French Sex Vocabulary and Expressions

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

French Sex vocabulary and expressions are used all the time in movies. Books don’t cover this topic but I think it will be very helpful to adult students to understand French Sex Vocabulary, and know which words NOT to use to avoid huge faux-pas.

Of course, this lesson is intended for adults: I don’t wish to offend anybody, but there is no reason to write a French lesson about sex if you are not going to be explicit about it. I will also block the comment section for obvious reasons.

So, let’s talk about sex, baby :-)

1 – How to Say to Have Sex and to Make Love in French?

The commonly used expression is “faire l’amour”, which translates perfectly into “to make love”.

There are tons of vulgar expressions about it, the most common one being “baiser” used as a verb. This means to fuck, in the physical way as well as the mental one, just like ‘to get screwed’. In that case, it is mostly used in the verb in the reflexive form: “se faire baiser”.

2 – “Voulez-vous Coucher Avec Moi Ce Soir” = Would You Like To Have Sex With Me Tonight?

Made famous by “Lady Marmalade”, this song lyric is also a very direct pick-up line.

You have no idea how many times a student naively said that to me to show they knew “some” French. Obviously they didn’t mean it. Still, it’s quite embarrassing.

So, unless you want to ask someone to have sexual intercourse, stay away from that line.

  1. “Coucher avec quelqu’un” = to have sex with someone [lit: to lie down with someone]
  2. “Dormir avec quelqu’un” = to sleep with someone in the same bed (not sexual)
  3. Note that “se coucher” in the reflexive form means to go to bed. When you say goodbye in French, you could say: “bonne nuit! Je vais me coucher”.

3 – French Synonyms For Having Sex – More or Less Vulgar

Here are some French synonyms and expressions for ‘making love’.

There are of course many more, but I’ll list here the most used ones, and let you know whether they are vulgar.

So, we already saw “faire l’amour”, “baiser” and “coucher”…

  1. “S’envoyer en l’air” = literally to send yourself in the air. Common.
  2. “Faire des galipettes” = to do somersaults. Cute.
  3. “Tirer un/son coup” = lit: to shoot a blow. Vulgar.
  4. “Copuler, s’accoupler” = to copulate. Scientific.
  5. “Se taper quelqu’un” = to “do” someone. Vulgar.
  6. “Faire crac-crac” = to do “crac crac” (sound) – Cute.
  7. “Forniquer “= to fornicate. Old fashioned.
  8. Connaître” = to know sexually. Religious.
  9. “Niquer” = to fuck. Vulgar.
  10. “Sauter” = to jump but in context meaning to fuck. Vulgar.
  11. “Avoir une relation sexuelle” = to have sexual intercourse. Euh… ? Descriptive?

For more, I’ll direct you to wikipedia. Watch out though that I personally know maybe a third of the expressions listed there… So it’s fun, but not so useful.

French Couple kissing

4 – How To Say Penis in French

Here also, we have TONS of synonyms – probably over a thousand actually….

  1. “Le pénis”, “la verge”, “les organes génitaux” are scientific.
  2. “La bite” and “la pine” are very common but vulgar, so is “le zob”.
  3. “Le zizi” and “le quiqui” are childish.
  4. “La queue” is probably the most commonly used one.
  5. Le petit Jésus” is simply weird. But common…

Here also, for reference, I’ll use wikipedia. But again, watch out, most of these words are NOT common.

Watch out – I often hear this embarrassing mistake: English students of French want to talk about a pine tree, and say “pine”, which as we just saw means a penis. A pine tree is “un pin” (nasal “in” sound).

5 – How to Say Vagina in French

The female genitalia (les organes génitaux féminin) is also called “la vulve” – scientific. Here again, soooo many synonyms…

  1. “Le con” = is the literal translation of “cunt” (sorry) but is extremely used in French as a noun or an adjective to say “a jerk” or “stupid”. It’s one of the most common French words, but i’s original meaning of sexual organ has been forgotten. Describing genitalia as “un con” is very old fashioned.
  2. “La chatte” = pussy. Vulgar but extremely common. “Le minou” has the same meaning and is a bit less vulgar.
  3. “La moule” = mussel. Super Vulgar. Yuck.
  4. “La foufoune” = not translatable. Very common, a bit vulgar but not too much. [note that in Quebec French, foufoune actually means the butt]
  5. “Le kiki”, “la nenette”, “la zézette” = childish.

For more, go to wikipedia.

6 – How to Say Testicles in French

“Les testicules (f)” is the scientific, but also generic term.

There are not that many synonyms, believe it or not! Most of the synonyms refer to the shape of the testicles, so “les boules” (balls), “les olives” (olives), “les bonbons” (candies), “les noisettes” (hazelnuts)

They are usually used in the plural, but I’ll list the French synonyms for testicles in the singular so you see the gender.

