Your Call: I Said the Wrong Name in Bed!

photo by demi-brooke

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em and Lo,

Need advice please on a recent verbal faux pas I made while in bed with my boyfriend of 7 months right after an intimate moment together. I called him someone else’s name in the throes of passion — my ex-husband’s, to be specific. It just came out of nowhere and I was more shocked than he was to hear it. I honestly was not thinking about my ex and cannot understand why that even happened, considering I have been divorced for 3 years now. I know in my heart it meant nothing, but to a man’s ego I am certain it was hurtful, and I’m thinking that my boyfriend may have second thoughts or doubts about what’s going on in my head. Any thought or suggestion as to how to correct this, or am I feeling guilty for nothing?

— Foot in Mouth

What should F.I.M. do? (See how we advised readers on this topic in our book Sex Etiquette here.)


  1. I did the same thing but on new year’s…. I like this man so much I called him my exs name when he was down on me and I wasn’t even thinking of my ex or anything I was with my ex for 2 years and his guy 3 months… I’m done with my ex But he is mad and it’s been couple of days but I notice things are different now I’m scared he will leave

  2. My boyfriend went to take my bra off during sex and reached down to the front of my chest to unsnap it. I don’t own any bras that snap in the front. We have been together for 5 years. Is this wierd? He said his ex always wore them and he had a brain fart. 5 years ago his ex wore them and he really had a brain fart? He also did look worried. And questioned me what I was thinking about after sex when I was staring at the wall. I did say to him after he tried from the front “my bras don’t snap in the front mine are in the back” I was being kinda sarcastic. But I’m just curious how often this ggenuinely is an error factoring in a 5 year “faithful” relationship.

  3. Hi, Totally know where you’re coming from. I had the same thing just yesterday and was trying to google for answers and found this page. I was being intimate with my boyfriend of 3 or 4 months and accidentally said the name of a mutual male friend of ours. It took both us a second to register what I’d said but when I did he sat up and said “what did you say?” and I searched for some way to escape but couldn’t find one and just covered my face with my hands. I know that it was just because the mutual friend had just spent the day with us and had driven us home and that during passion your brain shuts down and random things pop up through your mouth. I have no idea why his name came up at all because I don’t fantasize about him, wasn’t thinking about him at the moment, and I’ve even felt that he was one of the only male friends I have that I find no attraction toward but only a close friend bond. It doesn’t help that the male friend was the one person my boyfriend was worried about and that everyone sees that I have a humor connection with that looks like flirting from an outside perspective I’ve been told to my shagrin. All of this was a huge put down for my boyfriend and I tried to explain the lame excuse that I said above, knowing and stating that it was lame and implausible. In the end enough sincerity, apologies, trust, and reassertion that your boyfriend is the best will help push you on the road to making it less awkward and eventually a thing of the past.

    1. Your response is exactly what happened to me and I couldn’t explain it or make sense of it. This just happened 2 days ago, so we are still trying to work through it… and I’m hoping I don’t lose him over this. What an incredibly hurtful and stupid thing to do to somebody so important to me.

  4. I just had this issue to, but I was not in bed with my mate it happen while we were talking. This is what happened he was talking to me about how he came to places I was suppose to be and he did not see me there but I was if not he missed me about a second, in the meanwhile he said I was with someone else I tells him he is so insecure and he goes on accusing me of men and women. So I slipped and called him my ex-husbands name and he is upset not to see or talk to me again this is the third time I called him his name. I did not mean to call him the other guy’s name it always slip out. So to I do some time say this is the same thing my ex use to take me through. Always in God’s care I will survive I let go of bad relationships as of this day. But I do love him I have been with him for eight months now. We have been around and around for this period saying and doing the same things above. The reason I was with him because he is a God loving man claiming, but I see different things going on with that so time will tell and it did he wants no more to do with me period which I am well pleased I am moving on into a better way of living. If there is anything I can say is that I am not desperate at all for someone to treat me as though I have no morals about myself to go through this behavior on my journey in life. I have made up my mind love or no love this is not the kind of love I am looking for even though we have made promises to each other, but not promises to treat each other with so much disrespect. We are all imperfect human beings and God forgives us all no matter what man put us through for that matter anyone. So I say good life to my love not goodbye…

  5. I was once in a relationship with a girl who was also having an affair with a married guy. Obviously, I was unaware of this other relationship which had been going on for 3+ yrs. Several months into this relationship she blurted his name out and told me she had said some other name, a girl that she worked with. The names sounded similar and I accepted her cover up with some skepticism.
    The astonishing thing is that she decided to arrange for me to meet this a-hole a couple of months later. We had dinner together, just the three of us. I was suspiscous of their relationship but this guy was nearly 25 yrs. older than her and I never imagined that this girl could possibly be such a bitch that she would do something like this.
    We are now divorced. This db actually attended our wedding and brought his wife. The same woman he was cheating on with my ex.

  6. This happened to me also, I used anothers name, quickly she shoved me away. Realizing what had just happenned I start rattling off other girls names with everyone getting a punch in the shoulder ,then she grabbed a pillow and started in by name 30 or she giggled and started laughing. I survived and was in better standings then ever before.

  7. I had a boyfriend use his ex’s name in an argument with me. What hurt me most was not that it happened, but how he responded. Instead of apologizing, he just shut down and didn’t speak to me. Like it was my fault!

    This is a situation where the truth will set you free! Just say, honestly, when you’re having sex with him, you are so totally in the moment, that your brain sort of shuts down. You had sex with your ex-husband probably for many years, so it’s just an impulse reaction to use that name. Nothing more to it than that, just a habit like any other. Your next task, (but don’t do it immediately, since he will suspect something), is to make sure to convince him that he’s the best you’ve ever had, better than your ex, and all that sort of stuff. That’s probably what is most threatening to him about the ex, that maybe he is more important to you or the sex was better or something.

  8. Relax. You did nothing wrong – wires get crossed in our heads, and things come out that mean nothing… it sounds like that’s what happened.

    If you’re totally present in your current relationship that’s all that really matters – so tell your boyfriend that, acknowledge your error, apologize, but don’t act like you committed some grave unforgivable mistake, because you didn’t. Hopefully he can see that, and with a little joking and ego stroking he’ll be fine.

    On the off chance that he can’t forgive this minor and understandable slip-up, know that it says more about him than it does about you. I don’t know how old you are, but if you’ve been married and divorced you’re going to have some baggage, and any partner worth having will understand and embrace that as part of your past and part of what brought you to him.

  9. Talk to him. If you are honest and gentle about it, and ask him how he feels then that’s you doing the right thing. It’s then kinda up to him to make up his mind about how he feels. It’s happened now, let go of the guilt. It doesn’t help things, especially as it was an accident. Try and imagine how you’d feel if that happened the other way round, and come at it from that angle.

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