Today 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
FORMAL 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)
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
14. 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.
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