  1. “Une couille” = vulgar but very common. This one is particularly difficult to pronounce for English speakers, so use a synonym!
  2. “Une burne” = vulgar but common.
  3. “Une coucougnette” = childish but also common.
  4. “Les bijoux de famille” = always used in the plural means “the family jewels” :-)
french boobs

7 – How to Say Boobs in French

Back to a ton of words. “Les Seins (m)” is scientific and the most common term.

“La poitrine” refers to “the chest” but is mistaken for boobs, and often used in the plural: “les poitrines” although it is a mistake.

  1. “Les nichons (m), “les nibards (m)”, “les miches (f)” = vulgar but common.
  2. “Les nénés” = very common. A bit childish.
  3. “Les tétons” = literally the tits, but used to describe the whole breast. Common.
  4. “le buste” (bust), “la gorge”(throat) = more upscale French. Common though.

Of course, here again shape will provide all names of fruits… “les oranges”, “les poires” (pears), “les melons” (cantaloupes), “les pastèques” (watermelons), but also “les oeufs au plat” (sunny side eggs in French) for smaller boobs :-)

For some reason, there are also many car related synonyms : “les airbags”, “les amortisseurs”(shock absorbers), “les pare-chocs” (bumpers)…

8 – How To Say Butt in French

The common French word for butt is “les fesses (f)” = buttlocks.

The vulgar, but most common one is “le cul” – l silent = the ass.

Common synonyms include:

  1. “Le derrière” = the behind. Old fashioned.
  2. “Le postérieur” = the behind. Old fashioned.
  3. “L’arrière-train” = the back train. Old fashioned
  4. “Le fion” = ass. Very old fashioned (but also still used to describe poultry parts like the back of a chicken/hen.)

Honestly, we mostly use “les fesses” and “le cul”.

Watch out for the French pronunciation :

  1. “le cou” = koo sound = the neck
  2. “le cul” = ku sound = the ass
  3. “les couilles” = koo Y sound = testicules
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9 – Other Sex Related French Vocabulary

  1. “Le sexe” = sex
  2. “Un baiser”, “un bisou” = a kiss in French – there are many synonyms here again. Remember “baiser” as a verb, nowadays, means to fuck.
  3. “Embrasser” = to kiss
  4. “Rouler un patin” = to French-kiss
  5. “Caresser” = to caress
  6. “Une caresse” = a caress
  7. “Faire des gouzis, faire des papouilles” = could mean to tickle but is also used a lot to say to fool around.
  8. Être excité(e)” = to be aroused
  9. “Bander” = to have a hard-on
  10. “Mouiller” = to get wet
  11. “Se masturber, se branler” (common slang) = to masturbate, jerk off.
  12. “Jouir” = to come sexually – watch out with this French verb that online translators still use to say “to enjoy”!!! It has changed through time and now is mostly used to say to come sexually.
  13. “Ejaculer” = to ejaculate
  14. “Le sperme”, “le foutre (old-fashion)” = sperm, cum.
  15. “Prendre quelqu’un” = to take someone, verb often used for sexual positions. If you mean to drive someone home for example, use “conduire” or “amener/emmener” – see my article on to bring/take in French.
  16. “Une fellation (scientific), une pipe (common)” = a blowjob
  17. “Tailler une pipe, faire une turlutte” = to give a blowjob (common slang)
  18. “Un cunnilingus” = cunnilingus
  19. “l’anus” = anus. Scientific. “Le trou du cul” = butthole. Common. Also used as a noun for an insult.
  20. “Sodomiser” = to sodomize. Scientific.
  21. “Enculer” = to sodomize. Vulgar. “Enculé” as a noun is a strong insult as well.
  22. “Anal(e)” = the adjective anal.
  23. “Un moyen de contraception” = a contraceptive
  24. “La pilule” = the pill
  25. “Un préservatif”, “une capote” (common slang) = condom
  26. “Un lubrifiant” = lube.
  27. “Un jeu” = a game
  28. “Un jouet” = a toy
  29. “Un vibromasseur”, “un godemichet, un gode”= a dildo.
  30. “Sexuel(le)” = sexual
  31. “Sexy” = sexy
  32. “Sensuel(le)” = sensual
  33. “Erotique” = erotic
  34. “Pornographique” (often shorten as “porno”) = porn

On related topics – but much less risqué – I suggest you also read:

  1. French Women Don’t Date – the French Dating System Explained
  2. 💕 Flirting in French
  3. The Many Ways To Say I Love You in French 
  4. French Valentine’s day
  5. All About French Kissing
  6. French love nicknames (with audio)

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Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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