This blog is written in response to a readers question. Thank you for asking questions and please keep them coming. They are anonymous!
Everyone says it’s important to know what you want sexually, but for someone with less experience, how do I know?
Discovering your sexual desires and preferences is a personal and often evolving journey and can be tied to exposure and how much you can accept yourself in other areas. It's essential to throw away the script you have been given by society on how sex should go or what you “should” enjoy sexually. Everyone's body is different and everyone is aroused by different things.
Self Reflection: You could start by reflecting on your feelings and experiences related to sexuality with curiosity. What aspects of sexuality or intimacy excite you? What are your concerns or questions? Exposing yourself to different things is important, explore various mediums such as pornogphphy, books, websites, erotica while paying attention to how these feel in your body without judgment. Challenge your own assumptions about what is “sexy” or not. Masturbation is a natural way to explore your own body and learn about what feels pleasurable to you. It can help you discover your own sexual responses and preferences. Another important element is embracing your body… Positive body image can contribute to a more satisfying and confident sexual experience.
Fantasies and Fantasizing: Reflect on your fantasies and what they entailed, remembering that fantasies are not always a reflection of real-life desires or actions.
Learn from Experience: Your sexual preferences may evolve over time as you gain more experience with new and different things and insight on how they feel for you. Be open to learning from your experiences and adjusting your desires accordingly, with honesty and acceptance. You might try something by yourself or partnered and it does not go the way you imagined and that's ok, that's expected actually.
Remember that there is no rush or pressure to know everything about your sexual desires immediately. It's a journey of self-discovery that will take time and trial and error.
~ Laura, Clinical Sex Therapist
Got a sex question to ask me? You can ask anonymously right here. I’ll answer as many as I can in my upcoming emails.