Think of exploring sexuality like a candy shop – the biggest you’ve ever seen. It’s tantalising, tempting and maybe a tad too much to take in if this is your first time.
Just like a candy shop, there are so many different types of toys, sexualities, fetishes, kinks, experiences, and even sexual positions you can come across that sometimes exploring sexuality can feel like a lot. Sometimes, there’s almost too much choice.
When you’re learning about new things, especially new things that might rock your worldview or past perceptions. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed – I know I did! After all, there’s so much out there, how can you not? Well, here’s a little guide.
Pick a Category and Stick to It
When first starting out it’s a good idea to keep track of everything you’re interested in.
What makes your heart beat faster and your genitals perk up at the mere thought? Write it down. Peruse an online glossary of fetishes. Explore adult clip sites and tube sites (pay for your porn), see what takes your fancy. Take online quizzes. It might seem silly to take a quiz, but it can be a good guide for where to aim your research.
If you can’t wait and want to go all-in on the research, pick the categories you’re most interested in, for example, different fetishes, sex positions, sex toys, or BDSM terms. Once you’ve picked a category, work through elements within the category that catch your eye – certain types of sex toys (tentacles, sex machines, vibrators), bondage, domination, sadomasochism, and such, making a list as you go of anything that you’re interested in.
Basically, break it all down into bite-size chunks that are easy to manage and go from there!
Start Slow and Build Up
It seems obvious, I know, but bear with me on this one.
There can be a temptation to dive straight in and try everything, especially if you now know all the new things you want to try. However, rushing off and attempting too many new things at once could mean you come to harm.
Rope play is a kink that could leave you with serious nerve damage if you’re not careful, take time to learn the knots, and safety equipment and are aware of all the major nerves and arteries in the body. Done incorrectly, impact play can seriously injure a person. Even certain sex positions – the wheelbarrow comes to mind, could be a real logistical challenge.
My advice is once you’ve made your lists of interests, order them in terms of the amount of interest. It might be that when you experiment, you’ll find things you thought were really interesting you only like in porn. You could also find that things you thought only slightly appealed are your new favourite fetish. Either way, there’s no pressure to try everything.
When trying things out, it’s best to layer your new discoveries. If you find a new sex position and sex toy your want to try, try them each individually first and then combine them. There’s no rush to do everything at once. Taking it slow will allow you to figure out if you truly like the new sensations, how much you like them and if you don’t like them, you’ll know to avoid similar things. Discovering how you react without other stimuli clouding your thoughts will enable you to know how to combine things. For example, if you discover that you do not like wax play by itself as it’s too much pain and you know you like predicament bondage with vibrators, but it’s too much pleasure, combining the two might be just what you need.
Take time to enjoy the act of experimentation and trying out new things, just always ensure you know enough to get you out of any tricky scenarios – know the best way to remove wax in a pinch (baby oil), so if the sensation of hard wax makes you uncomfortable, you know how to get rid of it.
By going slow, you’ll learn all of your reactions, likes and dislikes to a particular interest and remove the possibility of overwhelming yourself. Also, the slower you take this, the more time you’ll have to digest if anything throws you – like a trigger or new limit.
It’s really easy to take on the prejudices and judgement of others, especially within the realm of sexuality. Even sex toys have their own particular brand of judgement – whether that’s external pressure not to use and own them or judgement from others for not being comfortable using them. A person’s sexuality is individual, and so is their experience exploring sexuality.
You have to go into exploring sexuality with an open mind, or else you might deprive yourself of something you’ll come to love. There are many fetishes that seem controversial, especially when they are publicised or in the news – for example, watersports, but those same people that talk shit about something will be the same ones who do it behind closed doors.
I’ll let you in on a little secret, I see a lot of people in my line of work deny their sexuality, their fetishes and even core aspects of themselves. Normally, this is all down to perception – societies reinforcement of ‘acceptable fetishes’ and vehement hatred of anything they don’t understand and things they’ve internalised. Once they unlearn those thoughts, a lot of people are happier in their sex life.
It can take time and effort, but becoming ‘free’ with yourself and acknowledging you like what you like is its own reward.
Go into exploring sexuality with an open mind.
Give it a Go
Whilst the approach above can sound academic, do what suits you best when exploring. You know you – just remember to schedule breaks when taking in all the new information and go at your own pace. It’s not a competition of who has more fetishes, sex toys or who’s tried the most sex positions.
Basically, start slow, start small, and don’t let your fear of trying something stop you from doing it just because you’ve heard people bash it before.
At the end of the day, sexuality, fetishes and everything else under this umbrella is a way to have fun, relax, and even connect with your partner.