What to do if your lover says something awkward during sex
A decade ago, I was in bed with a man when he suddenly shouted ‘I love you, baby’ – which wouldn’t have been a problem, had this not been the first time we’d had sex.
The only thing I could think of to do was to keep calm and carry on, and act like I hadn’t heard him (trust me, even the neighbours heard him).
In all likelihood, this man wasn’t in love with me, but was probably experiencing ‘sex brain’ – when feel-good hormones are released in the brain, which can make you say or do things you otherwise wouldn’t.
Dirty (or romantic) talk in the bedroom is very common; according to a study by Saucy Dates, released in 2018, 76% of men and 74% of women like chatting between the sheets – with ‘baby’, ‘daddy’ and ‘harder’ topping the list as the favourite words to hear.
It’s important to note that there are different levels of dirty talk.
Some phrases are just a slip of the tongue (f***, God, oh yeah), but others can form part of a wider fetish or specific role play scenarios.
Then there are those other instances, where someone just says something incredibly awkward that ruins the moment – which is exactly what happened to Emelie*, 24.
‘Three years ago, I slept with a guy who told me, and I quote, he “likes when he hits the cervix” because he’s doing “the best possible job”,’ she tells us.
‘I was like “errrrr right, just don’t slam it in there, it’s not a goal”.
‘Also, who the f*** uses cervix as sexy talk? That is a word strictly to be used with a gynecologist, not a partner.’
Farren, 22, reveals that a man once made her feel uncomfortable while having sex with her, because he commented on her height – which is an issue she’s already self-conscious about.
‘I once slept with this guy who was shorter than me, and let’s just say it wasn’t the smoothest sex I’ve had,’ Farren*, 22, tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Being quite self-conscious about my height I was already nervous of sleeping with Ellis, who was only two inches shorter than me.
‘Things were going well until we got to my favourite position, doggy. Things were all heated up and suddenly I hear “can you go down a bit, I’m not tall enough”.
‘So shamelessly I went into an awkward crooked plank position and now I’m very picky when it comes to how tall men are. I guess every inch really does count.’
If your sexual partner utters a phrase that makes you cringe or feel uncomfortable, you are completely within your right to raise it with them.
Don’t go along with it just to please them, if it makes you uneasy – what happens in the bedroom should always be consensual, and that includes words.
So, what is the best way to raise the issue with someone?
Nadia from The Intimology Institute, an organisation that specialises in sexual wellness and how to understand pleasure, explains that how it should be handled depends on the situation.
She says: ‘I don’t know about you but I get totally creeped out by super lovey-dovey names such as darling or honey (I know I have issues), and even more so by the insistence of me calling him daddy (err, it’s a no from me).
‘In this situation, I try not to let it ruin my fun by centering my thoughts to how I’m physically feeling in the moment. Alternatively kissing is a really good tactic, after all, you can’t talk and kiss at the same time (thank me later).
‘However, if the language takes a more derogatory turn which makes you feel more uncomfortable, it’s best to stop what whatever you’re doing and unpack what was said.
‘Stronger words may often be triggering and can dredge up unwanted feelings.
‘Ultimately communication is important within any type of relationship, so it’s advisable to have a conversation about it after the event.’
You can absolutely keep going and subtly make it clear to your partner that they went too far – but remember that you can also stop the sex at any point.
Jack*, tells us that he once had a one-night-stand with a woman and felt so uncomfortable by what she said during the act, that he didn’t want to – and couldn’t – continue.
‘She wanted to be choked, which wasn’t really my bag but I went with it,’ he said.
‘Then she started shouting “harder, harder” and after five minutes of that she screamed “punish me, punish me with your hard c***”.
‘That was the end for me, we did not carry on.
‘I said something like, that’s enough for me, in a sarcastic tone. It was a massive turn-off.’
Try to remember that many times, people say things between the sheets that are reserved for the bedroom.
Maybe they’re into baby talk, because it makes them feel vulnerable, or perhaps they just really like to be called ‘bitch’, ‘good boy’ or something else.
There’s no right or wrong, so don’t make jokes about your partner’s preferences.
Simply make it clear that this isn’t for you, and if you’re in a committed relationship, perhaps discuss alternatives that you are both comfortable with.
You can even make a list of words that are acceptable during sex and ones that aren’t, so that you both know where the limits lie going forward.
‘Lay it all out on the table and let your partner know why it made you uncomfortable,’ said Nadia.
‘Often people say and think things during the throes of sex that is not part of their everyday thoughts/vocabulary and is not necessarily what they think or feel about you.
‘Talking through your fears may actually lead you to a point where you can tentatively try dirty talk in a way that makes you feel safe and respected.’
On the flipside, if there’s something you really want to say or be called in bed, speak up.
Chat to your sexual partner and explain that it turns you on, and see if they’d be willing to do it.
You won’t know until you ask, and it’s better to have the conversation first.
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