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Can You Talk Dirty If You’re Old?

A minister friend of mine, a Methodist (not his real denomination), confessed to me that he had visited a sex therapist. He was desperate to return passion to his 34-year old marriage. The therapist insisted that the key to sexual excitement is dirty talk, and offered some titillating vocabulary. “Call her ‘Pussy Mama’, the expert said. “She’ll go wild.”

On the drive home the good Reverend practiced the phrase, experimenting with various inflections. That night in bed he moved eagerly to embrace his wife, and when the moment seemed right he uttered the magic words.

Her body went rigid. She stopped breathing. Then she started to laugh. Suddenly the two of them were laughing, and they laughed together for fifteen minutes, after which they indulged in the best sex they’d had in decades, even though “Pussy Mama” was not part of their verbal exchange.


Is my pious pal simply too old for dirty-talk sex? No! The failure of “PM” to deliver the desired response is not a function of age but of history. The Reverend knew the language of love, but not this particular dialect. He had never spoken the Lovely Lascivious and didn’t know how to begin.

A talent for dirty talk is not something you pick up easily in your fifth or sixth decade.  Old guys who are adept at sex talk usually got comfortable with crude language at a very early age.

The minute I met PASHA and saw how he carried himself, the minute I heard his comic, self-assured way of speaking, I knew he’d have an irreverent vocabulary. His long-ago military service often put him in harm’s way, and when men are on the front line they rarely say, “Aw shucks, here comes a grenade.”  I suspected too that by the time he had arrived at puberty he and his pals at l’école française were at ease with the ubiquitous “merde.


None of the other senior guys in my DATING GALLERY have that bad boy edge. I can’t see them indulging in vulgarity, FIREFLY and STARGAZER especially, because they’re shy and even-tempered. FIGARO is not above an occasional “goddamn” but only when he rails against Republicans.

When PAST PERFECT resorts to “damn” he does so without thinking, but HARVARD YARD injects that same word hoping for effect. STUNT MAN is capable of a breezy “what the hell”. MILO is old-school, and would never swear in front of a lady. Ditto for DR. SHRINK, whose vocabulary strains to stay above the mundane language used by mortals. TV IDOL no way – trash talk is for people with inferior diction. As for both WEBSTALKER and LUST FOR BRAINS, their garbled terminologies defy scrutiny.

Of course sex talk and profanity are not the same thing. They are alike only because they get your attention fast. And because facility in one aids facility in the other.  How do they differ?  Sex talk is meant to soothe, arouse, and profoundly please. Profanity is for anger, frustration, or gratuitous effect – usually all at the same time, as in “why the  f___ is this  f___ing  phone bill so f___ing high?“


There’s a lot to be said for talking dirty. It’s modern, it’s compact, and resisting it is an uphill battle – culturally, I mean.  According to an Associated Press poll, 78% of Americans say they use foul language occasionally or often.

The bottom line is this: if sex talk comes naturally, by all means use it, no matter how old you are. If it doesn’t, don’t go renting porn films in the hope of learning from their laughable audio tracks. Better to stay non-verbal and go with spontaneous moaning.

Finally, if you think the f-word has no place in your bedroom or anywhere else in your life, that it’s only for rappers, hookers, and hit men, consider this scenario:

You’re cuddling on the sofa with your senior man. The lights are low and the background jazz is almost unbearably erotic. You tug at your skirt and cross your legs, flashing a bit of thigh. When you reach for your wine glass your blouse falls open to below the collarbone. “You’re beautiful,” he says, his voice thick with desire. “Let’s have sexual intercourse.”

NOTE: For another point of view, follow this link to Beyond the Bedroom’s “Talk Dirty To Me, Baby.”

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'Can You Talk Dirty If You’re Old?' have 22 comments

  1. June 26, 2015 @ 2:10 pm saralee


  2. October 25, 2013 @ 3:55 pm Teri Lyn

    This post cracked me up. Of course there should be dirty talk in bed. What is it, a symposium?

  3. August 8, 2013 @ 10:21 am Sienna

    Metta — What a wonderful spirit you have, and how lucky you are to have such a lover! Telling it like it is – that’s good karma and makes for great sex.

  4. August 8, 2013 @ 9:26 am Metta

    My ex husband looked embarrassed if I said “sex.” He also didn’t seem to like sex and wasn’t good at it. My 61-year-old lover uses the f word (a word that I started using in college), the p word and other similar words, and is a creative, fun, sensual, awesome lover who loves sex. I tend not to talk dirty in bed with him because I’m moaning too much to say anything coherent. He is the best lover I’ve ever had and also is the only one of my lovers who talked dirty. I also should mention that while outside of bed, he’s pretty quiet, in bed he not only talks dirty, but also gives great compliments. 🙂

  5. June 1, 2013 @ 11:40 am CGCarol

    Funny one. Don’t have anyone to talk dirty to, but I think I know what you mean.

