Reader Question: How Do I Learn to Talk Sexy?

Dear Dr. Jennifer,

My husband wants me to be sexy, such as initiating sex in a sexy way and talking dirty. I have no idea how to do this!

I’m frustrated because I don’t know how I’m supposed to know how to talk sexy. Where was I supposed to have learned this? I want examples of things that would be sexy to say.

Thank you!

 A Frustrated Wife

 Dear Frustrated Wife,

Thank you for your question, and I understand your frustration. I wish there was a “Wife Boot Camp” to address the unexpected challenges we face as wives. As girls, we are raised to not talk dirty, so it’s frustrating when a husband asks you to do something you have also been specifically taught not to do.

Here are a few tips for you:A husband "talks dirty" to his wife in the wrong way

First, get more information from your husband on what he thinks is sexy. Give him a paper with the following written on it: “You have asked me to initiate sex in a sexy way and to talk sexier to you. Please help me understand what you find sexy by writing on this paper two or three ways I could initiate sex and two or three things I could say that would be a turn-on for you. I can’t promise that I will do all of your suggestions, but I will consider all of them. Please return this paper to me as you head out of the house because I would like to read what you wrote in private. Thanks for helping me make our marriage sizzle!”

You need to read his answers in private because men and women often have different opinions on which behaviors and words are sexy. It’s not uncommon for a wife to have these reactions when reading her husband’s list: a) “EEK! I’m married to a pervert!” or b) hysterical laughter. Either reaction would feel shaming to a husband, so read the list in private.

Second, don’t lose touch with yourself as you consider his list. If a suggestion strikes you as degrading or “not me, no way, no how,” then don’t do it. It’s counterproductive and destroys intimacy when a wife forces herself to do or say something in the bedroom that causes her distress.

You mentioned that your husband wanted you to “talk dirty.” If a suggestion would make you feel “dirty” in a bad way, then don’t do or say it. For example, a woman told me that during sex her husband would say teasingly “oh, you are such a bad girl” in an effort to talk sexy to her. He didn’t realize that her verbally abusive parents had left her believing, at her core, that she was bad. His comment, made in jest, always put a damper on her ability to enjoy sex. She found the courage to tell him how his words affected her, and he was immediately contrite. He had no idea that this bothered her. He never said it again, and she felt safer in their bedroom.

 Third, consider how you could adapt his suggestions to make them work for you. For example, if he suggests that during sex you use certain words or phrases that turn you off, think of other words that would communicate the same message, but in language that fits you. What is he really asking for in his suggestions? The typical husband is turned on by hearing and seeing that his wife wants sex, admires him, finds him physically attractive, and finds sex with him to be so passionate, exciting, and fulfilling that she needs his body—so you will probably find that his suggestions boil down to one of those four areas. You mentioned that you wanted examples of things that would be sexy to say, so using those four areas, here are relatively tame examples:

“I can’t wait to have sex with you tonight.”

“I’ve been thinking all day about you and me naked.”

“You are an amazing man. You work hard every day and then still have energy to come home and put a big smile on my face.”

“You are great in bed.”

“You are handsome/a hunk/sexy/hot stuff, etc.”

“I love your __________ (name a body part and describe it in glowing terms).”

“That feels good, do that again, etc.” (statements or sounds you make during lovemaking that communicate that you are pleased and feeling pleasure will be a turn on to a man. Men thrive on pleasing women so let him know when he does something well.)

“That was the best sex ever. That felt incredible.”

 Fourth, if you have signed up for the CWIVES Dare of the Month, you will receive an email each month with a fun way to initiate a creative sexual encounter with your husband. Many wives have said that doing the Dares each month has helped them to become more active and creative on their own in initiating sex.



Jennifer Degler, Ph.D.

Clinical Psychologist and CWIVES Founder

Lexington, KY


Comments 8

  1. Alexandra
    November 3, 2011

    Thank you so much for this article! It IS, soo frustrating, when my hubby asks me to be sexier, or more “aggressive” in my approach to sex! No one taught me how to approach men sexily, how to flirt sexually,talk dirty or show off my body in a sexy way! ..The complete opposite! We were raised, as Christian girls, to avoid resembling any form of those. I really think that brides to be and even already wives (me)really need God-lead, knowledge-able wives to, freely,pass on their knowledge on marital sex to their sisters in Jesus. All the Christian books on sex I have found are kinda expensive. All Christian marriages deserve a chance! Will anyone share for free?
    – no $$ but
    grateful 🙂

    1. Jennifer Degler
      November 14, 2011

      You are very welcome. You might try looking for used Christian books on sex on Amazon. You can find good deals on used books. Or ask for a bookstore gift card for Christmas or Amazon gift card, and then order the book yourself privately. You are making an investment in your marriage.

  2. December 5, 2011


    My book, “Is There Really Sex AFter Kids?” can be found on used book sites like with copies available for around $5. I hope that’s helpful!

    Jill Savage

    1. Jennifer Degler
      December 8, 2011

      Thanks, Jill, for suggesting your excellent book and pointing us to a discount retailer. We women love a bargain!

  3. Lisa Oliver
    December 8, 2011

    A frustrated Wife: I have had a similar conversation with my husband so I know how frustrating it can be for you. My suggestion is to start small. If saying sexual things out loud is hard for you, try writing it on a note and leaving it in his jacket pocket before work. Or, if you text/e-mail each other, do that. My husband and I have gotten in a habit of “sexting” each other while he is at work. We will text our fantasies to each other or talk about the last sexual experience we had and how amazing it was. This really builds anticipation and by the time he gets home, we can barely keep our hands off each other 🙂
    As for things to say to your husband, think about what he really likes in the bedroom. One thing my husband really likes is when I lick behind his ear, so when I text him, I often start with that. Then I just think about what I would actually do next if he was there and I tell him, in as much detail as I can think of. It drives us both wild. And trust me, if you have never done this before, he is VERY likely to think that that is a sexy way to initiate sex, because it is unexpected. One last thought: There is nothing sexier to my husband (and probably most men) then me looking him dead in the eye and saying, “I want you.” Especially when he didn’t have to do anything first. You might find that that is “talking dirty” enough for your husband too. Good luck and God bless!

    1. Jennifer Degler
      December 8, 2011

      Great insights, Lisa! Thanks for sharing some tips from your own marriage with us.


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