You’re a hardworking, intelligent, and kind woman. You deserve a satisfying sex life with great sex. But, it can be hard to learn what you like in bed.
Some people seem born as zen sex-masters who are in touch with their bodies and the universe. But some of us are confused stress-masters who are only in touch with our Doordash drivers. Oh, hey Bob!
Getting in tune with your body and desires can be intimidating and overwhelming. But there are some easy steps you can take to learn what you like in bed… right after you finish your Doordash sushi.
5 Tips to Figure Out What You Like in the Bedroom
1. Forget the “Shoulds”
There’s a lot that society says women “should” like or do. Women should orgasm from PIV sex. Women should make sexy sounds in bed. Women should shower instead of using dry shampoo and wet wipes every day.
Getting locked into societal expectations of what you should like can keep you from discovering what you actually like. “Your definition of sex is whatever you want it to be,” says Ashley Mariani M.S.W, R.S.W, Mind Online Founder and registered clinical social worker.
She recommends moving beyond penetration to explore your whole body and stay open to what feels good. “Outercourse, or heavy petting, opens up a plethora of exciting opportunities, including exploring your erogenous zones,” she says.
So if for you, sex starts not with genital stimulation, but with your partner gently brushing the dry shampoo build up out of your hair, that’s OK.
2. Explore on Your Own
To have great sex, you need to have a healthy sexual relationship with yourself.
“Masturbation is the safest, most uncomplicated, and easily satisfying form of sex,” says Dr. Diana Wiley, sex therapist. “The more you practice on your own, the easier it is to reach climax.” Practice makes perfect — or it makes you want to keep practicing, even when you’re running late and you already practiced twice this morning.
You can’t expect your partners to know how to get the job done if you don’t know how to do it yourself. “It’s unrealistic to expect lovers to know what you like without exploring your body yourself and having an understanding of what brings you erotic pleasure,” says Mariani. When you’ve practiced enough on your own, you’ll have the starter kit ready for future partners: the instruction manual, the toolkit, and the IKEA assembly helpline number.
3. Be Ready to Communicate
Online training portals may work for corporate synergy impact compliance training, but on-the-job feedback is important for sex. Communication is key, so tell your partner what feels good and what doesn’t. By letting them know when they’re getting warmer or colder, you’ll find the hot spots faster.
“I’m big on safe words, even for vanilla activities,” says Dr. Timaree Schmit, sexuality educator and host of the podcast Sex with Timaree. “It’s helpful to have gradations of safe words: one word is a hard stop, another is to not escalate, and one is a green light.”
Safe words can be non-verbal, too. You can create a hand signal for when you need to slow down. Or you can learn how to tap “harder and faster” in Morse code.
4. Watch Sexy Movies
Do try this at home: check out the professionals to see what you find hot or not. Watching porn is an easy way to check out a new fantasy without having to invest in the accessories, the staging, and the costumes.
“We can find inspiration in porn for things that we might want to try and discuss: what parts seem appealing and what doesn’t, or what sensations and experiences we’re interested in,” says Dr. Schmit.
If binge-watching porn is too much, start with other movies that you find sexy. Do you lust after femme fatale in thigh high boots? Do you swoon over a classic fairytale story? Do you thirst for a sparkly, powerful vampire that saves you from a car crash?
Pay attention to the power dynamics, the scenery, the characters and pin down what turns you on. Maybe there’s some glitter paint in your partner’s future.
5. Try New Things…then Ditch Them
Be open to suggestions from your partner, but don’t feel like you should — there’s that bad word again — always be doing things to please them. You need to be ready to try new things and stop if they aren’t working.
“There’s sometimes anxiety that agreeing to something a partner requests once will mean having to do it all the time, even if it turns out it’s not fun,” says Dr. Schmit. Trying something new isn’t a gym contract; feel free to bail without guilt or having to cancel your credit card and flee the state.
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