We’re given a script for what sex “should” look like. Sex, we’re told, starts with kissing, then touching, then hand sex. After that it’s reciprocal oral, followed by penis in vagina (PIV) penetration that ends when the person with the penis comes. But in reality, there are hundreds of different ways we can have sex, and it’s totally normal if the limited sexual script we’re given doesn’t work for you. After all, everyone’s bodies are different, so it makes sense that the ways we have sex will be different too!
However, when it comes to working out what we are into in bed, things can get a little bit overwhelming. With so many options for what sex could look like when you step outside the cisheteronormative sexual script, what do you want the sex you have to look like? If you’re struggling to work out what you’re into in bed, here are some things to try:
1. Watch/read/listen to porn
A great way to start working out what you’re into is consuming erotic content and seeing what turns you on. Read erotica, listen to explicit audio, or watch porn, and take note of what makes you hot. What sex acts are you drawn towards? What fantasies excite you? Tune into what your body responds to. Your aim isn’t to replicate the sex you see in the erotic content you’re consuming - instead, what you’re trying to do is gather data about what kinds of things you might be into.
Remember that not everything that turns you on is something you necessarily want to experience: rape fantasies or scenes with consensual non-consent are totally normal, and don’t mean you want to be sexually assaulted. It’s also ok to find something hot as a fantasy but not want to explore it further.
2. Get to know your body
Another step is working out what feels good to you physically. And you know what the best way to do this is? Masturbation. Take your time, touching yourself in different ways and in different places. Grab some lube - Momentum Water Based Lubricant has a silky-smooth feel to keep everything frictionless - and your favourite sex toys, and settle in for some solo sex. Pay attention to what you fantasize about when you touch yourself, but also focus on sensations. Listen to your body: what feels pleasurable?
You don’t have to try to make yourself come as quickly as possible - though masturbation will increase your chances of coming during partnered sex! Instead, get creative and spend time working out how to pleasure yourself.
3. Do a Yes/No/Maybe list
A Yes/No/Maybe list is a common tool in kink circles for negotiating. You and your partner take a list of sex and kink acts and fantasies, everything you might be interested in doing in bed. Individually, sort the activities into three columns - Yes, No, and Maybe. Things you want to do, things you don’t want to do, and things that you might be into under certain circumstances or want to experiment with. Then you and your partner go through your lists together and find where your ‘yes’s overlap - the goal is to focus on what you want to do together, rather than focus on the ‘no’s. It’s an excellent tool for communicating with your partner and planning out what your sex together can look like, as well as thinking about activities you haven’t considered before.
You can make your own Yes/No/Maybe list with your partner, or find one online to give you even more ideas for things to include. And you don’t have to just include sex acts - you also can add in words and language you want to use, or the emotions you want to feel (i.e. submissive, worshipped, powerful, etc.).
4. Try new things
Once you have some strong ideas about what you might like, it’s time to put all that theory into practice. Sometimes you can’t know whether you like something until you give it a go: the fantasy of spanking might be really hot, but when you try it you might find that you’re not into the stingy pain. It’s a good idea to go slowly: if you’re interested in exploring anal play together, for example, start with a couple of fingers or a butt plug, and lots and lots of lube. Check in with yourself and your body throughout, and remember that you’re always allowed to stop or try something different if you’re feeling uncomfortable.
Of course, your desires might not overlap perfectly with your partner’s! Stepping out of society’s standard sexual scripts of what sex “should” look like means that you get to build a sex life that works for both of you. Make sure everyone’s needs are getting met, in a way that works for you.