I was eight when my mom put red chili in my mouth for parroting a Hindi swear word I'd overheard the teenagers in my society say. "Ache bacche gandi baat nahi karte," she scolded. Good boys don't talk dirty.
As a teenager, I heard words like 'Chu*' and 'Chu**ya' thrown around as casual insults. Fast forward to my twenties, and an irate driver's threat - "Teri Gaa*d maar doonga" - is still vivid in my memory.
My relationship with Hindi is complex, especially living in a city where Hindi isn’t spoken more commonly, or while working in a corporate MNC, or consuming mostly western media. At home, with my wife, is the only place I speak Hindi, but never in the bedroom.
"Ache bacche gandi baat nahi karte."
Good boys don't talk dirty.
In intimacy, the truest connection comes from being authentic, and nothing is more authentic than expressing ourselves in the language we're most comfortable with. It shouldn’t be about the sophistication of words in some languages over others, that’s just a bias. Choosing a language for your dirty talk should be about their ability to convey the emotions we feel without having to translate it in our minds before saying it, and losing our emotional connection to the moment or the idea we try to describe. Speaking in the language that's closest to our heart ensures our expressions are genuine and deeply felt.
It is in this language that our words do more than describe parts or sensations; they resonate loud and clear with the social and emotional facets that we bring to every word, creating a profound understanding that goes beyond mere nouns, adjectives and so on. I could repeat English words I’ve heard in movies & porn. I could read out phrases and sensual descriptions I’ve read on Tumblr. It just wouldn’t be me. I’d be roleplaying as a white man trying to woo a woman. And she wouldn’t see all of me no matter how well I spelt it out for her.
Don’t Google it
If the thought of trying to start dirty talking in Hindi crosses your mind after my pitch– here’s a word of advice: don’t google it. Don’t try and look for resources on how to talk dirty in Hindi.
The uploaded audio and text of dirty talk in Hindi on websites just reinstates the problems we have with the language and intimacy. It’s aggressive, degrading to women, is heavily laden with the usual bhabhi trope that frequently neglects the idea of consent or active engagement from women, & still cherishes the highly problematic school girl scenarios.
Most scenarios in spaces that explore dirty talk in Hindi, still sl*t-shame and degrade the women in the scenario. It rarely ever gives you the opportunity to learn how to sweet talk your partner, or be witty and charming and smooth in Hindi.
फ Se Fu*k: Crafting Your Own Glossary
Start by creating a personal glossary of terms. Here are some I started with:
Mix these with English phrases you're comfortable with. "Can’t wait to feel you on me. Mere kamar par, hontho par, our hands exploring every part of each other." As you get more comfortable, the balance can shift towards more Hindi.
Don’t be a purist
Don’t try to speak Shuddh Hindi when you dirty talk. Just incorporate the set of glossary terms you’ve settled on with your usual English phrases. Over time, you will naturally progress to using more and more Hindi words as the basics become muscle memory for you. Don’t let your genitals get in the way If you’re not into degradation and prefer a softer approach, I advise not using Hindi words for ass, vagina, penis etc. Don't name-call in Hindi either. Even if you have set it in your glossary term list with your partner, it’s better to move to it as a secondary step after you’ve gained some comfort with Hinglish dirty talk.
This is not because Hindi as a language does not offer room for dignified, sophisticated or sensual eroticism and sexual banter. Look at the songs we grew up with that beautifully taught us how to love and lust in Hindi and Urdu. But years and years of hearing so many of these words being used in a degrading and abusive fashion have their impacts on how we socially and psychologically process them or perceive them. Unless your arousal is in humiliation, I would steer away.
Reclaiming our regional languages in intimate settings isn't just about Hindi or any other language. It's about breaking free from years of conditioned associations and rediscovering a part of our identity. It's a journey of unlearning and relearning, where each word becomes an act of reclamation - a step towards embracing our entire selves, our vivid histories and unique approaches to love and attraction, even in our most private and vulnerable moments.
Photos by A9 Design