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Sexual slang is a set of linguistic terms and phrases used to refer to sexual organs, processes, and activities;[1] they are generally considered colloquial rather than formal or medical, and some may be seen as impolite or improper.[2]

Related to sexual slang is slang related to defecation and flatulence (toilet humor, scatolinguistics). References to the anal tract are often given a sexual connotation in the context of anal sex (in particular, in a context of male homosexuality).

While popular usage is extremely versatile in coining ever new short-lived synonyms, old terms with originally no pejorative colouring may come to be considered inappropriate over time. Thus, terms like arse/ass, cunt, cock and fuck should not be considered "slang," since they are the inherited common English terms for their referents, but they are often considered vulgarisms and are replaced by euphemisms or scientific terminology in "polite" language.

Pejorative usage

Main article: Sexual slur

Terms of disparagement are used to refer to members of a given sexual minority, gender, sex, or sexual orientation in a derogatory or pejorative manner. They are used as insults by persons who are not or do not wish to be associated with the group being disparaged. For example, queer can be used as an insult by those seeking to deprecate homosexual, bisexual, and transgender or transsexual people, but the word has also undergone reclaiming, such that it can be used positively within that community. Which terms are used as slurs is determined by a society's or subculture's set of values, especially its biases against genders (sexism). For example, words such as whore and slut are typically used to refer to sexually promiscuous women.

Sexual slurs are common across many cultures and historical periods. The most common slurs directed against men historically include accusations of being a passive homosexual (Aristophanes notably enjoyed using such allusions) or of being effeminate; for example, in the Hittite military oath, oath-breakers are threatened with being made into women (a promise of either actual castration, or of divine revenge on the traitors' manhood). The pejorative term prick for a contemptible person is also usually used for men.[3]

Sexual slang and humor

In the popular jargon of many cultures, the use of sexual slang is a form of humor or euphemism that often creates controversy over its public use. Sexual humor has been seen in many circles as crude and unsophisticated, as well as insulting towards the subject it describes. Sexual slang has a long history in literature and comedy: examples from Shakespeare are well-known. The popularity of contemporary comedians who indulge in sexual humor, from George Carlin to Andrew Dice Clay, reflects the appeal of this form of speech. It is often seen as a form of taboo, in which much of the appeal lies in the shock value of daring to speak "forbidden" words in public.[citation needed]


Sexual slang and social media

With the advancement of the internet and social media, it has gotten increasingly easier to communicate and share information rapidly and to a wide audience. As the generations progress they will have their own slangs for certain things and sex is no exception. With Gen Z growing up and creating lots of content on social media such as TikTok, Instagram, or X, they have also brought changes to sexual slang terms.[4] Below are few mainstream sexual slang terms that are most commonly referenced.[5] Not all of them may have explicit sexual meaning but they are words under the sex umbrella.

Also to note that not all sexual slang words only mean one thing, in fact there can be multiple different meanings to the same word, it all depends on the context used.[6]

Social media has not only brought about new words but also the usage of emojis. With texting being so common, emojis are a common way to express feelings like using ":)" to express a smile and happiness. In the same sense an eggplant or a peach emoji can be used to say penis or ass respectively.[7]

See also


  1. ^ Richard Guy Parker; Peter Aggleton (1998). Culture, Society and Sexuality: A Reader. Routledge. p. 421. ISBN 978-1-85728-811-7.
  2. ^ Timothy Jay (2000). Why We Curse: A Neuro-Psycho-Social Theory of Speech. John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 176–177. ISBN 978-1-55619-758-1.
  3. ^ Terry Victor, Tom Dalzell, The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Routledge, Nov 27, 2014
  4. ^ "A Comprehensive Guide To Understanding Sexual Slang | Allo Health". 2023-07-06. Retrieved 2023-11-27.
  5. ^ Orchard, Treena (September 2021). "Chill Broad, Bitch Boi; Twink: What Sexual Slang Reveals About Gen Z'ers". ResearchGate.
  6. ^ Dalzell, Tom; Victor, Terry (2008). "Sex Slang" (PDF).
  7. ^ Zapal, Haley (2022-05-05). "2023 Sexual Slang: Phrases and Emojis Parents Need to Know". Bark. Retrieved 2023-11-27.

Further reading