nearby, or some cough drops or throat lozenges so you don’t disrupt the moment with persistent coughs or throat clears.
Whether you’re a dirty talk novice or a seasoned expert (on both the giving or receiving side), cannabis is definitely worth exploring to see how it works for you. If you want to learn more about dirty talk, I recommend the following resources:
- Sexting: The Grown Ups Little Book of Sex Tips for Getting Dirty Digitally by Tina Horn
- Dirty Dates: Erotic Fantasies for Couples edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
- Sweet and Rough: Queer Kink Erotica by Sinclair Sexsmith
- Brown Sugar: A Collection of Erotic Black Fiction by Carol Taylor
Do you have a sex, relationships, or intimacy dating question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I may address your request in a future article! (Don’t worry, we’ll keep your queries anonymous.)