Everyone does it-even Prince William and Kate are reportedly Big Willie and Babycakes behind closed doors. But it turns out using cutesy nicknames can kill chemistry for the hottest of couples.

You would never call your guy Love Muffin or Honey Buns in public. But dropping those sosweet-they're-diabetic nicknames into even private conversations can take a serious toll on your relationship. Why? "If you're not careful, adorable nicknames can kill chemistry," explains Maggie Arana, co-author of Stop Calling Him Honey and Start Having Sex.

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While the occasional 'babe' or 'hot stuff' or calling him M when his name is Manav is normal and healthy, referring to him as an object that you'd sooner eat or cuddle with than pounce on has a negative impact, says Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., author of Getting The Sex You Want. Read on to find out why and learn how to pick a nickname that will drive up your lust for each other instead of draining it.

Saying Is Believing

Sweetie, Honey, Darling, and any other name that could be used by his mom has no place in your relationship, explains Arana. "One of the reasons we like nicknames is because they remind us of our childhoods," Nelson says. "But to interact successfully in our relationships as adults, we need to identify ourselves and our partners consistently as grown-ups." Over time, cute nicknames can screw up the dynamics that made your early days of dating so effing hot.

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Also on the no-name-calling list? Vaguely insulting nicknames you'd bestow on an annoying little brother, like Fartman or Tubs. "When you're calling each other these things, you begin to see each other more like siblings or roommates than lovers," explains Nelson. And while a teasing nickname may seem like a harmless way to add fun to your bond, over time, it could be dangerous. "Even subconsciously, words have power," reminds Arana.

Repeatedly calling him something derogatory will chip away the respect and admiration for him, which will ultimately cause you to want him less.

What's in a (Real) Name?

"By refusing to call each other names that are teasing or emasculating, you're keeping your relationship sexual, respectful, and adult," explains Nelson. And it turns out your real names can be pretty potent. "When you say each other's proper first names, you're reminding yourself of the rush of emotions you had when you first met him and underscoring the fact that he's not just part of a duo; he's his own person as well," explains Arana.

Variations on his real name, a studly movie-character reference, or a nod to something he is good at and loves to do are all great. It's fine if it's a little cheesy-like Stud or Loverboy. "By giving each other sex-related monikers, you're reminding yourself of the steamy bond you share, even when you're out in public," says Nelson. And that kind of name-calling is totally smouldering hot.

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