I’ve learned a lot of things from the women in my life. How to appreciate wine, do my own taxes, not be a douchebag. And because of them, I am a fan of Pinot Noir, keep a shoebox of receipts, and am a fan of Pinot Noir. But more on this later.
Sex without dirty talk is a bland affair, like chicken nuggets without the hot mustard. Without that whispered verbal communication and the trust that goes with it, body and mind aren’t connected. No, I’m not getting all Deepak Chopra all up in this joint. Sex is a brain thing as much as a skin thing. Without uncensored, honest, blushing dirty talk in bed (or the backseat, stairwell, or under the kitchen table) there is no way to find out if she needs it faster or slower. You’d never learn that she likes her hair pulled to the left, while you softly kiss her jaw line on the right side of her face. Apparently, there’s a world of difference between a flick and a pinch. These are important facts, and the reverse is true when you’re with your man.It takes practice, and, as I mentioned, trust. I suppose some people are born with a natural talent for it. I am not one of those people. The woman I first had a full-blown sexual relationship with once asked me to “tell her what I wanted” while we were working up to some hot futon love. Flummoxed, I replied, “Uh. This?” She purred that she wanted me to talk dirty to her, a concept that was foreign to me. I must have sounded like Data from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” “Insertion of my penis into your vaginal canal is imminent.”
It took a few more lessons for me to achieve awkward mediocrity, but over the years I’ve learned not only how to talk dirty, but how not to. For instance, there was the woman who, midway through banging it out, shouted, “That’s it, daddy!” My reaction was … Well, you know that scene in “The Wizard of Oz” when the gay icon’s house falls on top of the witch, and her feet are sticking out? And then they curl up under the house, striped socks and all? Yeah, it was like that, only instead of feet with striped socks, it was my genitals. Now, I’m not being a clucking prig here. I’m not judging her, at least in hindsight. It’s fair game to tell your partner what it is you need. What I needed was a warning, at the very least. Maybe if she had eased me into it by calling me “Padre,” or “patriarchal authority figure.” Or if, before we did it, she confessed that she was really into Tennessee Williams role playing, and was going to straddle me and sigh, “Ah dooo declare, Big Daddy!” The point is it was a strange surprise, and my reaction would have been different if I had been prepared. A compromise could have been negotiated. I would not have been adverse to, “That’s it, Mister DeVore.” Ultimately, our relationship didn’t last because she’s an Aquarius and I’m a Voltron.
Over the years, I’ve encountered all types of filthy mouths. There was The Narrator (“You’re spanking my ass! Now you’re running your fingers down my back! You flipped me over!); The Affirmer (“YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!”); And The Porn Star (“Pull your [CENSORED] out of my little [CENSORED] and [CENSORED] all over my [CENSORED] you [CENSORED] [CENSORED] [CENSORED].”) That last one I couldn’t deal with, because I could never stop from giggling.
As I had mentioned before, I’ve learned a lot of things from the women in my life. And I learned how to talk dirty from the one who taught me how to listen to jazz. She had more sophisticated musical tastes than I did, and up until her, I largely considered jazz the music that instruments make when they die. She sat me down after a night of me resisting listening to some dude named Miles Davis, and she very patiently explained to me his genius. To understand jazz, you have to understand improvisation. Improvisation isn’t about making stuff up on the fly; it’s about listening, and responding. About trusting and being trusted and bravely never saying “no” when playing. To be good at improvisation is to be generous, courageous, and vulnerable. To be a great dirty talker, you have to first be a great dirty listener.