Have you ever received a compliment in bed that turned you on to no end? Maybe your partner mentioned how hot you were during a hookup and it put you over the edge, or they whispered “good girl” and suddenly, you couldn’t control yourself. Does the idea of being lavished with praise in a sexual context get you going? If so, you may be experiencing a little something called a praise kink — aka the idea that you’re turned on by verbal affirmation and encouragement during sex.
If praise kink speaks to you, you’re not alone. The hashtag #praisek1nk has over 820 million views on TikTok, and as OkCupid told Elite Daily in 2021, it appears people are getting increasingly kinkier. According to the dating app’s data, there has been a 55% increase in the previous year in users responding “Yes” to the question, “Are you kinky?” In 2021, there was a 17% increase in BDSM terms in user profiles for women and a nearly 44% increase for men, with over 70% of OkCupid users reporting that their sexual interests have become kinkier as they’ve grown older.
For many, receiving praise from a partner during sex can be hot, and if this sounds like you, dirty talk is a practice you shouldn’t shy away from. In fact, embracing a praise kink — whether you’re giving or receiving the praise itself — can take your sex life to the next level.
Curious to learn more? Here’s what a praise kink is, why it’s so hot, and fun kink phrases to try the next time you’re experimenting with a partner.
What Is A Praise Kink?
“A praise kink is a desire for a partner to praise, affirm, compliment, or encourage you and your behaviors,” says Jane Horowitz, LMSW, a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in sex and sexuality, particularly with LGBTQ+ clients. Horowitz tells Elite Daily that praise kink can also be referred to as “affirmation kink” or “good girl” kink and is common in BDSM and power play.
“Examples of praise kink in a sexual context include a partner coaxing and encouraging their partner to climax, such as using phrases like, ‘You are doing such a good job,’ or ‘That’s a good girl,’” Horowitz explains. Even though it’s often called the “good girl” trope, praise kink phrases can be altered and applied to people of all genders and identities. If a term or phrase makes you feel good, it’s totally fair game.
Suzannah Weiss, a certified sex educator, love coach, and resident sexologist for the erotic platform FrolicMe, agrees that praise kink can be a thrilling way to explore power dynamics. “Typically, people enjoy praise in the bedroom for the ego boost and/or power play involved in one person evaluating the other,” Weiss tells Elite Daily. “Praise play may be incorporated before sex (e.g. sexting someone, “You looked so good in those jeans, I can’t wait to ravish you later”), during sex (“I can’t get enough of your [body part]”), or afterward (“That was amazing”).”
While many examples of praise kink involve specific verbal affirmations, praise can also come in the form of brief words or phrases like “yes,” “keep going,” or simply a long, satisfied moan. No matter what type you opt for, praise kink is all about finding what feels safe, exciting, and what turns you and your partner on the most.
What’s Hot About Being Praised?
Sexual pleasure aside, there’s something inherently gratifying about knowing you’re doing an incredible job at something. If you’ve ever explored the five love languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, you may know that some people experience love specifically through “words of affirmation” — aka verbal and written displays of affection like compliments and encouragement. While praise kink and words of affirmation aren’t the same, there’s a similar feeling of satisfaction involved.
“One possible explanation would be that in our society, we are socialized to be motivated by positive reinforcement,” Horowitz tells Elite Daily. In other words: If you’re making out with your date who then tells you how you’re an amazing kisser, you’ll probably want to keep going, right?
There may be another social element at play when it comes to experiencing praise, too. “[The desire for positive reinforcement] is especially true of women and people socialized as women,” Horowitz says. “We are often expected to perform acts of service and labor for people on a daily basis without gratitude or praise. It can feel relieving and energizing to be encouraged and praised for seeking out your own pleasure and comfort in a world that does not prioritize your needs!”
Diana Nadim, a clinical sexologist and certified sex educator, tells Elite Daily that there is a scientific component to praise kink as well. “When we receive praises, it activates the reward part of the brain — specifically, the ventral striatum and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex,” Nadim says. “This reward center of the brain triggers the neurotransmitters that make people ecstatic and extremely sensitive to orgasms, hence the reason why praise and recognition turn people on.”
How To Enjoy Praise Kink IRL
When curiosity, communication, and active consent are present between you and a partner, the possibilities are endless to what you can explore — whether in bed or otherwise. If you suspect you or your partner has a praise kink, you can incorporate it into your sex life in a variety of ways, from asking your partner to use specific words or phrases to complimenting them and seeing if they’re into it. Weiss says that practicing open communication can help set you both up for success.
She tells Elite Daily, “You can ask someone outright, ‘Do you like to be complimented and praised in the bedroom?’ or, conversely, [say], ‘I love when a partner expresses their appreciation for me in the bedroom,’ and give some examples of what you like to hear.”
Weiss continues, “I recommend that [everyone lets] their partner know how much they turn them on and how amazing sex is with them. If they seem to respond to that in a positive way (e.g. smiling and giving a compliment back) or even erotically (e.g. moaning), try turning it up a notch.” You can try adding dirtier language to your repertoire, gasping louder or moaning your partner’s name, or even mixing verbal and physical praise, like eager touches, playing with your partner’s hair, spanking, and more.
As long as you’re both comfortable, asking your partner to experiment with praise kink can be an exhilarating experience.
Praise Kink Phrases To Try With A Partner
Whether you prefer to dish out the compliments during sex or you’re yearning for someone to use their words with you, here are a few praise kink phrases to try ASAP.
- Good girl/boy/[non-gendered term].
- Who’s my good girl/boy/[non-gendered term]?
- Just like that.
- You feel incredible.
- Keep going.
- That’s it.
- Look at you.
- I’m so proud of you.
- You do [action] so well.
- I love the way you [insert activity here].
- The sounds you make are so hot.
- You always know exactly how to turn me on.
- Your [body part] drives me absolutely wild.
- You look so sexy when you [insert activity here].
- I can’t stop thinking about how you [insert amazing thing they did here].
Of course, these are just a few of the many phrases you can experiment with during sex. Remember: Dirty talk should always feel natural, so don’t be afraid to ease into it when you’re first starting out. The key is to be present, focus on what turns you on, and move at a pace that’s comfortable for you. Here’s to many more steamy moments of well-deserved praise.
Jane Horowitz, LMSW, licensed psychotherapist
Suzannah Weiss, certified sex educator, love coach
Diana Nadim, clinical sexologist, certified sex educator