  6. March 3, 2013 @ 2:42 pm Candy

    The pictures make this even funnier.

  7. February 11, 2013 @ 2:22 pm WL MICK

    Most people who shy away from sex talk are behind the times. It’s not love making when you are a senior.Those days are gone. It’s taking care of your needs & desires, period.

  8. September 29, 2012 @ 11:19 am Iona

    I don’t feel old, but here it is anyway. I like certain kinds of dirty talk. As you say, a man suggesting ‘sexual intercourse’ would be a mood-breaker. I think we’re past the stage where we need to refer to body parts in clinical terms. The P word is much better than the V word if you’re in the act of making love. It all depends on the time and place I guess.

  9. July 16, 2012 @ 1:33 pm TPG

    The story of the minister is hilarious and would be great as part of a movie script. You’re right, Sienna, when you imply that dirty talk is a skill learned early and practiced until it feels natural. Sanitized sex is a contradiction in terms, so dirty talk is almost necessary IMHO.

  10. May 10, 2012 @ 9:04 am Arbu1516

    This blog is f***ing funny. Great stuff.

  11. April 11, 2012 @ 5:11 pm Cassie

    I love this story about the two people cracking up over his suddenly coming out with dirty words for the first time in 38 years. I can just picture it. My husband and I thought of sex as fun and we laughed and joked a lot in bed. I miss having that spontaneity, and what the hell I miss having him (he died 3 years ago)to laugh with and make love with.

  12. March 16, 2012 @ 11:37 am TooJay

    I am 63 and I’ve never heard what you are calling sex talk, but I would certainly like to.

  13. February 8, 2012 @ 6:01 am Rowena

    I don’t see why dirty words are necessary. Making love is a sacred trust and should be treated that way. Dirty words just cheapen the experience. In fact, I don’t like talk of any kind in bed. If I ever got to that point with any man I wouldn’t continue.

  14. December 12, 2011 @ 4:07 pm Renee Fisher

    Good one. So why can I use the f word liberally in the world and can’t say anything it bed (aside from “oh god”).

  15. October 13, 2011 @ 8:52 am RGT

    Sex therapists are always telling you to try something new to liven things up, but I can relate to the couple cracking up when they tried something new. Doing something a sex therapist tells you to do usually kills sponteneity, which is something that should be at the heart of every sex act.

  16. October 5, 2011 @ 6:18 am Sienna

    Lynn, you’re a sensitive woman any man would be glad to have as a partner. You really “get it” when it comes to adapting to a situation as a senior and as a sensual woman. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us.

  17. October 4, 2011 @ 3:45 pm lynn

    dirty depends on who you’re with.
    i just ended a relationship with a wonderful lover who refused to leave his abusive wife, but it taught me LOTS about sex as a senior. for the previous 10 years, i’d had only guys with whom i had to “improvise” due to … um … medical disability, and i’d become accustomed to non-penetrating sex, so when i found most recent lover, i thought i’d died and gone to heaven! and the verbal exchanges during our active sessions were phenomenal! somebody else might thin they were dirty or nasty or evil, but saying the words of what i wanted, what he wanted, was incredibly free-ing!

  18. August 3, 2011 @ 8:27 pm Lillian

    It’s entirely subjective what makes up dirty talk. Some people won’t watch Eddie Murphy because he uses the f-word 300 times in every movie and some people can’t get off without a shower of filthy words. I think there must be a medium ground and that’s where I’d want to be.

  19. July 5, 2011 @ 8:33 am vizsla Mom

    hilarious picture of the good reverand!!

  20. July 4, 2011 @ 5:15 pm Emma

    I am kind of offended by this although I don’t know why exactly. Maybe it’s becuase it seems condescending to those of us who have had satisfying and meaningful relationships that don’t depend on dirty talk. I was married to a wonderful man for 29 years and we didn’t use dirty words. I am not a prude and I don’t mind hearing words like bitch and cunt when I am watching late night TV, but I just don’t think it’s fair to say that you have to talk this way in order to have good sex.

  21. July 4, 2011 @ 1:59 pm Sienna

    I could say that I never never never use the f-word, but my credibility with family members and friends who read this blog would disappear. I mostly use it when I can’t find my car keys.

  22. July 2, 2011 @ 10:01 am Teri

    So – Do YOU use the F-Word?

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