40 Ways to say SEX: Synonyms, Slang, and Collocations (EXPLICIT)

screenshot-2016-12-27-15-10-56Today we have a smoking hot English lesson for you. That’s right, today we’re going to talk about sex.

WARNING: Although not the intention of this article, it may be OFFENSIVE to some readers. We understand that sex is a delicate topic for many people, and this article is meant to be more of a resource rather than an English lesson. 

This is real life English, and sex is a topic that is quite popular to talk about among friends, whether in a funny, sarcastic way, or in serious conversation when talking about one’s relationship.

Learning about idioms, slang, and collocations for sex will really help your understanding of everyday English, as sex is a topic that often comes up in popular culture (music, TV), and more often than not, we use sexual innuendos [suggestive terms] rather than the more literal terms that you might already know.

This article will start with the most formal, literal terms for sex and move to the naughtier [more inappropriate] language that you need to be more careful with.

Each section will start with the most common terms, and end with those that you won’t hear very often. So, by the time you finish this article, you’ll know exactly what sex term to use, and when!

Are you ready? Then…

Let’s talk about SEX

FREE Present: A Revolutionary Guide to Connecting Your English to Your Life

screenshot-2016-12-27-14-55-58FORMAL Ways to Say “Have Sex” 

If you need to talk about sex, these terms can be used with pretty much anyone.

1. Have sex is by far the most common and appropriate term to use.

2. Make love is also a common term, but is usually used when you are in a relationship (that is, to have sex with a girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband).

3. Sleep with is a very appropriate term because it is so ambiguous. It doesn’t necessarily mean that two people have sex, but most people will assume that if you say you slept with someone there wasn’t actually much sleeping.


I can’t believe Monica slept with Chandler in that episode of Friends!

4. Have an affair is another synonym for sex that usually implies that it is outside of your relationship (that is, you are in a relationship and you have sex with someone other than your partner).

5. Do it this term isn’t commonly used by anyone older than about 12. Children will usually say, “do it” instead of, “have sex.”

6. Have relations is a less common way of saying sleep with. It doesn’t always refer to sex, but it usually does.

7. Fornicate is a funny, yet formal way to say sex. It sounds biblical/sciencey, so it’s not very common, but using it in conversation can be quite comical.

8. Have coitus (rare)

9. Copulate

10. Engage in/have (sexual) intercourse is probably the term that your health or science teacher would use.

11. Mate is a term that you can use, but it usually refers to animals other than humans. You might hear it used in a biology class (Note: mate as a noun also means friend, and common collocations are roommate, flatmate, classmate, and workmate).

INFORMAL but appropriate amongst friends

These terms aren’t too literal or graphic, and can be used in most friendly situations without offending anyone. It’s best to experiment with these words because it’s not always well received to openly talk about them.

12. Get laid is probably one of the most common ambiguous terms.


Bill got laid at that party last night!

13. Hook up is something that we say all the time in the U.S, but it is very vague and doesn’t always refer to having sex

screenshot-2016-12-27-14-57-5814. Get lucky is a term recently made more popular by a Daft Punk song.

15. Get it on is an expression made popular by the Marvin Gaye song, but it sounds old-fashioned now.

16. Take (someone) to bed is a lot like “sleep with someone,” but a little more informal and obvious.

17. Get Busy

18. Be/get intimate

19. Go all the way is an expression that sounds a bit outdated; it was popular in the 1970s with this song.

20. Hit a home run is an expression that you might hear in the United States, as it is related to baseball. If you are familiar with the sport, then you might understand this sex-related terminology:

  • First base – kissing
  • Second base – touching, heavy petting, and rubbing
  • Third base – oral sex
  • Home run – intercourse

21. Hump is another term that sounds somewhat childish. Humping is the motion that you make thrusting your hips forward (like during sex).

22. Make babies is a pretty straightforward innuendo, although it isn’t always used literally (meaning that someone wants to reproduce).

Learn English with Friends TV: Ross’s Sexy Cousin

NAUGHTY (more Profane) Ways to Say “Have Sex” 

You should probably only use these terms around people your age and friends. Again, experimenting with them is key because they’re not always well received.

