Is dirty talk in bed still a thing?

An Adam & Eve survey dishes on all-things dirty talk and where couples stand with foul-mouthed terms under the sheets

couple in bed under the sheets
(Image credit: AleksandarNakic/Getty Images)

Couples looking to up the ante under the sheets resort to different tactics, so where does dirty talk fall on the spectrum?

Sexperts insist foreplay ideas should not be overlooked—nor should your after-sex routine—but what should partners say (or not say) in the midst of it all? Adam & Eve (opens in new tab)did some digging to find out. 

The sexual wellness company revisited a survey from 10 years ago to uncover how people feel about foul-mouthed terms while lovemaking. Things seemed to have changed quite a bit within the past decade.

Dirty talk survey results

In 2011, 38% of those surveyed said they sometimes engaged in dirty talk, compared to 31% in 2021. In 2011, 29% said they rarely talked dirty, while 20% admitted they did in 2021. Lastly, 10 years ago, 12% of respondents said they always talk dirty in bed, compared to 11% in 2021. 

Overall, it appears the need for f-bombs and the like has dwindled, according to the survey results.

"While using dirty talk in the bedroom can be fun and exciting, many people tend to engage in lovemaking for comfort and reconnection during times of heightened stress," said Dr. Jenni Skyler, resident sexologist at Adam & Eve. "During uncertain times, couples often prefer intimacy—more eye contact, skin-on-skin stimulation and cuddling—to rougher, more aerobic sex."

If you are looking for ways to spice things up, it's actually best to return to the simplest of actions: kissing during sex increases orgasm (science says) and these intimate sex positions can help you and your loved one stay on the same page. 

But, like the deed itself, do whatever works best for you and your partner. If a curse word or two here and there keeps things interesting, enjoy. If you'd rather play around with the best app-controlled vibrators than add dirty words to your vocabulary, go ahead. It's your decision.

Danielle is a writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life, covering all-things news, lifestyle and entertainment. 


The heart of her time at Future has been devoted to My Imperfect Life, where she's been attuned to the cosmos and honed in on astrology coverage within the Life vertical. She's partial to writing pieces about the next big TV obsession—anyone else impatiently waiting for "Conversations with Friends"—and keeping you up to date on new trends like the latest must-have from Zara. 


Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids and a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, amNewYork and Newsday, among other outlets. 


When Danielle is not working, you can usually find her reading a new book, coffee at hand, or attempting a new recipe. (Recommendations always welcome!)