Cameryn Moore teaches us how to dirty talk without the cheese
“I want to learn how to talk dirty, but I don’t want it to sound cheesy, you know what I mean?”
I think I know what people mean, but for my own information-gathering purposes, I have started playing dumb with that question. No, I don’t know what you mean. One person’s “cheesy” is another person’s intensely felt shudder as their partner nails exactly the emotional dynamic that is playing out right there in the moment. Like so much of sex, perspective is everything. The people asking this question usually clarify, “like bad porno.” What are the qualities of cheesy dirty talk? What is “bad porno” talk/noise?
I posted this as a Facebook status—because I am lucky to have a good FB network that includes a lot of thoughtful perverts—and started getting a little more clarity around it. As many of my friends pointed out, sometimes you’re going for that laugh-inducing moment. But based on that thread, and my own experience, I feel pretty solid in these tips for keeping your sex talk out of Cheeseville.
Don’t get fancy with names for body parts.
Unless they are an actual inside joke that you and your lover share, best to leave the “beef curtains” or the “pork-swords” and “ham wallets” out of it. This is funny, because the only bit of written training material I got when I started doing paid phone sex, pretty much consisted of lists: 50 words for penis, and 50 words for vagina/vulva. NONE of them have I ever used. Speaking of names for our pink bits…
Check with your partner about terminology!
People have strong preferences. Some people love the word “cunt”, other people will slap your face if you use “the c-word”. Some people can’t bear hearing vulgar body-part nouns at all, so then you really have to get creative. Point is, this is a quick two- or three-part question that you can easily incorporate into your pre-sex conversations that you are hopefully having.
Pay attention to your partner.
You will learn pretty quickly if your partner is a “make love to me” person or more a “pound my fucking ass, you bastard”. If you go to them with something entirely else and other, that’s going to rub them the wrong way. It takes active listening to get this kind of awareness about what your partner responds to, but dammit, you should be listening anyway!
Pay attention to what is happening.
“Oooh” and “yeah” and “unh” are fine and appropriate, only if they match up with what is actually going on. If you let out some “ooohs” when your partner is adjusting position (just as an extreme example), they are going to feel as if they’re suddenly trapped in a badly dubbed film.
Use your own voice, both words AND tone.
You may be tempted to try lines or phrases that you’ve heard in porn or read in erotica, but it’s going to feel out of character and lacking conviction, and it may freak your partner right the fuck out. For the same reasons, if you find yourself thinking that you need to growl or coo—not that you want to, but thinking, strategically, that this would be a good time to do it—you’re over-thinking it and maybe don’t.
I know that “be yourself” is one of the hardest pieces of advice to hear. But trust me: when you listen carefully, find your own voice, and speak from that, everything you say—from how you answer the phone to how you tell your lover you need them—gets better.
– Cameryn Moore
About the writer: Cameryn Moore is an award-winning playwright/performer, sex activist and educator, sidewalk pornographer, and a long-time phone sex operator. Her work in theatre, literature, and activism/advocacy is both a challenge and invitation to adventurous audiences everywhere.
She is the writer and performer of four solo shows: Phone Whore, slut (r)evolution, for | play, and The Pretty One (and other things that need to be said). To date, she has toured these shows to nearly 50 cities around the world. She is the creator and host of Smut Slam, a storytelling open mic, and Smut Slam Cabaret, both featuring real-life, first-person sex stories.
When not performing, Cameryn sets up her world-famous traveling Smut Stand, providing bespoke typewritten erotica on the spot to happy drunks and discerning passersby. She currently winters in Montreal, which is exactly as stupid as it sounds.