In the wake of the increasingly public nature of discussions around sexuality, it's become more common to talk about sex outside of our culture's mainstream perspectives. As this conversation gets more open and honest, it can still feel like there's something taboo about being a woman who embraces her sexuality.
That's why I'm here today: to help you embrace your sexuality on your own terms! These are some ways you can start doing so right away—as well as how doing so will benefit not just your sexual health but also your self-perception.
A sex-positive space is a place where you can learn about what turns you on, get comfortable talking about it with your partner(s), and then explore those interests in a safe and consensual way. Sex-positive spaces are open to all kinds of sexual experiences—from the vanilla to the kinky, or anything in between. But they're also places where people can learn more about their own bodies and desires without judgment, shame or fear. There are a number of online communities, resources and authors who might shine a light on those interests you haven't explored yet.
You can ask questions and read through other people’s discussions on these subreddits: r/SexPositive, r/Sex or communities centered around sex-positive media, like the College Craze Discord!
Erotica can be a great way to explore your sexuality and understand what you like in a low-stakes environment. There are many different genres and formats for erotica (such as books, short stories, visual novels, audios and more), but they all tend to focus on people's fantasies and desires. Erotica should never be considered “cheap” or “easy,” though. There are plenty of authors out there who take their craft seriously and create stories that are well-written and thought-provoking.
Communication is the foundation of a healthy sex life. When you are communicating openly with your partners about sex, there's no need for guesswork or assumptions; you know exactly where everyone involved stands and you can simply enjoy yourselves.
If you want something different from what they want, be honest about it! Tell them what you need instead of trying to fake an orgasm or hide how uncomfortable something makes you (i.e., pulling away during oral).
If you find that your partner doesn't speak up when they're uncomfortable, try asking them questions: "If I did [insert act here], would you like that?" or "What do you think about [insert act here]?".
Some people are more comfortable communicating about sex than others, but there's no reason why anyone should be afraid to talk about what they want in bed. If the thought of communicating while having sex scares you, then all the more reason to really challenge yourself to try it!
Don't settle for a subpar orgasm. Don't let someone else decide what your body needs and how to get there. It's up to you.
It's important to take care of your sexual health, even if you're not having sex. See it as another form of self-care!
Getting to know your body, checking your own body for unexpected changes and getting tested regularly for STIs can be vital for early treatment, it also prevents the spread of infections. If you're not sure how to get tested, ask your doctor or visit a clinic. It's also important to know your partner's sexual history and make sure they've been tested as well, especially if either of you have multiple partners.
Discussing protection methods with partners to ensure you're safe and comfortable is very important as well.
When it comes to protection, you have a lot of options. Condoms are a great way to prevent STIs and unplanned pregnancies, but they're not the only one! Talk with your partner about what works best for both of you and try out different methods until you find something that feels right.
If you're not in a relationship, there's no reason not to get up close and personal with yourself. If you're feeling curious, touch your body. Touching is a form of communication that can be used to show affection or intimacy with others, so why not yourself? You'll get to know more about your own body and preferences by experiencing them more intimately.
What you do with your body and how you choose to enjoy your sexuality is always going to be an individual decision, but we can all benefit from being comfortable with exploring our bodies and our sexual identities on our own terms.
This is not just in terms of physical exploration as well, sexual exploration can be mental too. Reading about different kinks, listening to audios about new scenarios are just a few ways you can explore yourself sexually, without having to get out the candles and sex toys.
You shouldn't feel the need to pretend you're someone else or that everything about sex is perfect just because it's "supposed" to be that way. If you want to explore your sexuality on your own terms, then make sure you're comfortable with what that means for YOU!
If you’re hesitant about embracing your sexuality, know that there are plenty of resources out there to support you. You don’t have to do it alone! Remember: You are in charge of your own body and sexuality.