10 Euphemisms for 'Sex' in English

What with the #MeToo movement, and there being a constant stream of stories showing sexual relations in such a negative light, it is easy to forget that it can also be a beautiful experience between two people- if it is consensual, and between adults.

It’s healthy! Enjoy yourself!

I believe it is a uniquely human experience, to have our emotions so wrapped up in the act. As adults, it is something that we think about, and discuss, a lot, regardless of gender! (Surprise, gentlemen, women think and talk about it too.)

And, of course, it is a very much a part of the TV and films we consume.

Euphemisms for Sex


These phrases I consider to be more or less positive, and not demeaning, toward the people involved.

Making love/Sleeping together- These are the most common phrases for having sex, and, I think, the least fun to say.

Getting laid- Super native, this phrase! Also very, very common.

A quickie- This can be used when talking about having a short sexual experience- perhaps because you and your partner are on a break from work, or busy, and have to do other stuff. However, you still want to check in sexually with your partner!

Get some- In this phrase, the ‘some’ means sex.

Sometimes friends will say this to each other to encourage them to have sex, like, “Girl! He loves you, and you love him. Tonight’s the night! Get some!”

Hook up- This phrase can be a noun or a verb. It usually describes an encounter that is not serious, and is just for sex, not in a relationship.

One night stand- A specific type of ‘hooking up’, a ‘one night stand’ is when two people have sex, and then don’t have sex again and do not have an intimate relationship afterward.

Have intimate relations with- This is super polite phrase that just means ‘have sex with’.

Hanky panky- Such a fun phrase! It just means ‘sex’, as a noun.

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The following I consider to be disrespectful to the act itself, and, therefore, to those involved in it.

To nail someone- This seems aggressive and I don’t like it! Again, just means ‘to have sex with’. (Click here for more positive ways to use ‘nail’!)

Bang- As this also seems aggressive and forceful to me, I really don’t like this word for ‘sex’!

(As a funny aside, another mom I met told me that her child had heard ‘funny sounds’ coming from the parents’ room. She told the child that ‘mommy and daddy were exercising in bed’. Ha!)

For more euphemisms for sex, check out this article: 400 Euphemisms for Sexual Intercourse

Pop Culture R&R

I recently started watching Wanderlust, Toni Colette. Though you may or may not agree with her actions, the way an open-marriage is discussed, in such a frank manner, it is thought-provoking, whether you are single or partnered-up!

There’s another Netflix series that is super sexy, starring another famous Australian actress, Naomi Watts. It’s called Gypsy and came out in 2017.

Do you have questions about English vocabulary?

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