Q: My husband travels a lot and calls me every night when he's away. During one phone call he said he missed me and started talking dirty. I got sort of excited, but mostly I felt clumsy, like an actress who'd forgotten her lines! Is there any way I can teach myself to talk dirty for him without feeling ridiculous or stupid?
A: How great that you and your husband are willing to be creative and stay intimate across the miles!
Sally Kope, coauthor of Sex Matters for Women (Guilford), has several hints to help you feel less self-conscious. "First, privacy and focus are important," she says. You'll hardly be able to string sultry sentences together unless the kids are in bed, the lights are low, and the doors are locked. Wearing something sexy might put you in the mood, too: slip into your favorite nightgown and heels, or wear nothing but a thong. You can work your outfit into the conversation to titillate your husband.
Think of what words turn you on and use them. Listen closely to what your husband has to say, too, and follow his lead if you like it. In any case, Kope says, hearing you whisper something simple and sincere, like "I'd love to kiss your mouth and feel your arms around me," will be plenty erotic to begin with. You might also try stroking your breasts and clitoris while you chat, which may get you hot for racier rhetoric.
Phone sex is a safe way to build intimacy as you try out fantasies or role-playing. Your face-to-face lovemaking will benefit, too, because you'll know how to tease each other mentally as well as physically. Lucky you!
Holly Robinson is a Boston-area writer, who lives with her husband and their five children.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, March 2004.