At one time or another, we’ve all done a Google search or two for some words describing sex and sexy things.
Whatever your orientation, curiosity can happen to everyone. Below is an A-Z list of some words you might not know, and some things you might not know about them.
Amychesis: Scratching and clawing at your partner during sex. Usually an impulsive, involuntary response. Rawr.
Appetence: A very strong desire or craving. Kind of a nicer way of saying you have “a hankering” for something.
Basoexia: Getting aroused from kissing.
Barosmia: Sexual arousal from smells. Perfumes, foods, and people’s natural scents can all be huge turn-ons.
Consent: What partners need to have from one another in order to have sex and not sexual assault. It can look like a lot of things depending on the person. Check in about consent throughout the encounter, because one “yes” at the beginning does not mean everything after is OK. Check in, give clear signals, and talk it out.
Choreophilia: Becoming sexually aroused while dancing.
Dogging: Having sex in a vehicle while others are watching. Having back seats that fold down aren’t just for hauling IKEA furniture home anymore.
Diasteunia: When married couples sleep in two separate beds to avoid temptation. Watch some sitcoms from the ‘50s and you’ll see what they mean.
Edging: A technique for prolonging orgasm. It consists of stimulation until you nearly reach climax and then stopping. It’s said that mastering this technique can lead to multiple orgasms. Woohoo!
Erotomania: Constant, insatiable sexual desire. Also called “nymphomania” in females and “satyromania” in males.
Faunoiphilia: Getting off on watching animals get it on. Gives a quiet night on the couch watching nature shows a whole new meaning.
Frowzletop: Unkempt or messy hair from sex.
Gendoloma: Using fantasies during acts of sex to reach orgasm. Your imagination is a beautiful thing.
Giggler: A pornography scene featuring two women.
Harlotry: An old-timey term for prostitution. Used in a time when dudes smacked each other with gloves prior to fighting with swords and shit. Probably.
HIV status: Knowing if you have tested positive for HIV or not. If you aren’t sure, get tested. Even if you think you probably don’t have HIV, being 100 per cent sure is a lot better than being 99 per cent sure.
Impotence: Also called Erectile Dysfunction (ED). The inability to achieve or keep an erection. There are a lot of reasons this might be an issue, be they psychological or purely physical. It’s true, it happens to everyone now and then, but if it’s worrying you, talk to your doctor and to your partner(s).
Ivory rise: Ejaculating into the mouth of a partner.
Jelquing: Tugging or pulling on the penis with the goal of enlarging it. This is different from masturbation as the main goal is not pleasure or orgasm, but to create micro-tears in the tissue of the penis to bulk it up. Does it work? A few people boast it works like a charm, but many docs and sexologists aren’t convinced. The penis is composed of erectile tissue and not muscle and doesn’t behave in the same way as your biceps. As always, check with your doctor for a final answer, though it’s probably a “no.”
Jimmy: Also, joy sock, love glove, bone bag, raincoak, pecker pack. A condom. Wear them to protect yourself from diseases and to help prevent pregnancy. I’m serious!
Kokigami: Dressing the penis in a paper costume. There are lots of print-and-cut costumes online. Just don’t get a paper cut.
Knee trembler: Having sex standing up. If the sex is good, your knees are going to shake and it might be time to take it horizontal before you fall over.
Lube: A liquid, often made from a silicone or water base, that prevents friction during different sex acts. Lube can be natural or produced by the body, like vaginal secretions or saliva. Lube can make things like handjobs and finger play that much better, and is recommended during acts like anal or vaginal penetration. Make sure you’re using the right lube for your condoms or toys. Ask the staff at the sex shop.
Love child: A child conceived and born out of wedlock. Your parents might have explained that you were a “happy accident”. It’s the same thing, but it sounds way flakier.
Mastofact: A festish of breasts.
Mack Moment: When partners both realize they are about to have sex with each other. They can be friends, strangers, or in a sexual relationship already. High-fiving sometimes occurs.
