We may be living in the Golden Age of Dirty Talk. Not only is porn of all varieties easily available, but millions of people are carrying their phone with them everywhere they go — fully equipped with high-tech photo and video capabilities. We have more opportunities to get up to long-distance hanky-panky than any time since we traded in Morse code for the telephone.
But unfortunately, talking dirty is a lot harder that it sounds at first — and that’s where Ashley Manta comes in. A former phone sex operator who had to overcome her own fears of talking dirty, she’ll be coming to Stockroom University this weekend for a course on how to limber up your filthy tongue to say exactly the things that you want it to say. We dialed her up for a few early tips on good phone sex.
Dirty talk is such a basic technique, I think that there are a lot of people who would be surprised at the idea of taking a class about it. What would you say to people who ask “Why should I take a class in talking dirty?”
Everyone should take a class in talking dirty! At its core, dirty talk is just the vehicle for providing real time feedback in and out of the bedroom. Sexual communication is one of the many facets of sexuality that we take for granted–we’re expected to “just know” how to do it, without anyone ever modeling best practices! I’ve done the work, read the books, studied with communication ninjas, and experimented in my own life so my students don’t have to!
Can you give me a quick description of the curriculum and format?
Since this is a three-hour workshop, we’re going to have plenty of time to practice the techniques I’m suggesting. There will be break out groups where attendees can attempt to find their sexy voice, give feedback in different ways, and communicate clearly what’s going on in their body at any given moment. We’ll also cover some of my tips and tricks for incorporating dirty talk into your sexual toolbox, including the pre-talk, some tried and true PSO (phone sex operator) techniques, and in-class brainstorming! I’ll also provide handouts of sample phrases, “I love it when you ____ my ____” and a sexy thesaurus so you don’t have to keep saying “wet” over and over again.
What are the biggest mistakes that people make when they do dirty talk?
Not having some sort of pre-talk. I wouldn’t recommend surprising a partner with dirty talk. If you’re in the middle of playing with your partner (having never broached the subject of dirty talk) and suddenly say something like, “Oh yeah, eat my ass bitch,” it can throw off your whole vibe. I suggest using Reid Mihalko’s opener, “I have an idea” to begin dialogue about wanting to add some aural adventures to your repertoire.
What are the first tips you would give someone when they’re starting to do dirty talk?
Slow down and breathe. Those are basically the two golden guidelines for any sexual activity, but they’re especially pertinent to this. Adding a breathy quality to your voice can make it sound sexier, and slowing down creates a situation where your partner is hanging on your every word, waiting to hear where you go next in your sexy speech. Also, practice! Practice out loud in the car, practice while you’re doing the dishes. Just practice saying what you want out loud in different pitches, volumes, and speeds.
Dirty talk used to be primarily a thing that happened on the telephone or in bed. Now we have a lot more options — There’s sexting, instant messaging and a lot more. How does that change what you should (or shouldn’t) do for good dirty talk?
I encourage people to remember the primary edict of the internet: the internet is forever. Screenshots happen. Have honest conversations with your partner before sending sexy messages or images around boundaries (when and where to have sexting exchanges–the boardroom is not an ideal place to have “I love it when you fuck my tight wet hole” to pop up on a screen.) Discuss who else is allowed to see the pictures and messages and what to do with them if the relationship ends. All these factors are negotiable.
How did you learn to talk dirty, and what obstacles did you have to overcome?
I used to be terrified of dirty talk. I was convinced I would sound foolish or like a poorly-imitated porn. Then I dated someone who was preternaturally adept at dirty talk, mainly due to spending his adolescence playing Dungeons and Dragons. I watched what he did and tried to emulate. With practice, and 9 months spent as a phone sex operator, I overcame my fear of sounding silly. Coming up with things to say is really an exercise in improv, so anyone who has taken an improv or theater class has the raw skills already. The most challenging part of this kind of sexual communication is being able to track your body’s needs and desires and share them in real time.
You have a book called A Feminist’s Guide to Phone Sex, and you’ve been a phone sex operator yourself. How do feminism and phone sex intersect?
I wrote my guide through a feminist lens, and by that I mean, I did my best to come at this subject from a sex positive, inclusive way. I used gender-neutral terms like “partner” and “they” in the singular form and “bits” instead of specific genitals. I want people to feel like regardless of their gender identity or orientation, this book is still for them.
Dirty Talk with Ashley Manta
Saturday, April 9
2811 W. Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90026