10 Easy Ways to Re-Explore Sex (That Won’t Get You Arrested or Fired)
Did you ever stop questioning your sexual practices…and forget to start again?
I sure did.
For years, the mantra I had around sexuality (and lots of other things, for that matter) was I don’t do that. I never thought to ask myself why. I just knew I wanted to be A Good Person™, and that’s what Good People™ do. Even long after converting to paganism, I still unknowingly harbored remnants of the repressive and destructive beliefs that are the monotheistic patriarchy’s calling card.
Fast forward to my mid-30s, when I was having an identity crisis and moment of reckoning with my very vanilla, very strait-laced, very boring life. In a moment of clarity, I remembered that I used to love sex. I used to enjoy it, to crave it, to rule with it. Somewhere along the way, sex had lost that energetic charge for me.
I realized sex had become…perfunctory.
Once I could see what was missing, I began poking and prodding at my sex life. I got curious about my attitude toward it, and I decided to revisit everything I thought I knew about myself and sex.
And do you know what I found? Lots of stuff I knew virtually nothing about, but had decided ‘wasn’t for me’ a long time ago. Now I could find no reason to rule these whole categories of intimacy out of my life. In checking these out for myself, I discovered some old boundaries held up; others didn’t. Some things I tried still weren’t for me, but others…were freaking fantastic, and brought great growth in my confidence, happiness, and satisfaction with my life and my marriage.
If you’re reading this and thinking, I could never do that, I invite you to go on a sexual expedition like I did. Now, don’t go immediately stampeding toward your hardest “no” activities! Start off with the mild stuff. Open a private or incognito window in your browser and let your curiosity lead the way in a Googling session. If even this idea is intimidating, remember that human sexuality is a broad spectrum, with lots of room for “normal.” We should feel free to indulge in what turns us on, and leave the rest, with no shame or guilt—sex should be fun, not scary or shameful.
I’ve also heard anecdotes of people thinking that they can get fired from their jobs for having a sex life, or even worse, thinking that something on the kinkier side of the spectrum is all-out illegal! Let me reassure you: as long as you’re not involving children or animals, hurting an adult without their consent, or watching an adult be hurt without their consent, you’re ok. Keep your private life separate from your public life, and you’re free to enjoy your sexy self to the fullest! So now, without further ado, I give you…
10 Easy Ways to Re-Explore Sex (That Won’t Get You Arrested or Fired)
- Follow sex worker activists, pleasure advocates, and ethical non-monogamists on social media. There are tons of people on Twitter and Instagram especially, as well as podcasts. These activists, advocates, and educators are great thought leaders on equity, rights, privacy, risk awareness and safer sex practices, sexual ethics, and sexual creativity and enjoyment. More than once, I have discovered unhealthy and unhelpful beliefs I was unknowingly harboring by listening to and reading perspectives that are different from my own. Their perspectives have broadened mine, and released me from guilt and shame that kept me from exploring all the other things on this list, which is why I’m putting this one first. Some of my favorites are Whores of Yore on Twitter, Erika Lust on Instagram, and the Life on the Swingset podcast. And as always, once you find one you like, you’re hot on the trail of more!
- Visit a sex-positive sex shop. Ask questions. The staff in sex-positive sex shops are more than happy to answer your questions (and I promise, they’ve heard them all, so don’t be shy!), make recommendations, and show you around the shop. That they have chosen to work in a sex-positive shop means they value sex and all the wonderful things it does for our health and wellbeing. As an added bonus, they know all about the latest and greatest in sex toys, lubes, books, and all things sexy. In Nashville, I recommend Lovebound because it’s sex-positive, and women-owned and -operated.
- Buy an outfit that you feel sexy in. Wear it. This one is so simple, and yet so powerful, y’all. I think many of us get so caught up in building a professional or “respectable” wardrobe, that we mentally eliminate a large swath of self-expression that is possible via clothing. Let me be the first to say, you deserve to look good and feel good about the way you look. Every body is hot and beautiful. Every. Body. Dress yours up to your sexy satisfaction, even if it’s just at home for yourself. Take some pictures of that fine ass, that gorgeous cleavage, those bedroom eyes! Sexy selfies can be put in a hidden folder on your phone, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally revealing all the goods while you’re trying to show someone pics from the family vacay.
- Explore makeup, jewelry, and accessories that you could never wear because you find them slutty or shameful. Think red lipstick, lingerie, stiletto heels, tight or short clothing. Ask yourself why can’t you wear that? Is being slutty or whorish the worst possible thing you could be? Are you afraid of looking easy or attracting attention from the wrong people? You may discover the root of your fears about sex, so that you can eradicate them. Or you may find that when you put aside the judgements you were taught to have, you discover that you love the look of a red pout, you feel adventurous when you wear lingerie under your work clothes, or you love the look of your legs in stilettos. And there are infinite options and combinations to try, if for no other reason than to indulge your creativity and celebrate how stunningly beautiful YOU ARE.
