This article originally appeared on VICE Belgium.
It doesn’t matter if you’re with a one-night stand, a friend with benefits or a long-term partner – sex can sometimes make you feel a bit vulnerable and a little tongue-tied. We don’t always know what to do or what to say while we’re doing it and that can lead to dirty talk going pretty wrong, pretty quickly.
On a good night, those things are unintentionally funny or weird enough to become a memory to occasionally revisit down the line. Sometimes, though, the things we hear in the heat of the moment stay with us for all the wrong reasons.
Boundaries get crossed, feelings get hurt, and we can find ourselves carrying around those pieces of pillow-talk for years to come. We asked VICE readers on Instagram to open up about the worst thing they’ve ever been told while having sex. All the respondents were granted anonymity so they could share openly.
‘You like it when I hurt you, don't you?’
I’d been dating this woman for a month and our sex life was nice and healthy. One evening, we were getting down to it and everything was going well until she hit me in the face without warning, and uttered the words above.
I was in total shock, and I still don’t know if that was because of the slap or the comment. I’d never said I liked pain. She made an assumption and did something intense without consent. We had a loving relationship, so I let myself believe it was just a spur-of-the-moment thing. A few days later she did it again. That’s when I broke it off with her. It was evidently the start of a new habit, and it was one I didn’t like.
A few years later I was making out with someone else when she started scratching at a scab I had on my nose and repeated pretty much what my ex had said. We’d actually talked about pain and pleasure before and I’d told her I didn’t mind a bit of scratching during sex every so often. I didn’t expect that, though. She kept picking at the scab. - Matthias, 37
A few years ago I was at a festival and met a girl who immediately told me she found me attractive. I was drunk and liked the attention and thought she was good-looking too. We chatted for about 15 minutes before she asked me if I felt like going home with her.
It was late when we got to her place and things happened pretty quickly. While I was giving it my best she mumbled something inaudible. I didn’t want to make it awkward but I couldn’t just say nothing, either, so I murmured “huh?” and then heard her say, “Harder, daddy!” I instantly felt uncomfortable and couldn’t carry on. We just went to sleep. We still exchanged numbers in the morning and actually met for a coffee a few days after. Neither of us brought the incident up and we never saw each other again. – Idris, 27
An ex of mine was always quiet when we had sex. It was such a downer, because I never had a clue if she liked what we were doing or not. Some people are quiet in bed, but she was completely silent. No talking, no moaning, no laughing. I tried to address it with her but she took it very personally, which I understood. We realised we both deserved to find someone we actually felt good with. – Tim, 29
‘You say you’re not into anal, but I'm sure I can convince you otherwise’
Last summer, I found myself dating a much younger guy. We saw each other a few times a week to eat, drink wine, and go to bed together. The sex was very cool, very open: We watched porn, role-played, and discussed fantasies and past experiences. We didn’t have much in common beyond sex, but we communicated incredibly well in bed.
Or so I thought. One day, he asked me if I was sure that I didn’t want to be “taken in the ass.” Not long before that, we’d talked about anal. I told him I’d tried it a few times in the past but didn’t want to again because it just wasn’t my thing. He was a tad disappointed but seemed to respect my choice.
That evening, I realised that ever since that chat, he’d developed a kind of fixation. He’d discovered something I’d said no to and convinced himself that he could get me to change my mind. He told me it would be different with him, that when I said “no” what I meant was “yes”.
I think he thought of himself as super transgressive and sexy, but in real life you can’t say that kind of thing to someone. Maybe he wanted to prove himself, to play the role of the dominant man to make up for the difference in age and experience. We stopped seeing each other a week later. – Sofia, 34
‘You have the body of a little girl… It's like having sex with an underage girl, only it's legal’
The guy who said this to me was my first real boyfriend, and we were together for years. Every so often he’d make a comment like that, and it played a role in me developing anorexia. What’s most worrying about those remarks – other than them being outright paedophilic – is that I took them as a compliment. He had me completely under his spell. I wanted him to love me so badly.
Our relationship was toxic. One day, he told me he loved the fact that I wasn’t sexually experienced because he could “shape me how he wanted”. Despite being shocked by that comment, I was too scared to say anything for fear of losing him.
It took 15 years to realise just how much this relationship affected the rest of my life. My self-confidence was destroyed. It defined my sexuality for a long time, too: I was solely focused on what was expected of me, which was to please my partner. I had to constantly tend to his fantasies.
He’s married now and has two children. Sometimes I think about emailing him and telling him everything - about the consequences and trauma. I can’t carry this by myself anymore. - Aceline, 35
‘Get out, I'm bored’
A confession: I actually said this. I was studying in London at the time and met this guy on Grindr. I invited him to my place. He was very handsome – better looking than me. That made me feel uncomfortable. When our clothes slipped off, he had the muscular physique of an ancient sculpture. The whole time I couldn’t stop worrying about what he thought of me: I was 22, lived on frozen pizzas, and thought of myself as ugly.
At one point he grabbed me by the hips. He’d accidentally put his finger on my biggest complex. In a moment that should have been hot, I felt anxiety rise up. In my head, there was only one way out – I had to be a dick to him. So I said what I said and he was shocked and left, but not before pointing out my extreme rudeness.
I was both surprised and fascinated by how cold I had been. I would never have thought of myself as being capable of acting the way I did. It traumatised me. Far more than anything anyone else has ever said to me. – Oliver, 31