The words we use for sex

April 14, 2012

in Reader Requested, Sexuality

Sex Words © Alekup |

Had an email from one of you asking about using the “F-word” in marriage as a way to describe a sex act. The writer also mentioned most of the common euphemisms for sex lack passion. It’s a great question, and I want to expand it to all the words we can use for sex acts and sexual body parts.

Imagine saying to your bride “My dear, my libido has reached such a point I feel I must quickly remove your clothing and engage in energetic coitus until we both climax strongly.” You know what the sentence means, but it sounds funny because the choice of words does not match the urgency behind the words. You could choose other words to match the I-need-you-now condition you are feeling. However, are such words wrong to use?

The Bible does warn us about “filthy language” – but what does that mean? Are certain sounds, the sound made by a word, inherently wrong? I doubt anyone would say yes. So is it the overall/common meaning of a word that makes it filthy, or is the intended meaning more important? I lean towards the second -it is what the speaker means, especially if the hearer understands the intended meaning. 

Let’s look at a specific word – “horny”. Horny is not considered horrible today, but when I was a kid it was an obscenity. What does the word mean? It means a strong sexual desire, but some use it as nothing but a blind desire to be satisfied anywhere, with anyone. If horny means you are desperate for sex, and you seek out your wife because she is the only person you are supposed to have sex with, she is not going to feel loved or special. On the other hand, if horny you want HER right now, if it’s not just about your body and drive, but also about your love for her. In the second case, the word horny might make her feel rather good about herself, and about you, and about having sex with you.

An important issue in this is how words have been used by and on each you and your bride in the past. The slang term for her genitals starting with a “C” is often used as an insult. For that reason, it may be a bad plan to use “the C word” word with her. The same can be true for words used to label any sexual body parts, sex act, or sexual feeling. If it’s been used to hurt, or insult, using it is a bad plan. If it makes either of you feel bad, dirty, or sinful, don’t use it. If one of you just is not comfortable saying or hearing the word, dump it.

Have a discussion with you bride about sex words. DO NOT PUSH HER to use any word, rather ask her what is unacceptable, what is acceptable, and what is still under review in her mind. Work together to find a language for your sex life that expressed both the passion and love of your sexuality. 

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You can't over emphasize enough the importance of trust in a relationship when it comes to expressing words in the bedroom. I had a recent conversation with my wife about using non clinical words in our sex life and learned that there were some things she wanted to say but was afraid to express them out of fear of being immoral. The point I made to her was that we trust each other enough to use those words in a way that we don't intend to demean, degrade, or hurt each other. Like Rick, use of these words aka "dirty talk" has taken our sexuality much higher than even I thought it would. We are just as open, raw, and vulnerable with our minds as well as our bodies! However, this spice is not for everybody and is better left on the shelf, especially in cases where such words were used in past abuse. Those cases are unfortunate, but through the healing power of Jesus maybe one day that spice can be added to the recipe!


Man - you nailed it. That is brilliant analysis. Keep it up!

Tony M
Tony M

Great Great conversation and comment from Rick. My wife a few months ago used one interesting word and I replied with another...suddenly we realized had discovered a few more turn on buttons. We had a discussion later to verify what do these words mean to as and agreed on meanings that were more intimate rather than the abusive way they are used. We settled and use them now occasionally and our sex life improved quite a chunk more just because of words alone. Now my wife is starting by her own will to include louder sexual responses...I tell you its working too well for me. looking forward to hearing from others. Paul as we comment can we all hint on names and words we use as a way to bring more light to this topic?


It is truly all about communicating your passion and desire for your spouse. After years of using them our euphamisms seem tame to us. But on examinition it would whigg our kids out and could even make a Chief Petty Officer blush! There are some words that just don't work and others that shouldn't but do. How did we arrive at this set of the vernacular? Well, sometimes I just asked. Often the conversation would go somethign like this: "Honey, what can I call your genitals? I mean, genitals is such a medical know? How about .... or ....? Neither? OK. Really? I can call it THAT? Wow! OK. I didn't think you would like that word" As for the acts of sex, well, some were just so carnally passionate, and hold overs from y BC days that they would just slip out. Over 30 years of being together they are acceptable though not in every situation. There are days where we use words like play, make love, get laid or what some would consider vulgar. Each word used is chosen to capture the moment. Some intimate the spiritual/emotional more than the physical while the others point towards teh carnally physical. Either of which can be perfect at the right time. And it is not just a one way street either. DW uses and choose her words carefully and from pretty much the same vocabulary. We each have words we won't use, but few if any we won't accept. But that understadnign has come from years and years of beign together and sorting it out between ourselves.

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