- Look into boudoir photography. Now that you have a hot outfit or two, and possibly some fun accessories, wouldn’t it be cool to have another reason to wear them? There’s something about channeling your inner sex kitten and having it memorialized in photos that really revs up your libido and confidence. Most boudoir photographers provide makeup and hair styling, and are happy to walk you through picking outfits, posing, and mastering your facial expressions. These talented professionals know how to put you at ease and photograph you in the best possible light. No matter your age, weight, height, hang-ups, or insecurities, they can show you the sexiness others see, but you can’t. I’ll be honest, having a boudoir photo session is, to this day, some of the best money I’ve ever spent—those images reminded me of the immense power I wield as a woman, and of the part of me that thoroughly enjoys being sexual. In the Nashville area, I highly recommend Kristen Fonville Boudoir Photography—I’ve had both a boudoir and a headshot session with her, and am super-pleased with the images from both!
- Watch Sex with Sunny Megatron on Showtime. This eight-episode series is fun, funny, open, informative, and hot! The host, Sunny Megatron, is a pleasure advocate, and it’s readily apparent that she loves her work. Each show covers a variety of interesting topics—some you’ve probably never heard of, some sure to pique your interest, and some guaranteed to make you go hmmm… Give yourself permission to watch with fun curiosity and no judgement, and to feel whatever you feel—good, bad, or indifferent—with no shame attached. You just might surprise yourself!
- Check out erotica. Erotica, which is decidedly racier than romance, is essentially porn in written form. It also happens to be one of the most comfortable formats for women to explore their tastes in porn. There are so many places to find good erotica–printed short story collections, novels, fan fic(tion), and online forums, just to start. Open up a private browser window, and google away! Sites like Holistic Wisdom offer amateur stories and a chance to submit your own, if you’re feeling adventurous. You can check out the erotica section in your used book store, or this great list of websites from Bustle. There are plenty of options, and if one short story falls flat, you can always move onto the next one without feeling like you’ve invested too much time. Quick and easy!
- Try watching or looking at some porn. If you are a newbie to porn, prepare to be overwhelmed by the sheer diversity of offerings out there. If you can think of it, there’s porn for it! Try to approach it all with an open mind, and dabble. Regardless of whether something turns you on or not, let there be NO SHAME about it. Try to look at the material with NEW eyes, not the attitude you’ve always had. There is much that can be said about pornography—enough for a whole article by itself—and I know for many of us who’ve been raised as feminists, porn is often regarded as degrading and destructive. However, there are folks out there who are producing sex-positive pornography that centers healthy pleasure for all parties, and the more we support them, the more likely the industry will evolve to meet our needs more often. Also, if you grew up during the age of porn based on ridiculous and hokey stories that turn you off (hello, pool man/pizza delivery guy/plumber!), you may be pleasantly surprised to find there is a plethora of amateur couple videos, photos, and even sexy gifs out there. The overall effect is to skip the silly back stories and get straight to the goods—gotta love efficiency!
- Keep a sexy dream journal. Keeping a dream journal is a great practice in general, because dreams are the window into our subconscious selves. It’s easy to do—just keep a small journal and a pen at your bedside and record notes on what you dreamed as soon as you wake up. Make sure you include how you felt about what was happening and who else was there. The same applies when you have a sexy dream—what happened, with whom, and how did you feel about it? Your feelings are the most important part, because they reveal where you stand with regard to fears and desires. Dreams can lead the way on what to explore next and what needs adjustment. And sex dreams are a great way to meet your animus/anima, or your Holy Guardian Angel, who often appears as a talented lover who knows you better than anyone has ever known you.
- Make a list of sex no-no’s and systematically revisit them. This is the list I referred to earlier. Brainstorm all the sexual practices you can think of, have heard of, or learned about. Then read up on them, watch some porn on them, read a novel that involves them…assess for yourself with no outside influence, and decide if in fact they are or are not something you want to try out in real life. Then, armed with a list of titillating fantasies, you can set off on an adventure of trying those new things.
- BONUS! Challenge yourself to do something you feel is “naughty,” perhaps one per month. Does the activity turn you on or off? Why? Putting these things into words, to your partner or even only to yourself, will help you identify your real likes and dislikes. The more we understand ourselves, the more fun and fulfilling sex can be, and isn’t that the real goal?
Above all, no shame. Shame is the magick killer. Your sexuality is yours and yours alone. Explore it, enjoy it, own it. It’s one of the easiest and most pleasurable ways to access your unique magick, and next time, we’ll talk about some ways to begin using all that sexual energy. Until then, happy humping! 😉