People...there are a lot of sexy things that I’m not good at. My sexy baking always ends up burned. My sexy pottery is lumpy and falls apart easily. But for the most part these aren’t things that really hinder my sexual encounters, so I’ve never been tempted to rectify them. However, there is one glaring exception to this rule - dirty talk. Like sure, I can tell you what I want, but I can’t make it sexy. It ends up sounding more like a slightly aroused GPS unit; “At the next opportunity, head north towards my clitoris”.
It was with this in mind that I signed up for the “Dirty Talk and Role Play Workshop” hosted by the cool cats over at Nikki Darling. Finally, I thought, a chance to learn how to put my repertoire of swear words to good use!
I was a little apprehensive that I might walk in to find a gross and perverted old white man leering at an audience and individually catcalling each of us in turn. My fear was allayed however when I found out the workshop was being facilitated by two normal looking and nice ladies called Kate Kenfield and Louise Bouchier. The first 10 minutes of the workshop was spent watching the two squee over each other and listing their combined accomplishments. By the time this was over I was ready to follow them into battle, wielding steel dildos against hordes of the undead. These ladies are some seriously accomplished sex educators.
I’m not going to bury the lede; the workshop was fucking kickass. The language Kate and Louise used was more inclusive than a hug from a Benetton ad, and the content was empathetic and comprehensive. By the end I was waiting for people to stand up and start testifying.
The workshop began with an open floor for us to address our concerns regarding dirty talk. I’m not going to lie, hearing a room full of people echo your own insecurities is pretty cathartic. And having Kate remind us that “it’s absolutely normal to feel uncomfortable. Discomfort doesn’t make you abnormal” was a very appreciated sentiment for many participants.
We acknowledged that dirty talk can be used before, during and after sex. We explored the different uses of dirty talk, including setting the mood, foreplay, test driving a fantasy, flirting, making requests and interestingly as a facilitator of consent. Consent was a constant and welcome feature of the workshop, with regular reiterations of the role it should play in the bedroom.
We looked at the two different kinds of dirty talk; narrative and directive. This was a particularly interesting distinction for me. Narrative dirty talk being the kind where you inform your partner about what’s happening, for instance “I’m so wet right now,” or “My cock looks so good in your mouth” etc. Whereas directive dirty talk is when you’re requesting or demanding things.
Since directive dirty talk was my problem area, I found it especially helpful when Louise broke it down into a formula - sexy observation + desired action. So for instance “my pussy is so wet, I want you to put your dick inside it”. All of which can be taken to the next level by adding modifiers. So for instance if you want to add “slut” to the end of that sentence, but you’re nervous about using that particular word you can soften it by using words like “my”, “your”, “good”, “bad”, “big”, “little”, etc.
Having everything broken down like this made a huge difference to my ability to construct dirty sentences. Before I’d felt like I was awash in a sea of sinful syntax, overwhelmed by all the options available. But now! Now I had the formula! I spent the next week practicing my new sentence structures on my cat; “My body is tired, I want you to feed yourself, you dirty little freeloader.”
Louise and Kate reminded us that we’re not on our own when it comes to resources, there’s a wealth of erotic fiction, fan fiction, movies and more at our disposal. And if those failed us, we could create our own - enter the Sexy Little Book. This was a craft exercise that involved folding an A4 sheet of paper into what I strongly suspected was a paper vagina. I was only mildly disappointed when it was further transformed into a tiny little book in which we could write down all of the things that turned us on based on our senses. Once again, opening this up to the floor provided some reassuring feedback from the group. Participants pointed out how helpful this exercise was for a variety of different circumstances, from autism to mental health issues, physical limitations and more. For me it was nice to have a resource that could give me enough material that I could stop resorting to whatever weird shit came into my head first.
The second half of the workshop was dedicated to roleplay. Role play isn’t something I’d personally struggled with, and I anticipated that I might spend the second half of the evening just nodding along to things I was familiar with. I was wrong however, since Kate and Louise managed to distract me with their truly atrocious knowledge of DC comics. At one point Wonder Woman was referred to as “Superwoman” and after using Batman and Catwoman as examples of role playing characters they then used a beautiful image from Hush in which the two are kissing, before admitting neither of them knew who Catwoman was. I’m not going to lie, dear readers, I almost walked out. My hurt was real.
I’m glad I chose not to leave however, as at one point they let me in on perhaps the most helpful piece of roleplaying advice I’ve yet come across. You can use the action of the role play to establish consent without having to explicitly ask it and therefore break character. So, for instance, if you’re roleplaying as a manager and secretary, you could say “Oh sexy secretary, if you touch my tie one more time I’ll have to spank you” at which point the secretary has the choice of whether or not to follow that path.
So, dear readers, if you’re ever fortunate enough to be able to attend a workshop facilitated by either of these two legends, I really can’t recommend it enough. They’re inclusive, knowledgeable, entertaining and educational as hell. They’ll help you build up your confidence as well as your skill sets in an environment that’s supportive and reassuring. Just don’t rely on them for accurate information about comic book characters!
That is all.
You may go now.