Written by Nobuhle
Porn is where I learnt a few things about sex, granted not everything is real or helpful. One of the things I learnt is that moaning and dirty talk during sex is a thing that must happen. Nobody tells you that in school or during that awkward sex talk your mom or aunts give you. The general instructions from the aunts are to “spread them wide and whine that waist, baby girl”. I am willing to bet many of us walked into the sexual world with no idea how to talk that talk or respond to it either. I know I did; I would feel my mouth dry up and if I was lucky all I would get out was a ‘yes.’
I am not a pro at dirty talk today, but I surely can say so much more than just a ‘yes.’ I have to say though, to get in your element you have to be comfortable with the person you are bumping and grinding with. Once the connection is established and y’all learn each other you will find it very easy to get your partner longing using nothing but your words. You may even gain some superpowers and make your partner cum with nothing but dirty talk. When I grow up I want to have these superpowers too.
One day as I was watching porn my brain wondered a little – would I enjoy porn if it was in my vernacular language? Would my pussy vibrate and long for some steamy sex? The bigger question became: why does it feel like a taboo to use our African languages during coitus?
For context, I am Zimbabwean and I speak Shona as well as Ndebele. Back at home, it is considered rude to use vernacular words for penis and vagina. If you do use these words you are side-eyed and you are almost always labeled rowdy or uncouth. If you think about it, it is insane that we cannot use our language to talk about anything sexual.
Instead, we replace those words with slang to make it ‘lighter.’ If I didn’t know better I would say our ancestors are turning in their graves as we speak. We have latched onto the colonizer’s language so much that we can’t fathom the idea that our African languages can be sexy too. I decided to talk to a few African women about this particular topic and the responses were quite interesting!
‘It is a no for me. My vagina would immediately become the Kalahari desert. What a turn-off! We have to accept that our languages are not as sexy as the English language is. I would choose silence over dirty talk in vernacular.’ – Anonymous
They say do not knock it down before you try it, dear Anonymous! The truth is, dirty talk is more than just words, it’s how they are said that matters. I believe that we struggle with the idea of dirty talk in our languages because we have been heavily influenced by Western porn to the point where we want to directly translate what we are already familiar with to vernac.
This poses a very big problem because African languages are unique and we need to tap into our creativity when it comes to dirty talk. In addition to that, we need to embrace the sexual words that do exist in our languages and stop treating them like they do not belong to us because they do.
‘Dirty talk in Shona bangs! I love it when a man commands me in Shona. I always date men who understand this side of me and are also about it. Most of the men I have been with get a hard-on when I call them by their totem before, during and after sex. They also love it when I tell them they are getting it right in Shona. I absolutely love it!’ – Anonymous
‘Dirty talk in Ndebele makes me weak. And I mean dripping wet weak.’ – Anonymous
The first response made me pause because I do not think totems are ever a discussion I have with people I am intimate with. It goes to show how much of my own culture I have managed to disconnect myself from. Our mothers used to call our fathers by their totem, and here we are going from talking stage to talking stage without even thinking to ask that one question. I truly like that and it made me feel like calling each other by our totems brings a deeper connection. Do you know who is going to try it? Yep, me!
‘My love for flirting & dirty talk in my vernacular language started when I dated a coloured guy with such a gorgeous voice. He awakened something in me that I can’t kill anymore. I am very upfront about this when I start talking to a new guy. In addition to that, I stumbled upon a Shona sex/flirting blog and it confirmed everything I felt inside of me. This is the way to go!’ – Anonymous
For all my queens who haven’t yet tried this, like me, it’s time we tested the waters. Maybe we are missing out on African infused out-of-body experiences because we want to scream ‘YES,’ instead of ‘YEBO!’ I say to you, go forth and tap into your ancestor’s tongues. Pleasure awaits!