And that’s precisely what I need on days where my mind is racing and I’ve spent one or two or eight too many hours in front of the computer screen, the only sensations being my ass going numb, my eyes getting tired and sticky with lack of lubricant, and my fingertips tip-tapping away at these little lettered keys. I live in my mind. Don't most of us, these days? Most of us, anyway, who would be readers of a sexy intelligent site like this one.
Sex has saved me from that inward spinning. Palming the responsibility of someone else's bruises jolts me up and out of my brain and reminds me that I am connecting; I am pounding out ripples with everything that I touch.
But it hasn’t always been this way. I struggled for too long to figure out what I wanted. I knew the sex I was having wasn’t enough, but what would be enough? How to paint myself a cobblestone path from here to there?
Here we are at the beginning of a new year, a natural place to take stock in what we have and what we lack. So that’s my question to you: Do you want to improve your sex life, your connection to yourself, your connections to others? What kind of sex are you having? What kind do you wish you were having? Perhaps you can’t even quite articulate an answer, just feel a bubbling up profound thick YES coming through it all.
Think about this:
1. Figure out what you want.
You can’t do much about getting what you want if you don’t know what it is, so allow yourself some quality time exploring some of the darker, (possibly) scarier parts of your own sexuality. There are plenty of ways to do this, but I would suggest both a) masturbating, and b) consuming sexy media of various kinds.
Many of us are familiar enough with the workings of our own bodies that our masturbation sessions are pretty predictable. And while it’s great having a vibrator that will get you there every time, that can limit your erotic horizons.
If you usually get off with a particular story in mind, or a scene from a book or a particular porno, leave that be and let your mind wander. What will your brain come up with when it has permission to explore? Consider it a masturbation meditation, and commit to going exploring in your own sexual self.
If your brain just doesn’t seem to be producing any particular scenarios that get you hot and bothered, then it’s time to make friends with some sex blogs. If you don't already know your favorites, start with the Top Sex Bloggers of 2009 list. Surf around. Explore. When you find yourself thinking, Nah, not for me, suspend judgment. Read things you don’t expect to like, just to try them out.
And don't forget online porn. Try out some Video On Demand sites, look up the Crash Pad Series if you’re into hot kinky queer sex, or create your own Tumblr dashboard if you’re into pretty photography. The trick is to look things up as research, not just wank material, but to expand your mind with the options and sexy things that are available.
2. Explore genders. All of ’em!
I cannot escape gender in my sex play. I know not everyone has a gender fetish like I do, but regardless, gender is a physical language through which we communicate desire. Gender is also a place that, for most of us, holds intense shame, guilt, expectation, role, and rules. But what if it didn’t have to? What if you could explore it, celebrate it, without all the bullshit attached? What if, by exploring it, you could also heal some of the damage that is often done through our restrictive gendered systems?
Gender and sexuality are so linked that we constantly equate them in this culture. Though they aren’t the same thing, they are tied together deeply. If you’ve never explored gender—in yourself and in the varied gender expressions of your lovers—see if you can give yourself that permission now, this year.
A lot of things can change when a new gender starts to work its way up to the surface of your skin. One of my mentors, Tara Hardy, writes: “When I took my real gender out of the closet, it was like the second coming of Christmas.” Everything became a gift, a present, a sparkling colored lights and fresh snowfall way of playing, expressing, and celebrating. What could happen for you?
3. Ask for what you want.
Nearly everyone is afraid to express what it is that we want, especially when that thing may be naughty, occasionally misunderstood sex play, but this crazy thing happened when I started asking for what I wanted: I started getting what I wanted. I know, shocking! If you really want to get what you want, you’re going to have to be bold. Take the risk. Don’t let the fear of possibly losing or of someone else’s judgment stop you from trying to go after it in the first place.
Your desires are legitimate. Your request to have your desires fulfilled is legitimate. If the person you’re with is not the one to fulfill them, that’s okay. Accept it, and ask yourself whether it may be time to disengage and move on. Still, you have got to learn how to ask.
4. Don’t be afraid to be discerning.
In other words, say no, whenever you want to. Ask yourself what your deal-breakers are, what you’re looking for—and go after that particularly, not some cheap knock-off copy. Consider it practice for saying yes, because without no there is no yes. Just because someone is available and interested doesn’t mean you are, or have to be.
Desperation is an anaphrodisiac, an immediate turn off. You don’t have to be desperate. There are always options; there are always more things to try; there are always more ways to try them. This is a tough one to really internalize, to really know, down to your bones, that it’s true. Can you trust that the world will provide?
Tell yourself this:
You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.—Franz Kafka
Make it your mantra. You will get what you want, but you have to be able to say no to what you don’t want.
5. Commit publicly.
So, now you know what you want, you are not afraid to ask for it, and you have some thoughts about how to say no to things that aren’t it. Make this declaration public. Not because I’m a pervert and like to know about people’s inner erotic lives (though that’s true), but because when you set your goal and give it up to the universe to deliver, it draws a different kind of result.
Commit to making 2010 a sexier year in the particular ways that you want. Make a list. Start a blog, free-write, comment on another blog’s post about your goals for the year anonymously. Tell your best friend or your Livejournal or Twitter or a stranger at the bus stop. Come over to Sugarbutch Chronicles, and leave a note about what you’re going to do. You can have better sex this year. You can get what you want. You can get your needs fulfilled. Just put it out into the world, and it will come back to you.
In the meantime, take care of yourself.