feature image via shutterstock
It can be hard to set aside the time to think critically about your sex life, both with activity partners and alone. This month, Autostraddle’s Masters of Sex Cure Month Experience will help you make that time.
We’ll lay down the week’s assignments each Monday for the rest of this month. Each week will have assignments that will be for just you and some that will be more effective if you do them with an activity partner (though you can do almost everything either alone or with one or more partners! Follow your arrow.). They’ll all work together to help you feel more centred in your sex life, no matter what it looks like, and to make positive changes both during the month and after it.
If you’re just starting now, welcome! It isn’t too late to catch up — last week we talked about starting a sex diary, cleaning your room, establishing ground rules for communicating and expanding the way you think about sex.
Visit the comment thread each week for moral support. You can also address questions to @autostraddle on Twitter, and address questions and bragging to the #AutostraddleMastersOfSexCureMonthExperience tag on Tumblr. Here we go!
Autostraddle’s Masters of Sex Cure Month Experience: Week 2
Masturbate Every Day For A Week
Just do you. Take notes.
If you already masturbate at least once a day, do it one more time than you normally would.
If you have the time for mindful, prolonged masturbation, then keep doing what you’re doing, but try a few new things.
No matter what, try to focus as much on what you’re doing and thinking about as possible. Sometimes it’s easy to disassociate and masturbate mechanically so you can stop feeling turned on and go about your day, but this week, pay more attention to what you’re doing and thinking and feeling.
Record everything in your sex diary, of course.
Clean Your Sex Toys
Just like getting your bedroom in order, getting your sex toys in order can help force you to make space for your sex life. It can also make that sex life more efficient.
- Gather all your sex toys and any chargers, storage bags or cords that go with them. Empty them out of their storage bags or boxes.
- Clean the inside of whatever you store your toys in, as well as any storage bags or boxes.
- Clean every single toy, even if you’re pretty sure it’s already clean. Boil toys that are safe to boil, and clean the rest according to material (Babeland has a guide to cleaning toys made of different materials). Wash your harness. Wipe down your any leather toys. Wipe down the outside of your bottle of lube.
- Charge all rechargeable toys and check the batteries in battery-operated toys. Throw out any dead batteries (and buy more if your stash is getting low) and untangle the cords.
- If you use safer sex measures like gloves, dental dams or condoms, restock. Throw out anything that’s expired.
- Take a hard look at your toys and if any are broken or were never good in the first place, throw them out and don’t look back.
- Put everything away.
Do A Yes /No/Maybe List
At its simplest, a yes/no/maybe list is a list of sex, sex-related and/or kink-related acts that you are interested in, maybe interested in or not interested in. It’s one helpful, basic tool for thinking through your feelings about sex and then communicating those feelings to an activity partner.
There are yes/no/maybe lists for all occasions — Self Serve Toys has a list of several, including Autostraddle’s and my personal favorite — but for the purposes of this exercise, make sure you pick one that focuses on a variety of sex acts.
First, fill it out on your own. If you’re doing this with an activity partner, have them fill one out too, also alone. Mark down any nuance — are you maybe interested in receiving an activity, and definitely interested in giving it? Interested in giving and receiving? Interested but you tried it this one time and a bunch of stuff went wrong that you wouldn’t like to repeat? You don’t have to write paragraphs of thoughts for each item, but make a few notes where applicable.
Then, if you have an activity partner, sit down with them and compare notes. Go item by item, and discuss how you feel about everything, any nuances you came up with, and your history with the activity if there is any. (This could be “drunk anal with no lube has made me very wary” or “I’m not sure about this but I watch porn with it sometimes and I’m intrigued” or “this may be triggering but I am game to try it” or “this might be triggering and I do not want to try it.”)
The discussion should take a while — an evening, a few lunch dates, whatever. Don’t try to rush through. If you start getting distracted by talking about how you could try something, and when, and what are you doing later, follow that distraction. Use the list both as the basis for discussion now and as an excuse to bring up sexy things to talk about in the future.
Find Some New Porn
One way to explore fantasizing about something you might (or might not) want to try in real life, or to mix up your masturbation routine, is to find (and get off to) at least one piece of new porn. I’m using “porn” in the broadest sense of the word — clips, books, podcasts, movies, blogs, sexy tumblrs and more all count. The joy of discovery on your own is valuable, but to get you started, check out Best Lesbian Erotica 2015, The Harder She Comes: Butch Femme Erotica, Sugarbutch, Smut Peddler and the Crashpad. (Have recommendations of your own? Share them in the comments!)
Bonus: Talk About Sex With Friends
You should be starting to think and talk more about sex, so take it to the next level by practicing with friends. One of my favourite Thursday night activities is Skyping my best friend so she can show me her new spreader bar and ask all sorts of questions about something I was gonna try with an activity partner, which happened the first time because I said the exact phrase “hey talking about sex is fun what if we talk about sex now” and she was into it. Your friendship mileage may vary, but talking about your sexual interests with friends is a great way to practice talking about them with a partner, in an environment where the stakes feel lower. (If you have judgmental friends, I will talk about sex with you, tweet at me.)
All images in this post via shutterstock. Feature image of some of her sex toys by the author.
Autostraddle’s Masters Of Sex Cure Month Experience is inspired by Apartment Therapy‘s January Cure.