Erotic talk, also known as love talk, dirty talk, gross talk, talking dirty, or talking gross is the practice of using explicit word imagery to heighten sexual excitement before and during (or instead of) physical sexual activity. It is commonly a part of foreplay, and can include vivid erotic descriptions, sexual humor, sexual commands and rude words. It may be whispered into a partner's ear, spoken over a telephone, or put into text.
When lovers are apart from one another and physical intimacy is impossible, it can be an important aspect of virtual sex, particularly phone sex and cybersex. Additionally, dirty talk is more sexual in nature than pillow talk and tends to precede rather than follow lovemaking.
The Marquis de Sade, who fancied himself an expert on matters sexual, states in the introduction to The 120 Days of Sodom that "among libertines, it is commonly accepted that the most voluptuous sensations are transmitted by the organs of hearing" -- that is, that dirty talk is the most arousing form of sex. One fictional character in porn films that became associated with the idea of men using sexual dirty talk with women was actor John Leslie's character of 'Jack' in Talk Dirty to Me (1980).