An Examination of the Nature of Erotic Talk

Arch Sex Behav. 2016 Jan;45(1):21-31. doi: 10.1007/s10508-015-0585-2. Epub 2015 Sep 9.


Using a mixed-methods study, we provided the first systematic documentation and exploration of erotic talk. In Study 1 (N = 95), participants provided 569 erotic talk statements in an anonymous online survey, which we classified, using a modified thematic analysis, as being representative of eight themes. In Study 2 (N = 238), we quantified individual differences in these themes, subjected them to factor analysis, and examined the nomological network surrounding them with measures of relationship and sexual satisfaction, sociosexuality, and personality. The eight initial categories represented two higher order factors, which we call individualist talk and mutualistic talk. These factors were orthogonal in factor analysis and distinct in their nomological network. While the majority of people reported using erotic talk, we found few sex differences in its use.

Keywords: Communication; Erotolalia; Profanity; Satisfaction; Sexuality; Sociosexuality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Male
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Speech*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires