Bedtime Stories

Reading

When your lover says “talk dirty to me,” does your mind go blank and your tongue turn frigid? It’s tough to come up with creative, enticing, sexy statements that don’t sound like a bad porno.

In all likelihood, your lover doesn’t care exactly what you say, so long as you’re talking. Be honest about your thoughts and feelings, and describe your fantasies in as much detail as you can muster. You can always do a play-by-play, too, of what you’re doing to him or her—or what you’d like your lover to do to you.

But if you just can’t bring yourself to come up with enough dirty deeds and words to satisfy, why not let someone else do the hard part?

From Penthouse Magazine’s monthly letters (also collected in several books) to Anne Roquelaire’s Sleeping Beauty series, there’s enough erotica out there to keep you talking dirty for days.

It’s worth noting that some writers and readers choose to make distinctions between erotica and porn. Personally, I’ve always thought of erotica as having a plot and character development intertwined with scintillating sexual scenes. Porn gets straight to the sex.

When it comes down to it, however, the distinctions are irrelevant. Some couples may get turned on by the love scenes in a Harlequin romance, while others will seek the Fetish section of Literotica for their fix.

What makes books and stories better than off-the-cuff dirty talk? First, you can hide your eyes behind the book—a great bonus for someone who’s shy. Reading aloud can be even more titillating than talking dirty; it forces you to prolong the foreplay. Waiting to initiate sexual contact until the climax and resolution of the story can be hot! Trust me, you don’t want anything too long… no more than 10 pages or a few thousand words. The Wet collection features seven short, sensual stories that are perfect for reading aloud before bed.

Whatever your choice of–ahem–literature, here are a few tips for reading:

Take it slow. Take deep breaths between sentences, and pause after particularly racy scenes to let the experience sink in. Build tension by slowing down your speech.

You may naturally speak a little faster during action sequences or when the author uses a lot of short sentences in a row, but you never want to sound like you’re rushing to get to the next page.

Make sure to enunciate, don’t mumble. Also, don’t talk into the book as this will muffle your voice.

Use inflection. Remember those kids in school who used to read like robots? It was painful then, and it’s no fun to hear it now. Pretend you’re telling a story (which you are) and use natural inflection in your voice. If you can do it without sounding (or feeling) silly, you may even want to come up with different voices for different characters.

The first few times I read to my lover, I tried for a sexy, breathless “phone sex operator” voice and quickly discovered it was hard to keep up. Speak in whatever way feels natural to you, so long as it’s clear and slow. Most importantly, relax and enjoy the story yourself! That’s part of the fun!

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