Your Guide to Discovering Your Sexual Self

In order to discover your sexual self, sexual liberation is a must-have. But what is sexual liberation? Like many topics associated with freedom, it has multiple meanings. It can often be understood as exploring sexual desires without restraint; going after what you want without judgment.

With that in mind, you probably thought of exploring with a partner, right?

The truth is, you don’t need anyone else to allow you or help you to ‘achieve’ sexual liberation.

The women’s liberation movement is all about women getting what they have always deserved, like equal pay and control over their own bodies. In terms of sex, the orgasm gap is the first thing that comes to mind. Though, as we know, orgasms are not the end-all-be-all of sexual interaction. Pleasure is one of the most important things we can give ourselves, both mentally and physically. Asking yourself, ‘does this feel good?’ is crucial to getting to know yourself, whether or not you’re planning to try something with a partner.

sexual self - psychnsex

We Suggest You Discover What You Might be Into… Alone

Reading for Pleasure

If you read or revisit something over and over again, you’re likely into it or intrigued by it. Luckily, there are plenty of erotica websites to scroll around and find just about any situation you could conjure up in your head.

Check these out:

When you stumble upon something you like, you can also find plenty of similar genres. Whether you’ve been an erotica fan for years, or you’ve never given it a chance because you swore off 50 Shades long ago, literature is an easy way to test your limits without the vulnerability of a new situation. Even song lyrics or movie scenes can clue you in on your preferences!

sexual self - psychnsex

Smut, Dirt, Filth, Adult Material (Porn)

It’s been ten years since Pornhub hit the internet, which has me thinking about the good ol’ porn debate- is it ruining our sex lives? Is it corrupting people too young and setting their expectations impossibly high? Technology is a catalyst for exploration. What a privilege that we have the freedom to explore our fantasies on a tiny screen!

New York Magazine reports that “lesbian” is the most popular category for American women. Though a good number of them are not interested in going down on another woman anytime soon. Like fantasies, it’s okay to never act on your preferences. After all, terms like “step-sister” and “step-mom” have been long-time chart toppers on Pornhub, but you won’t see incest laws changing anytime soon. The sheer range of online material provides the assurance that whatever you’re fantasizing about is not ‘weird,’ and there’s probably even an entire category devoted to it.  Online exploration is eye-opening and helps you find out what gets you excited, but it shouldn’t be taken so seriously that it’s used as a baseline of desires or expectations of others in real life.

Think Outside the Box

Fantasies and desires are two different things, though both in your imagination. One of the best things about fantasies (other than being able to fantasize anywhere, anytime) is that they are 100% safe, without consequences. These can manifest into desires, or they can forever remain in your imagination. Maybe you love fantasizing about hot doctors, but even just going in for a routine check-up gives you the hee-bee-gee-bees (not sure how to spell that). Or you fantasize about group sex, but you know you would never be comfortable with more than one person at once.

Why the disconnect? Since our fantasies aren’t always a direct product of what we want, take a minute and ask yourself why you’re daydreaming about doctors, for example. It’s not their profession you’re into, but the power hierarchy that comes with a patient-doctor relationship. Or the fact that you trust them, and they know exactly what they’re doing and what tools to use (at least we’d hope).

Masturbation

You knew we wouldn’t get through this article without talking about masturbation. Let’s say you find something online or in real life that gives you butterflies. Try thinking about it while you masturbate. Make up your own details. If you don’t at least try to push your limits on your own, you’ll never know if you’re not into it. It’s safe to say that if you’re turned off by the thought of being held down and flogged, then you won’t want to try that with a partner!  And feel free to take it slow. See if thinking about that gets you in the mood, or just let your mind wander and see what you land on. If you find you’re having recurring thoughts or situations, roll with them and explore them to the fullest.

Start the Conversation

While the family dinner table isn’t the best time to bring up your sexual fantasies, talking out loud can help you navigate the nuances of your desires. Being able to say them to another human being will allow you to be more comfortable expressing them, and if you want to convey them to a partner you’ll already have had some practice. Talking about what you’re into within the safe space of open-minded friends is an easy way to understand and develop your thoughts and desires.

Expressing and exploring yourself does not require an audience. It’s okay to take your time to explore your ideas and curiosities before introducing them to other people. There’s no need to go out and spend money on new ropes and blindfolds if you think you want to be dominated but don’t know how. Start with a tie or a pillowcase. See if you can handle ice cubes on your sensitive skin at any time, or if you’re only okay with cold or pain, when paired with an orgasm, for example. That way, you can let a partner know not only if the pain is alright, but when you’re comfortable with it.

Your sexual self is just as much a part of your identity as your studies, your job, or your upbringing. Self-discovery is part of self-acceptance, and knowing how to connect with yourself is key to being able to express real connection with someone else. Ask yourself why you fantasize about things and why you like what you like. When you want to try something new with someone else, you can always use what you watched, researched or read as a conversation starter.

 

sexual self - psychnsex

Willow Frederick

Willow is an English teacher in NYC, with a Bachelor’s in Psychology that led her to focus on mental health & social psych.  She grew up with seven siblings in Pennsylvania and now lives in Village coffee shops. Priorities include: becoming fluent in Spanish, people-watching, and playing pick-up soccer in the city.

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