Don’t Make these 5 SEXUAL Spanish mistakes

Avoid these 5 embarrassing SEXUAL mistakes 🙈 in Spanish (or don’t?)

ALEX
¡Vamos a la playa! ¡Estoy muy, muy, muy excitada!
(Let’s go to the beach! I’m very, very, very _________!)

MAURA
(chokes while taking a sip from a drink)

Do you get what just happened? ¿Por qué me reí? (Why did I laugh?) We’ll go over that specific example in a little bit. Just know that this is one of many instances when natives won’t be able to help but laughing – o reaccionar de alguna manera (or reacting somehow) – because of an incorrect use of a word.

Yo soy Maura de Spring Spanish, and let’s look at five typical mistakes that actually turn out to be sexual in Spanish. ¡Empecemos!

1.  Literally translating “excited” is a big mistake

ALEX
¡Qué excitación! No puedo creer que por fin nos vamos a la playa.
(What an ________! I can’t believe we are finally going to the beach.)

MAURA
Jajaja. Sí. ¿Estás muy excitada?
(Hahaha. Yes. Are you very _________?)

ALEX
¡Demasiado excitada! No creo que pueda esperar más. ¿De qué te ríes?
(Too _________! I don’t think I’ll be able to wait any longer. What are you laughing at?)

MAURA
Jajaja. De que no sabes lo que estás diciendo. “Excitada” en español significa “horny” en inglés. No tiene nada que ver con estar feliz de que algo va a pasar. Para eso usamos “emocionada”.
(Hahaha. That you don’t know what you’re saying. “Excitada” in Spanish means horny. It has nothing to do with being happy that something’s happening. For that we use “emocionada”.)

ALEX
Ohhh, es verdad. Jajaja.
(Ohhh, that’s right. Hahaha.)

“Excited” is definitely one of those false friends you really have to steer clear from.  So, for this dialogue, I would’ve said:

  • ¡Qué emoción! No puedo creer que por fin nos vamos a la playa. (What an excitement! I can’t believe we are finally going to the beach.)
  • ¿Estás emocionada? (Are you excited?)
  • ¡Demasiado emocionada! (Too excited!)

Please, do notice the humor in these dialogues. I’m not sure if every Latin American would be as intense about this as Venezuelans, but I do know this type of humor is rather common for a lot of us. In Venezuela, we call it chalequeo. And it’s all about double meanings, wordplay, and messing around with people you feel, at least, somewhat close to.

2. Rica (rich) can have two meanings in Spanish

Before we continue, if you stick till the end, I can tell you about a verb that completely freaks me out as a Venezuelan but that is perfectly normal, ok, and used on a daily basis by a lot of other Spanish speakers. It was one of those things I struggled to get used to when I first moved to Spain.

ALEX
Ella es una artista maravillosa. Últimamente ha tenido mucho éxito, ahora está súper rica.
(She is a wonderful artist. Lately she has been very successful, now she is super rich.)

MAURA
Jajaja. ¿Estás hablando de dinero?
(Hahaha. Are you talking about money?)

ALEX
¡Claro!
(Of course!)

MAURA
Entonces, es rica.
(Then, she is rich.)

ALEX
¿Qué? ¿Y yo qué dije?
(What? And what did I say?)

Once again, I’m letting her know she’s making a mistake by making a joke. Chances are that most of the time, this is how your Latin American friends will handle the situation. Solo para que sepas. (Just so you know.)

In this case, the mistake is not the word rica (rich) but the verb you pair it up with. Also, it’s only a mistake if you mean to talk about money. So:

  • Oprah Winfrey es súper rica. (Oprah Winfrey is super rich.)

We use es, not está, when what we mean to say is that someone has a lot of money.

  • Todas mis amigas son bellísimas y están súper ricas. (All of my friends are gorgeous and they’re super hot.)

Here we use están, not son, to mean they are hot and sexy, which is a reality, not a mistake. See? It really isn’t a mistake if you know what you’re saying. Use ser for money and estar for hotness. If this difference between ser y estar makes you cringe, Mariana has a video for you that will clear that up and that you can check out by clicking here.

Also know that, at least for me, using rich to talk about money isn’t all that common. I mostly say things like:

  • Oprah Winfrey es millonaria o multimillonaria. (Oprah Winfrey is a millionaire or a multimillionaire.)
  • Oprah Winfrey tiene mucho dinero. (Oprah Winfrey has a lot of money.)

I also wouldn’t use rica (rich) to talk about hotness. Instead, I would say:

  • Mis amigas están muy buenas (o buenísimas). (My friends are very hot (or súper hot) )

3. Bolas (balls) needs the right context to work

MAURA
¿Tienes todo para la playa?
(Do you have everything for the beach?)

ALEX
Sí, pero necesitamos bolas, ¿no?
(Yes, but we need balls, don’t we?)

MAURA
Jajaja ¿para qué? Si puede saberse.
(Hahaha for what? If I may ask.)

ALEX
Bueno, porque sin bolas nos vamos a aburrir.
(Well, because without balls we are going to get bored.)

MAURA
Las bolas están bien, pero no creo que sean determinantes para la diversión, jajaja.
(Balls are fine, but I don’t think they are determinant for the fun, hahaha.)

ALEX
¡Te estás burlando de mi! ¿Ahora qué dije
(You’re making fun of me! What did I say now?)

I know that even in English, using “balls” like this would sound weird. Nonetheless, English uses the word “ball” for every type of ball, which is why I thought it necessary to specify that this literal translation will be a mistake in Spanish. We never use the words bola (ball) for this. Unless we’re talking about bolas de billar (pool balls) or something that’s played in Venezuela called bolas criollas (creole balls). Bolas, used like this, sounds more like testicles.