23. Fuck is a term you probably already know, but to learn a lot more ways to use it, remember to read this article.

24. Get some (ass/booty)

25. Fool around doesn’t always mean intercourse, but it definitely involves sexual play.

26. Get down (and dirty)

27. Shag is a British term similar to fuck. Sometimes it is used sarcastically in the U.S, but it’s not too common.

28. Root is an Australian word that’s similar to shag and fuck.

29. Sex (someone) up

30. Ravish is a less vulgar way of saying to have intense sex (for example, ripping off each others’ clothes).


I don’t know why all of these girls want to ravish Ryan Gosling

31. Score is another term derived from sports, and is kind of out dated.

32. Put your P in a V (for Men) literally means to put your penis in a vagina. It’s not commonly used, but was popularized by the film Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

OFFENSIVE ways to say “Have Sex”

These terms are pretty graphic and you should only use them around close friends or not at all.

33. Screw is literally the act of turning a screw (see picture)


Go screw yourself!

It’s obvious that you want to screw Jennifer.

34. Bang is the sound that a gun makes or to hit something hard (usually with your fists)

35. Bone is probably used because another word for erection is “boner.”


I can’t believe he boned his tutor!

36. Nail is similar to a screw, but to insert them you use a hammer.

37. Ride usually means to mount an animal… you get the picture.

38. Get nasty gives a rather dirty, vulgar image of sex.

39. Pound is similar to bang or nail; it’s a synonym for “to hit.”

40. Get a dicking is not a real word, but it makes a slang of the word “penis” into a verb. This usually refers to the female role in intercourse (NOTE: Dicking around means “to be wasting time” and is not sexual).

Understanding is important

Whether or not you think this kind of language is appropriate, Real life vocabulary like this is important to know and understand because it is commonly used. Even if you choose not to use this kind of vocabulary yourself, which might be a safer decision, it can give you an insight into local culture if you are traveling or living abroad and into popular culture.

It doesn’t matter if you like this part of the English language, if you find it offensive, or if you use it yourself because it’s how many people really talk.

So remember to try to keep an open mind. This is real life English–that is, the English that we really use.

More Recommended Reads: 

Return from 40 Ways to Say Sex to Fluency Essentials


  1. Daniel Weili Wonka on November 27, 2013 at 10:27 am

    No misunderstood
    Right on point

  2. Ethan Zinho on November 27, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks! I hope it's useful for you.

  3. Sami M Hazaa on November 27, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    it's useful to me

  4. Zuniar Dinar on November 28, 2013 at 4:55 am


  5. Ethan Zinho on December 2, 2013 at 11:18 am


  6. Ethan Zinho on December 2, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Thank you! That makes me really happy 🙂

  7. Ana Cristina on March 10, 2014 at 12:18 am


  8. Jorge Cabrera on March 10, 2014 at 5:31 pm


  9. Jorge Cabrera on March 10, 2014 at 5:31 pm


  10. Léa Pimenta on March 10, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    very useful!! thanks

  11. […] can be also be surprisingly bland, like the vague “sleep with…” or the romantic but overused “make […]

  12. Andressa Sabanal on January 14, 2015 at 3:58 am

    Very useful thanks

    • Ethan on January 14, 2015 at 12:58 pm


  13. Robert Rogers on January 18, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Bonk ….and Jump .Though they were universal !

  14. Jay Lee on March 23, 2015 at 3:39 am


  15. Missy on April 17, 2015 at 10:06 am

    How about the word “know”? For example: “Adam knew his wife Eve.”

    • b on April 6, 2018 at 10:35 pm

      what the hell

  16. […] as the conversations and jokes you share with your closest friends and peers are probably a lot about sex, relationships, and things like […]

  17. LizJR on July 18, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Another (mildly comical) synonym is “bonk”. Like “bang” but less hardcore, as it were.

  18. […] 40 Ways to Say Sex […]

  19. disqus_MvfiLHBYz1 on November 18, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Here’s a couple you missed: a poke, and ye ole in-out-in-out.

  20. Stephen Davis on August 1, 2016 at 1:47 am

    How about doing the deed, synchronizing hubs where the rubber meets the road, and putting the icing on the cake??

  21. Aura on December 5, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Whats another slang term for sperm all i can think of is load.

    • Michelle Dufrene on December 16, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Here’s a few:
      baby batter
      jerk sauce
      dick spit
      man blast
      penis pudding
      demon seed
      tit paste
      man goo

  22. Alicia on October 26, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    its awesome:)

  23. Sushil bakolia on January 9, 2018 at 2:06 am

    Very nicely all word

  24. Jay on April 16, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    You forgot one. Jizz

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