I have been having a lot of great sex lately. But why am I sharing that information with you in this format? Well, I’ll tell you. In this political and historical climate, great sex can be a quite subversive, expansive, and radical mode of dismantling socializations and creating alternatives to mainstream drone culture. More and more, the christian right’s morals and limits are seeping into the larger culture. Take a look at fashion, security precautions, what is being passed off as education, entertainment, etc. This nauseating wave of puritanism and conservative values hangs in the air, almost un-noticed like the stale salty grease cloud present when passing a McDonald’s. Subtle, toxic, bland, unhealthy, normative. So when I heard Slingshot wanted an article on how to have great sex, I thought, “Hell, let’s queer it up and discuss perverting this political culture…time to fuck shit up- literally.” I have a disclaimer, which is: These are merely my opinions and results of my experiences that are subject to change. If my experience doesn’t work for you, please feel free to ignore and move on with your life.
And another thing, for clarity’s sake, I am not discussing relationship models here: polyamory, monogamy or non, multi-fidelity, self-sexing, sleeping around, etc. Who we do it with and how we negotiate these relationships is indeed a part of having great sex, don’t get me wrong. These preferences evolve and fluctuate. The intricacies are limitless and differ based on individual experiences. Therefore, discovering which models work for us, who we are attracted to, how we show it and how often, are personal choices I’d rather keep distinct from the issues I am about to go off on.
Okay, Sex. Comfort in one’s skin and sexuality, consent and self-care are an essential backdrop to this discussion. For me there is no way to have freeing sex if I am not actively checking in with myself and whoever I am having sex with about emotional and physical comfort and openness. If folks are shutting down, going on to the ceiling, disassociating or not that into it, then how the fuck can it be any good? Knowing what one wants is not easy, as we are taught very boring and limited sexualities in this culture. Part of what can make sex so revolutionary is discovering what it is we like and pushing ourselves (consensually of course) to and beyond our limits.
Here is where I go into 5 components that enhance my sex life. Hopefully this information is useful or at least entertaining. Some elements I have recently noted as being helpful to my sex life are laughter, role-play, gender fucking, lube, and physical boundary pushing.
I laugh a lot during sex. Solo laughing is a recent addition to my sex life. It can be diverse; from a coy giggle, to a belly laugh, to laughing at myself at an awkward moment or just as a way to communicate joy. Oftentimes, new lovers are curious about why I am laughing. Am I laughing at them? What sparked that chuckle? My answers vary as what inspires a giggle really depends on what is going on. However, I always explain that I am not laughing at them and try to relieve any insecurities or anxieties my gaiety may bring up. Usually this is well received and may even inspire peals of relieved laughter. Plus laughter is contagious and can put folks more at ease. One may laugh solo or in unison w/ sex partners. For me, laughing with lovers during sex is different than spontaneously laughing as a release. Sometimes I laugh to relieve tension- not get so caught up in my “performance”. You know, seeming slick and skilled and oh so sexy. I mean honestly, what we are doing is goofy and silly and in fact hilarious. There is a myth that we should act a certain way during sex; virile, coquettish, animalistic, blasé, submissive, dominant, alluring etc. Laughing helps me hush those “you should be fill in the blank” voices. It neutralizes the tape-loops that play in my head, freeing me from self-imposed expectations of hotness based on media-inspired sources. Laughing is also a good way to express sensation. Noise in general during sex is, in my opinion, a fabulous added layer to events. Sound can act as a reflection of what is going on and also act as a release for the sensations being experienced; crying, screaming, moaning, gasping are all marvelous additions to this sex symphony. Something about laughing, for me, just enhances the intimacy and the experience in general.
Adding some drama to the scenario can provide many things: lessen other social/psycho/dramas that folks tend to drum up when the issue of sex arises, keep things interesting and creative, help explore different identities, help approach taboo subject matters, and be healing from past traumas, just to name a few. I notice that sometimes we get stuck in sex roles or sex acts. I encourage myself and others to not get stuck in roles like butch or femme or top or bottom or daddy or slave. I think those roles are awesome, but anything gets boring if not tweaked or switched up from time to time. It is very easy to stick with what we’re good at or cling to a role or identity out of habit or just plain comfort. Role-play can be a great way to challenge one’s rigidities and discover hidden perversions in a safe context.