Nyotaimori: Serving and eating sushi off the body of a naked woman. Eating sushi off a naked male body is called “nantaimori.”
Nuzzling the fuzz: A really cozy-sounding term for female masturbation.
Oculolinctus: Licking a partner’s eyeball for erotic pleasure. Apparently, this was a recent trend. This is a highly unadvisable practice due to the fact that eyes are not built to cope with the germs inside your mouth. You can get some very gnarly eye infections, so don’t. Just don’t.
Onanera: Male masturbation. Now you can call it something that sounds real fancy-like.
Pompoir: Using the vaginal muscles to stimulate the penis during vaginal intercourse.
Phallic: The penis itself, or something that resembles a penis, usually erect. Phallic objects can be really obviously penisy, or they can just be tall and pointy. Balls not always included.
Queef: Air leaving the vagina, giving off a sound like a fart. It isn’t gas, it doesn’t come from inside the body, and it often happens during sex acts that involve penetration. It just means that air has been trapped inside and is coming out again. No smells, no big deal.
Quickie: A very short sexual encounter, often spontaneous, usually with no foreplay. Other terms: butter and dash, in and out, bump ‘n’ run, etc.
Robotism: The use of robots in arousal and sexual acts. See ‘lube.’
Rollies: A name for the testicles. As in “rolly-polly.” Awwww.
Scarfing: Using a scarf during sex, usually for strangulation. As always for anything BDSM, talk to your partner(s), make sure it’s consensual, and that you have an agreed-upon “stop” signal to make sure no one is in danger. See ‘consent.’
Sapphosadism: Lesbian relations that are sado-masochistic. A consensual arrangement between self-identified women where the majority of interactions are BDSM-related.
Top: The partner who takes control of the sex act and stimulation of another person. You might hear the term “top” and “bottom” used when talking about gay sex, but it’s applicable to many sexual expressions. Not everyone is always a top or a bottom at all times. The roles can be switched within an encounter. Tops might be the ones penetrating, but they might also take control in non-penetrative ways, such as teasing, tickling, oral sex, etc.
Tonsil Hockey: The word your mom uses for French kissing, or kissing with a lot of tongue. “Oh, those youngsters and their tonsil hockey and whatnot, eh?”
Urolagnia: Being aroused by urine. Golden showers, water sports, golden enemas, etc.
Undergrowth: A kinda gross-sounding term for pubic hair.
Vanilla: The stuff that isn’t super scandalous. Think: cismale and cisfemale encounters, usually involving vaginal penetration by a penis. Vanilla isn’t bad, it’s just… vanilla.
Vulva: The exterior parts of the female sex organs, which includes a heckuva lot more than the vaginal opening. Most people say “vagina,” which is the actual muscular tube inside the body, when they mean vulva. Other terms include: pussy, cunt, yum-yum, hoo-haw, bathing suit place, kibbles and bits, minge, ladyparts, etc.
Whiskey dick: Impotence caused by drinking too much alcohol.
Wet spot: The area on the bed, couch, countertop, tree stump, etc. that is wet after sex. It can be a combination of sweat, semen, vaginal secretions and lube. Use a towel if you want a dry place to sleep.
Xenodynamic: A person who can only be aroused with strangers as sex partners.
X-Rated: Sometimes a rating used for films, but usually a term that describes something pornographic or relating to sex.
Yonic: The vulva itself, or something that resembles a vulva. Like that stadium in Qatar that defs looks like a hoo-haw, you guys.
Yodel: Short for “yodel up in the canyon of love.” It means cunnilingus. Vocalizing can actually create some nice vibration, though actual yodeling might be a bit too much.
Zipless fuck: Sex, often between strangers, that has little or no emotional meaning to the partners involved. Coined in the 1973 novel, Fear of Flying, by Erica Jong.
ZZZs: Or ‘zees,’ the most amazing nap or sleep post-coitus, usually followed by a snack. A good indicator of the quality of an orgasm is how hard one passes out after sex. Tandem ZZZs are also great.
By Madison Behrs
Illustration: Jarett Sitter