The language of love has always been the domain of poets and songsters, but the language of sex is everybody’s turf. “So’d you get laid last weekend or were you left pullin’ your pud?” It might not be poetry, but you have to admit, it’s snappier than, “So, did you have sexual intercourse with anyone last weekend or did you end up masturbating?”
Why use cumbersome words like masturbation and intercourse? Wank and bonk roll off the tongue so much more easily. Beyond its practicality, sexual slang, most often accompanied by a healthy nudge, nudge, wink, wink, also makes “it” easier to talk about. Or, at the very least, “hide the salami” or “spearing the bearded clam” sounds a lot more fun. It can also be a frisky way to break the ice. “Wanna go for lunch at the Y?”
Sex lingo also says a lot about our attitudes when it comes to “getting our rocks off.” We can politely and innocuously “make love” but whisper, “Let’s fuck,” and watch his eyes widen. Oddly enough, the word fuck, or should I say f**k, was once standard English. But why simply fuck, when you can schtup, hoop, or do the nasty?
Sex slang also reflects its generation. To speak of “taking advantage of a woman” or “having your way with her” barely raised eyebrows in Victorian times when sex reeked of female submission. Today, these lines, delivered with appropriate dramatic gusto, might be good for a laugh or maybe as a bad pick-up routine.
My parents’ generation dealt with their discomfort by making sex sound downright cute. Nookie anyone!? And while they may have down-played the joy of sex in those days, making whoopee or getting your jollies sure sounded like a lot of fun to me.
Sex from my generation coincided with the rise of the 20-minute-workout. We shagged – obviously deriving from the shag carpet in the back of the air-brushed vans we did it in in high school – humped, pumped, and grinded our way through the 70s and 80s. Rolling in the hay was also popular, living in the country and all.
Sex shoptalk has always been a heavily male domain. Boys are anxious to nail, bang, screw, poke, or lay their pipe. They also like to be on a first-name basis with their tools. Dick, Peter, Willy, all point to the VIP-member status men give their little guy. Oh, I’m sorry, I mean big guy.
The most we’ve got as women is a band named after ours. Hole. Pretty glamourous, huh? Oh yeah, there’s always slit, gash, box, snatch, twat, or honeypot (that’s sweet).
While guys get to refer to their hammer, pecker, lance, love muscle, joy-stick, ramrod, schlong, wang etc., we girls get to pride ourselves on having the only body part named after a Canadian
Though I’ve noticed that both pussy – usually reserved for the likes of crass porn and usually accompanied by the word dripping or sopping – and that nasty, “I hate that word,” C-word – once Standard English and said to originate from the name of an Oxford street thought to be a red-light district in medieval times called Gropecuntlane (I kid you not) – seem to be enjoying a modern renaissance. I’m kind of a fan of the latter. Have always felt it to be a strong, punchy word, frankly.
Or maybe you’d prefer to sink your teeth into a nice piece of hair pie. Whether it’s eating out or dining at the Y, our oral fixation is also reflected in our sex slang. But once again, guys have a larger menu to choose from: beef, meat, wiener, sausage, the aforementioned salami, banana… never mind the virtual dairy case that comes out of him. Cream, milk, melted butter, take your pick. Or if you’re off dairy, you’ve got jism, spunk, or my fave, goo.
They haven’t even decided for sure if women even ejaculate. “It could be pee,” they wonder, suspiciously. And while guys are shooting their wad and blowing their load, women, well, I guess women… come.
I’ll never understand the term blow-job, however. I mean pearl-diving, at least that makes some sort of metaphorical sense, but what a way to screw you up when you first go down on a guy. “What, I’m not really supposed to blow? Oh, uh, sorry.”
Sex chat doesn’t always come in words, however. We also have sex by numbers. Along with the classic 69 comes the lesser known 68 (you suck me, I’ll do you later) as well as 66 or 99 – signifiers for anal sex.
And, of course, no one has sex these days without a safe, rubber, frenchie, raincoat, or my personal favourite, ahem, a splatter-bag.
One final note: like any language, sex language enjoys a variety of dialects. So, if a Brit offers to knock you up in the morning, don’t get your y-fronts in a knot – they’re just offering to wake you.