Upgrading Your Sexual Language

It seems for many of us our sexual language has never grown up since high school. Well into marriage we still talk about getting laid, getting lucky, screwing, and so on. This language does little to reflect the intimate depth and beauty possible in lovemaking.

Language is a powerful tool that shapes the imagination. When the language of sex is naughty, dirty, and kinky, many Christians struggle to see it as being compatible with their spiritual life or a holy God.

And this plays out on the practical level as well. For example, it might be difficult for a wife to get in the mood when sex is only described in terms of the husband getting lucky. Likewise, without a developed language, it can be difficult to describe what is and is not working in our sex life. Certain behaviors may be avoided or never considered due to inadequate language, which hinders our ability to grow into and experience our sexual fullness.

(See Let’s Talk about S-E-X! for more on improving your sexual dialogue in marriage.)

When talking about body parts and sexual activities what type of language do you use?

Explore the following categories as you consider upgrading your sexual language.

Kiddie language is the terminology introduced to us when we were little children, words such as “pee-pee” to refer to the penis, for example. This category probably does not have a place in the sexual dialogue of adults, and needs to be eliminated if present.

Euphemisms include indirect words such as “bottom” or “down there,” which are usually adopted by older children and in families where more direct language is too embarrassing and slang is considered inappropriate. The overuse of euphemisms can cloud meaning. Be sure to switch to direct language when greater clarity is needed.

Adult slang would include words such as “boobs” and “come.” This category is frequently used in “adult” entertainment, jokes, and pornography. For many, they are most fluent in this type of sexual language. Be creative in your use of slang without letting it become demeaning or shallow.

Clinical language is the technical language of sexuality, including words such as “penis,” “vagina” and “intercourse.” This is the language used in medical and legal settings, and whenever a more formal and precise terminology is called for. While clinical language is useful for clear communication, it can also leave us with icy cold facts that do little to arouse passion (see What is the truth of a kiss?).

Poetic language adds an artistic richness to sexuality. For instance, from the Song of Solomon, “You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain . . . His legs are like marble pillars set in sockets of finest gold” (4:12; 5:15). Poetic language is hard for many to incorporate without coming across as awkward, forced, and cheesy. Reading sensual poems can help develop this style of communicating (see here and here).

Is your sexual language stuck in high school? If so, it’s time to graduate.

Develop a language that is playful, passionate, and intimate, which allows your sex life to reflect the same. Spend time branding your own language that reveals the true beauty and goodness of your encounters.

As a counselor, my passion is to help others reach their full God-given potential relationally, sexually, and spiritually. I do this by creating a personal space for individuals and couples, free from the demands of others, to thoughtfully attend to the important and sensitive areas of their life. I work as an ordained Christian minister, licensed marriage and family therapist, and certified sex therapist in private practice in Suwanee, GA.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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