It’s important we get to use te reo in all the ways it can be, including the sexy ways!

Some of our tīpuna were the most cheeky, and while colonisation has sanitised a lot of our kōrero, there are still waiata, whakataukī, kiwaha and kupu that have survived and speak to some of the cheeky ways sex is talked about in te ao Māori. 

Here's an example of a waiata that’s often sung at tangihanga and other very public events. 

E! Ko te heihei!

Hei aha te heihei?

Ko te heihei!

Hei aha te heihei?

Te kaiwhakaohorere i te atapō,

Tē ngata te puku ki te awhiawhi!

A, te hiahia!

Nekenekehia! Hei!

Nekenekehia! Hei!

Tēnā, tukua ia!



Eee! It's the rooster!

What's the rooster for?

Its the cock!

What's the cock for?

He wakes us just before dawn.

How the belly is satisfied when we embrace him!

Ah, we want him!

Bring him on! Hei!

Bring him on! Hei!

Now put him down!


It’s very hetero, and maybe thats not your vibe. But, the beauty of language is there’s so many ways to say the same thing and craft our words.

Maybe the challenge falls to some of us today to use te reo Māori to write the songs that reflect our worldviews and deep horny desires.

Che Wilson gives some great kōrero on this waiata in this live video. You can read about Ko te Heihei, and other very entertaining compositions like Ka Panapana (from Te Tai Rāwhiti) here.

Maybe you want to compose your own waiata, or maybe you just want to trial a few new reo words on your sexual partners. Here’s some kupu to get you feeling a little bit horny.

Just a note: Translating is a whole creative art of its own. When translating some of these examples, I’ve gone for an ā-wairua approach and attempted to give you an English sentence with an approximately similar meaning, rather than a precise word for word translation. Definitely don’t quote these in your reo assignments.

Ai, Mahimahi, Moe, Ekeeke, Oni/Onioni - Sex

        E hiahia ana koe ki te ai? - Do you feel like having sex?

        I moe au i a ______ - I had sex with ______  

        (Depending on context, moe can also be sleep or marry so watch out. Whoop!)

Ipo - lover, sweetheart, darling, beloved one.

        E ipo, haramai! - Lover, come hither!

Whāwhā - to take in the hand, feel (with the hand), lay hold of, handle, grope for.

        E ipo, whāwhā mai ki au! - Lover, put your hands all over me!

Tītoi - to masturbate/masturbation

        I tītoi koe i te rā nei? - Did you masturbate today?

Hemahema: to accept amorous advances, make amorous advances.

        (From Māori Dictionary) Hemahema atu, hemahema mai - kīhai i taro, kua mahimahi - They made amorous advances to each other - it was not    long before they had sexual relations.

Rekareka - Orgasm

        Nau mai te rekareka! - My orgasm is coming / a horny and witchy way to announce to your partner/s that you are orgasming.

Body parts in te reo: 

Arero - Tongue

Hōkakatanga - Sexuality

Kakī - Neck

Kūhā - Thigh

Manawa - Heart

Ngutu - Lips

Poho/Uma - Chest

Raho - Testicles

Taera - Sexual desire / Sexual attraction

Temotemo - Clitoris

Tenetene/Tara - Vulva

Ū - Breast

Ure - Penis

Sex and sexuality in te reo: 

Takatāpui - Umbrella term for Māori who identify along a broad sexuality and gender spectrum

Wahine moe wahine - Lesbian

Tāne moe tāne - Gay man

Taharua - Bisexual

Wahine moe tāne - Heterosexual woman

Tāne moe wahine - Heterosexual man

Kei raro te kai - Down there is your food!

Kuhu mai - Enter me

Homai he kihi - Give me a kiss

He ataahua tō hanga - You have a beautiful shape

I know it might feel a little clunky to try out some of these words, but you never know when something might stick!

Remember, if you’re tangata whenua this language is yours. While grammar is important at times, letting words fly forward with fun and joy are important too if we are to have a language that is truly alive and breathing. 

Language is a hot sticky mess, so go forth and have fun with your horny reo Māori!


Māori Dictionary; Te Kōkōmua: Sexuality and gender expressions in te ao Māori; Waiata Onioni

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