The fine line between dirty talk and degradation

whisper-408482_1280Talking dirty unquestionably can make just about any sexual encounter more enjoyable – and interesting. However, it is important to remember that everyone carries around their own “baggage” when it comes to sexual behaviors in general. Like so many other things, there is some level of taboo involved, especially for anyone who happened to be raised in a particularly religious environment. Also, there is the issue of demands made by previous partners, especially where generally submissive people are concerned.

I’ve encountered innumerable forum posts and requests for advice on “getting over” issues with talking dirty over the years, and they continue to pop up from time to time. Often, in the world of BDSM, these pleas for advice involve people who obviously consider talking dirty at least a little degrading. While some people enjoy including some aspects of degradation in their sex play, others decidedly don’t. Sometimes, it is difficult to be certain about whether the person who is being asked to talk dirty is agreeing to do so only to be pleasing – something that should be avoided. There is a fine line between deriving pleasure from pleasing others, and growing resentment for continually being expected to do things one considers too degrading. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of signs that the dirty talk you’re asking for might be building negative feelings in your partner, they are a good starting point.

1. Your partner consistently hesitates while talking dirty – Sure, someone who is new to the concept of talking dirty will probably hesitate a little. That’s not necessarily anything to worry about. However, if that hesitation continues after your partner should be accustomed to using those words and phrases, you need to be cautious and look for additional signs of problems.

2. The answer is always about obeying – If you ask your partner about whether or not it’s enjoyable to engage in dirty talk and the answer always involves something about being pleasing or obeying you, like anything else, it’s fair to guess that your partner isn’t into it.

3. Your partner is always zoning out – When you start talking dirty during sexual activity, and make it clear that you expect similar talk in response, it’s not a good sign if your partner is consistently zoning out instead. One way to be sure that it really is about the talk is to change what you’re saying, and ask a question that has nothing to do with that sort of language. If you regularly get replies to those “clean” questions, your partner is probably avoiding talking dirty.

4. Listen to body language – Most of the time, this will be in facial expressions. If your partner is cringing, looking down, or otherwise showing some signs of distress over even saying the words, it’s time to reconsider including dirty talk in your play.

While there are some in the kink community who would say that it is a good idea to try to help people “get over” their issues with talking dirty, that isn’t necessarily the best route. Too often, play partners do not end up taking the time to become intimately aware of each other’s past histories. Like many other things in the world of kink, being unable to deal well with this activity is not the end of the world. If dirty talk is a non-negotiable desire, then perhaps the partners are not compatible enough to play together. Because this sort of thing isn’t something people need to interact in society in general, there’s no reason to attempt to resolve issues with it unless someone really wants to. Forcing the issue will only build distrust and resentment, which are the quickest ways to destroy a kink relationship anyway.