Average reading time: 6 minutes.
You know, how most swear words are sexual? That creates all sorts of confusion in our brains – and it is detrimental to our love life.
I am often tempted to ask people: "Do you really want to have sex with that guy you hate? No? So why did you say so?" "Yes, you did, you just said “fuck you!". The verb you just used is meant to designate a sexual act. Between you and him. And you called him "asshole", which makes it more believable."
Seriously. Language DOES affect the way you think and act. It has been proven time and again, even if you are not aware of it. People asked to "find" a memory take half as much time to find it as those asked to "look for" it.
George Orwell illustrated it in his novel "1984"; and science proves him right: using the same word for different things creates confusion, and the absence of appropriate vocabulary about something prevents us from thinking about them. The use of sexual words for both sex and violence makes your brain confuse what you do to your enemies and what you do to your lovers!
my first tip to a better
sex life: look at the words
So, 3 pieces of advice, and 2 categories of benefits:
1. Avoid using "sex words" as “insults”.
I try to rule out any sexual words to speak about contempt or violence
If I want to curse someone, I would use: “blast you”, or “go boil your head”. To say they are stupid, I say they are a “shit-head”. If they are cowardly, they are “puny”. If you want to keep the F, you have “filth” “flimsy”, “forceful”, “forgery”, “fraud”, or "freaky"...
It has been my rule for years, yet I still fail at it - because we hear those all the time (which is testament to how much we get influenced by what we hear every day).
Anyway, this guy who disrespected you, when you said “fuck him”, what you meant was “I want to hurt him”, right? But in the evening, when you get in bed with the person you love, do you “want to hurt them”? No? So why would we use the same word?
2. Avoid using insulting words to speak of sex
Don’t you LOVE your penis? I know I love mine. And I am very fond of my girlfriend’s vulva, and her rear. When I meet a stupid, unpleasant person, I don't want to call them something attractive!
However, the problem is we hear those words used as hate speech all day, every day (which equates to a freaking dictatorship by the way).
Some people find "dirty talk" arousing. In my view, this is a kink (using insults in sex is a light form of BDSM). As all kinks, it's OK, anyone should be allowed to do it - but no-one should be forced to it: basic rule of consent ! So if you are into it, please do not spoil your fun !
But for the rest of us, we need to claim our right to talk of sex without feeling insulted, which requires some effort!
Actually, it goes deeper than one might think. I met a woman who would not perform oral sex, because she did not want to be “someone who sucks”. Just think of it. It makes sense: in management, they change the name of a job or situation to change the way we think of it. And it works, one way or another (often it's the positive word that begins changing meaning, when it is just trying to hide ugliness). In politics, they focus on semantics, because words have so much political impact and power.
Side-note: I am French native, and I am still looking for alternative word for “suck”, to say that someone is very incompetent or they do things wrong – if you have alternatives, please tell me.
I don’t want negative mental association in my bedroom, so I try and use other words to talk of what I do, and of our body parts.
3. Creating your own lexicon
I think there is a need for proper, respectful words for actions and practices. Most of those we have are either demeaning, or medical – in any case, hardly arousing.
I would never eat a cat (or a coward), that sounds gross! But savouring love nectar out of my lover's sanctuary, that's a whole other matter!
The problem with avoiding the demeaning vocabulary is that you have to replace it. And sometimes create it altogether.
In the Indian Tantra tradition, a woman’s vulva is the “Jade Door”, the vagina is “the Jade Temple”; and a penis is a “Light Wand”. Many people have taken to using the Sanskrit words “Yoni” and “Vajra”. That is a good option for the basics.
I discovered in my youth (15) that the French poet Paul Verlaine referred to his organ of love (penis) as "the Heart" – I have been using this with my lovers (for theirs or mine) since then. And it has had a profound effect on the way I think and relate to myself and my lovers.
In French, the words “palace” and “palate” are one and the same. And I heard this joke, that you can really tell a woman is a true princess once she has welcome you in her palace / palate. So I use that pun in my love life to talk of that most noble deed: “will you be my princess?”
I am still struggling with that in English, so your suggestions are welcome.
But it goes further: there is a dramatic lack of precision in the existing lexicon about sexuality (there are many words, most of them degrading, but none of them precise about the actual specificities). And often, there is no way to designate a particular move or feeling, or to differentiate it.
The more words you have to talk of details (this action, this position, this move, this speed, this angle, this particular spot on your body...), the more you will be able to tell what you like, know your partner's likes, and improve your interactions.
4. Benefits to your social life
Removing sexual words from your curses is indeed a challenge, but the creativity it needs is an amazing charisma booster. As insults go, the more creative you get, the funnier and more memorable you are.
- More laughter: an unusual line is funny
- The crowd will likely side with the wittiest party, and that is you.
- Better yet, your unusual swear will be quoted by your friends.
- Creative insults might have much more impact. If it’s unusual, it is noticeable.
Practising this habit will also help you have more choice as to whether you want to sound polite or not – beneficial in many environments. And if you get enough practice, you may choose to combine name-calling without bad language, which will elicit interest.
Saying that someone is a “filthy mound of putrid bovine faecal refuse” will be at the same time, funnier and more impactful than just sending him variations of “fuck” – and every word is “proper”, though the phrase is still very rude.
But where do we get alternates and non-sexual curses? Listen to those you hear in movies, especially historical, or in novels, or in other languages - literal translations can unlock pure gold. It may be hard, but the reward is amazing.
And if you want a simple solution, just replace sexuality with faeces; it will work more often than not. A shit-magnet or a sour-piss are excellent insults.
5. Benefits to your sex life
Using other words for the bedroom has multiple benefits.
- If you’re dating a woman, she will be delighted to not feel insulted or assaulted when you talk sex with her.
- And, actually, it will either help or basically unlock the possibility of talking about sex - talking beforehand of what you like or what you would like is invaluable
- Creating more detailed vocabulary will make it possible to give mutual feedback and enhance your sex life.
Another benefit, you will notice that you will progressively cease to use angry words to think about your sexuality in your own inner dialogue (though that takes more time).
- And that will make the idea of sex more pleasant emotionally.
- And it will in turn influence the way you do it, and improve the whole experience.
My questions to you:
- What are your preferred insults and curses?
- What are your preferred words for your best friend your partner's (I mean your genitals)?
- And please, if you know any alternatives to “suck”, in both its original and insulting meaning, I am still desperately searching.
Please do comment, answer and ask!