Switching up roles is exactly as it sounds; availing oneself the opportunity to receive when previously being the provider; taking turns sucking and being sucked, biting and being bitten, slapping and being slapped, holding and being held, fucking and being fucked, you get the picture.
Story telling is another version of role-play. For me this includes setting up characters in a setting with a plot. It can get intricate with scripts or songs, heck even a dance routine. The important thing here is that everyone is okay with where the story goes. Also these scenarios can leave the bedroom and social norms. Here is where many taboos can be explored; intergenerational sex, and inter-species sex (you’ll be the farmer and I’ll be the livestock) are a few examples of such taboos. These games could challenge political and social norms in positive and smarty-panted ways. For me it is important to remember that this is fantasy and that these role-play scenarios set up safe consensual spaces for folks to go there consciously, critically, humbly and with an open mind.
Reading aloud can also be a fun way to explore roles. Reading stories, erotic or not aloud can absolutely add a certain something to the moment. It gives an added activity and focus and brings in more opportunity for fetishes. For example, reading an entomology dictionary, political theory, or porn to each other adds a certain geeky quality that can really do it for folks.
And finally drag, props and outfit sex. These dramatic elements can really heat up a moment. Messing with outfits and identities and incorporating them into a sex scene can be so erotic. Beyond changing the physical location, adding new physicalities can heighten the reality and challenging nature of a scene. In my experience, I could get hotted-out just by someone’s outfit, so incorporating costume changes works wonders in the bedroom. Just imagine what the addition of a mermaid outfit, a map, and kitchen utensils could add to your sex life.
Of course all these examples are not mutually exclusive and often get mixed up altogether; outfits, role-playing, story telling, reading aloud and whatever else you can think of, the more the merrier, sillier, nastier.
One element of my sex-life, with or without other people involved is fluid gender. As someone who travels many gender identities beyond anatomy in my day-to-day life, it follows suit that my sex life is a stage for non-binary- gendered bodies. When re-learning to have sex, I switched my focus away from stereotypical notions of genitals and genital contact. (Boys get blowjobs and girls get finger banged.) There is so much to play with and destroy, pervert, re-name. One lesson I have learned is that it is respectful and sexy as hell to ask people what they call their body parts and how they want them touched. When opening-up what we consider erogenous zones, more conversations about re-imagining bodies, gender, society may become possible. Anybody can get a blowjob anywhere on their body and the same goes for finger banging. I try not to focus on genitals and orgasms but nerve endings and what turns them on and works also on an emotional level for a person. This concept helps me move away from the dualities of gender often put onto sexual situations. Expansion, re-defining and being aware of people’s boundaries are key in this realm and essential to my sex.
Why is it so revolutionary to be wet? Because we get taught how to have sex wrong. It is astounding to me how many people have sex without lubrication. The orifice does not matter, what matters is that it feels good. As a youngster, figuring out what to do with my parts, I was unaware of adding moisture. In my opinion, everything is better with lubrication, lots of it. As I get older, my commitment to maintain moisture increases and that is why lube made it to this list. Different folks like different qualities of lube, from sticky to slippery, gummy to smooth, chunky to creamy even. I would love for more people to experiment with different wetnesses and see what works best for their bodies. I imagine the world would be a more joyous place if that happened. Slip it in.
Pushing Self Limits
Like dismantling racism, sex can push us beyond comfort zones bequeathed to us by the dominant culture. Many things we are taught are dangerous or scary, nasty or off-limits can be explored safely in a sexual situation. Personal stories of abuse, neglect, self-hatred and other of the myriad of private struggles surface in this practice and what is good limit pushing for me may not at all be good for you in your process. It is important to go at our own paces with boundary pushing and not go places inappropriate to our own experiences. Many issues can come out with consensual boundary pushing; power dynamics, stereotypes to be de-bunked, pain thresholds, ideological differences, and the concept of the comfort zone in general. As a person who challenges norms, I find sex a wonderful place to keep pushing myself beyond the comfort zones of society at large. Recently one of the boundaries I have being pushing for myself has been the issue of cutting. In an extended knife-play scene, I asked to be cut. Health, safety, safer sex and self care strategies were well established and adhered to in this scene. Since then I have explored the many levels of emotions, trust healing and comfort in my sexual self through this and other forms of personal bounadry pushing in bed. I have hope that if we hold enough space for each other to expand these concepts, then maybe other forms of social and environmental change can manifest.