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Communicating About Sex is Hard! Make It Easier with These Tips

Updated: Feb 29

The most common advice a sex ed writer (including myself) gives for any question is to communicate. Communication about needs, desires, boundaries, and bodies is at the core of good sex. Nobody magically falls into bed with someone and has mind-blowing sex if they have not communicated about what they both want, need, and don’t want.

The problem with just telling folks to “communicate” more is that many of us lack the words. We literally don’t know how to say what we want and don’t want. We may not know the correct language for body parts or sex acts. We may be embarrassed to use the vocabulary we do have. We may not mean the same thing our partner does when we use a term.

So, what is your average pervert to do? Your Auntie is here for you.

Finding the Words You Need

You have to have the language to communicate before any sort of actual communication can begin. You need to have words for body parts, sex acts, desires, and so forth. Most of us did not have access to basic anatomy classes which named the body parts we are interested in when talking about sex. I mean, how many of us had a sex ed class which talked about the clitoris or the perineum (the taint)? I know none of mine did!

A great place to start is to find words you are comfortable with to label your body parts and those of your partner(s). Do you know the difference between a vagina and a vulva? Are you comfortable with those terms or do you prefer slang? What does your trans masc partner want to call their clitoris? Use the words you want and clarify what they refer to if you are using slang. Ask a partner to do the same.

When it comes to sex acts, there are literally dozens of terms for every act. Not sure what to call something? How about describing it or showing a person a picture or video? Urban Dictionary is also a solid option.

Define Your Terms

There is a lot of room for confusion with some terminology. When it comes to kink and power exchange, there is an entire world of meaning in terms like submissive, dominant, impact play, and other words we use all the time! When you say you enjoy submission, what does that mean to you.

Get in the practice of defining what you mean when you start talking about an act or role. Also ask your partners or potential partners what they mean when they use a term. Making sure everyone is on the same page before starting to play is key to having good sex.

Modes of Communication

Some folks are super shy when it comes to talking face-to-face about sex and desire. Some of us tend to shut down and let our partner run the conversation around such things. If this sounds familiar, maybe face-to-face isn’t the ideal method to communicate about sex.

Luckily we have a lot of technologies which can help us talk about things. If you find yourself needing time to figure out what you want to say, try a form asynchronous communication. This might be texting, emails, or even sharing something you have written.

Do you feel pressure when your partner is there in the room with you? Try using video chat or a phone call to talk about sex. Sometimes having a bit of distance for the conversation is helpful.

Don’t really have the words for what you want? Try sharing photos, videos, podcasts, or stories which show the actions or dynamics you desire. Sometimes sending an erotic story or video is a better way of letting a person know what you are into than you trying to describe it.


I offer worksheets to help guide you through finding the right language for you. Check it out in the free Member Resource area. You will need to create a free account (and I won't sell your info) to access these.


Looking for a bit more help? Join me March 2 on Zoom for Talk Dirty to Me (11 AM PST). Tickets here.

Can’t make the class? It will be available as a recording through in about a week.

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