Every chunk my US friend used with the word bola (ball) in this dialogue should’ve used the word pelota (ball):

  • Sí, pero necesitamos pelotas, ¿no?  (Yes, but we need beach balls, don’t we?)
  • Bueno, porque sin pelotas nos vamos a aburrir. (Well, because without beach balls we are going to get bored.)

That being said, some countries use even the word “pelota” to also talk about testicles so, still proceed with caution. Make sure the context is appropriate and specify when in doubt, like:

  • Necesitamos pelotas de playa. (We need beach balls.)

Chunk Alert!

Use si puede saberse (If I may ask Lit.: If it can be known) at the end of sentences every time you want to be a little inquisitive or when you are trying to be very polite and respectful. As I’ve used in the dialogue: ¿para qué? si puede saberse (for what? If I may ask Lit.: If it can be known) is more about irony than respect.

Let’s test you out a bit, shall we? Let me know in the comments if you know which of the following chunks can also have a sexual connotation:

  • Ese tipo es una rata. (That guy is a rat.)
  • Ese tipo es un perro. (That guy is a dog.)
  • Ese tipo es un burro. (That guy is a donkey.)

And, don’t forget to access our free Essential Spanish Chunking kit through the link we left for you down below.

4. Caliente (hot) means something different depending on the verb

MAURA
Decía que iba a llover. Mira cómo está la temperatura para ver si podemos ir a la playa o no.
(It said it was going to rain. Check the temperature to see if we can go to the beach or not.)

ALEX
Mmm, pero no parece y yo estoy caliente.
(Mmm, but it doesn’t look like it and I’m hot.)

MAURA
Jajaja, claro que sí amiga. ¡Yo también!
(Hahaha, of course you are, my friend. Me too!)

ALEX
¡Entonces vamos!
(Then let’s go!)

MAURA
¿Vamos a la playa porque estamos calientes o porque hace calor
(Do we go to the beach because we are hot or because it is hot?)

ALEX
Oops, jajaja, ¡ambas!
(Oops, hahaha, both!)

MAURA
Aja… Recuerda que no puedes usar “estoy caliente”, con el verbo “estar”, si lo que quieres es hablar de la temperatura. Para eso dices: tengo calor. Puedes decir: está caliente. El clima o algún objeto, ¡pero no la gente!
(Aha… Remember that you cannot use “estoy caliente”, with the verb “estar”, if what you want is to talk about temperature. For that you say: tengo calor. You can say: está caliente. The weather or some object, but not the people!)

ALEX
(Makes an approving gesture)

This whole thing with caliente (hot) goes well beyond this example. So much so that Paulisima actually made a whole video about this. You can check out over here.  So, instead of saying estoy caliente (I’m hot) We would say:

  • Tengo calor. (I am hot.)
  • Hace calor. (It is hot.)
  • Está caliente. (It is hot. (Referring to the environment or objects) Again, not people!

Therefore, it is not a mistake to say estoy caliente (I am hot) as long as what you mean is to say you’re hot and sexy. De hecho, te animo a que digas estas cosas sobre ti, pero sabiendo a quién se las dices, teniendo en cuenta el contexto y, sobre todo, ¡adueñándote de ellas! (In fact, I encourage you to say these things about yourself, but know who you’re telling it to, mind the context and, above all else, own it!)

5. Coger (To take) sounds horrible for some Latin Americans

Here’s that verb I told you about at the beginning. I promise I can behave myself now around Spanish people, but it still hits my ear wrong. Very, very wrong.

ALEX
¡Maura¡ ¡Cógeme por fa!
(Maura! Please take me!)

MAURA
Jajaja, ¿disculpa?
(Hahaha, excuse me?)

ALEX
Cógeme aquí que no puedo con esto.
(Take me here, I can’t handle this.)

MAURA
Jajaja, yo si quieres lo aguanto, pero lo de coger me resulta un poco más complicado.
(Hahaha, if you want I’ll hold it, but taking is a bit more complicated for me.)

As I told you before, this verb is not really a mistake, not even a problem, for every Spanish speaker. Aunque para la mayoría de los venezolanos… (Though for most Venezuelans…) Our brains translate coger (take) as, literally, have sex. I’m sure you can see how, if our brains do this, it can quickly and easily get funny and awkward for us while it means nothing for the other person.

De hecho, una vez vi a dos personas que tuvieron este momento de choque cultural mientras estudiaba en Boston. (Actually, I once saw 2 people having this cultural shock moment while I was studying in Boston.) One of the persons was Peruvian and, I believe, the other one was from El Salvador or Guatemala. The Peruvian said cójame (take me) while handing something to the other person, who immediately looked amused and answered: ¿Qué? ¿Aquí sin más? (What? Here just like that?). The entire Latin American table burst into laughter all at once. See? La mayoría de las veces manejamos estas situaciones con humor. (Most of the time we handle these situations with humor.)

If something’s falling off my hands, instead of using cógeme aquí que no puedo con esto (take me here, I can’t handle this) I would use:

  • Aguanta aquí que no puedo con esto. (Hold here, I can’t handle this.)
  • Agarra aquí que no puedo con esto. (Grab here, I can’t handle this.)

Honestly guys, these types of mistakes make learning a new language a far more fun, interesting, and entertaining experience. If you want to continue to learn about it and laughing along with us, why not check out that video that Paulísima made about estar caliente (being hot).

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