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Sexual Vocabulary in Sign Language

Communicate About Intimacy

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Updated May 16, 2014

One of the most important things that need to be communicated in sign language, especially for adults, is sexuality. Books are available with sexual vocabulary in sign language, and a few signs are available on the web and in regular sign language dictionaries.

Sexual Sign Language Books

One book that focuses solely on sex signs is Signs of Sexual Behavior: An Introduction to Some Sex-Related Vocabulary in American Sign Language Compare Prices. Another book, which is out of print and available only through used book sellers, is Signs for Sexuality: A resource manual for teachers, counselors, interpreters, parents and hearing-impaired persons concerned with deafness and human sexuality. (ASIN B0006XM7Z2), by Susan D. Doughten, Marlyn B. Minkin, and Laurie E. Rosen. It was published in 1978 and again in 1991 by Planned Parenthood of Seattle/King County.

Sexual Sign Language Online

Here are selected sexual signs and their sources from the Sign Language Word Reference Guide at About.com Deafness:

breast ASLPro.com
condom Handspeak.com *
intercourse ASL Browser
penis ASL Browser
sex Handspeak.com*, ASL Browser
sexy Handspeak.com*
vagina ASL Browser

* = Paid site

Sexual Sign Language Videos

The Described and Captioned Media Program has human sexuality sign language videos:
  • TECHNICAL SIGNS: HUMAN SEXUALITY (TAPE 22)
  • TECHNICAL SIGNS: HUMAN SEXUALITY (TAPE 28)

Readers Respond: Using Sign Language in Relationships

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Common Sign Language for Babies

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