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.
Welcome to the final week of the Masters of Sex Cure Month Experience and congrats on making it this far! You are a shining star. If you’re jumping in now, we’ve laid down the week’s assignments each Friday this month. Each week has had assignments just you and for you an an activity partner (though you can do almost everything either alone or with one or more partners! Follow your arrow.). They 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 now and later.
Visit the comment thread for moral support. You can also address questions to @autostraddle on Twitter, and address questions and bragging to the #AutostraddleMastersOfSexCureMonthExperience tag on Tumblr. Let’s do this!
Autostraddle’s Masters of Sex Cure Month Experience: Week 4
A Date Night With Yourself
It can be exhausting to think about sex and maybe negotiate it with other people, especially if you’ve been doing it all month. One night this week, set aside time for a date night with yourself. Dress up, take yourself out somewhere you don’t usually go or make something you would make if someone else were there. Texting or interneting the whole time would be rude during an actual date, so put away your phone and bring your energy and focus inward. Use this time to reflect on your month, plan for the week ahead or think over anything you need to think over. If you fell behind on your sex diary, take the opportunity to catch up. When you get home, take yourself to bed using all of your mindful masturbation skills from week two.
Clean Out The (Sex Toy) Closet
Now that you’ve cleaned and culled your sex toys, it’s time to take a few hours by yourself or with an activity partner and use every. Single. One. You know that glass dildo you love but always forget about, or the under-the-bed restraints that are gathering dust, or your backup vibrator? Use them. Remember that shirt at the bottom of your drawer you found one day and wear all the time now? That’s a great shirt. You probably have a sex toy like that.
It’s not just toys though. That one position you love that’s just a little bit complicated, or that one place in the house that’s so much fun but you need to wash all the towels after? Play with them too. Sometimes it’s easy to get into a habit with sex or masturbation and this is your chance to break it.
Ask For One Thing That’s Scary To Ask For
There might be one thing you’ve been turning over in your head all month and been afraid to ask for, even though you’re communicating with your activity partner more than ever. Maybe it’s been months. Maybe there just hasn’t been a reason for it to come up, or maybe you’ve been worried about how your partner will react so you didn’t talk about it last week even though you wanted to, or maybe you aren’t even sure how you will react to actually talking about whatever it is.
This week, ask for that one thing that’s scary to ask for. Ask for it explicitly. This isn’t the moment for “what if sometimes you [did that thing I want you to do],” it’s the moment for “I would really like you to [do that thing], can we talk about that.” Ask under the circumstances you’ve agreed work best for you for talking about sex and use the ways of talking together that you’ve been practicing all month. The worst that can happen is they aren’t interested and you talk about why and still get to learn more about each other, and the best that can happen is you get to do that thing you’ve been wanting to do.
Research Something You Aren’t Curious About
Human sexuality is a vast and shifting palate and sometimes it’s important to acknowledge that and expand your horizons at the same time by reading about something you have no intention of trying. This can help you respond more compassionately when a partner suggests something you’re not interested in and will make you a more well-rounded human. (Maybe when you know more about something you’ll be interested in trying it too. WHO KNOWS.)
Go back to your y/n/m list from week two, find something you said no to, and start finding out more about it.
Looking Back, Looking Forward
Pick an hour or two when you won’t be distracted, and go back and read through the sex diary you’ve been keeping all this time. What do you notice about your sex and fantasy life? What do you notice about your relationship? Look for small picture and big picture things. Did you have the best sex every morning you had eggs for breakfast? Did you come the hardest when thinking about that one thing? Did you only have sex when you scheduled it, or only when you didn’t, or both or neither? Write down any trends you find, as well as anything that matches what you thought you’d find and anything that doesn’t. How do you feel about your sex life (alone, as well as with others if applicable) now compared to at the beginning of the month? What do you feel really good about? What do you feel less good about?
Then, think about what your ideal sex life would look like. Not in a dreamy “if I had time for sex three times a day every day that would be nice” sense but a “hmm it seems I am happiest when I have sex in this way around these times and when I also have time for masturbation” sense. What’s holding you back? What needs to happen to get you there?
You don’t have to answer these questions in the hours you’re taking to reflect on the Masters Of Sex Cure Experience month — nor should you. Hopefully by now you’re a little better and a little more practiced at thinking and talking about sex in your daily life, and you can carry those skills forward. Your sex life isn’t a task to complete, but a conversation you’re going to keep having, with yourself and with others, forever.
All images in this post via shutterstock.
Autostraddle’s Masters Of Sex Cure Month Experience is inspired by Apartment Therapy‘s January Cure.
“Now that you’ve cleaned and culled your sex toys, it’s time to take a few hours by yourself or with an activity partner and use every. Single. One”
Read that aloud to my partner and she almost cried. What if you have 5 dildos, 4 vibrators, 3 sets of Kegel balls, 6 types of handcuffs, a double dildo, and a whole chest of BDSM fun time tools?? This assignment could take several days, no sleep, as all items are used with pretty much even regularity.
Check this out. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_seeall_1?rh=k%3AProgress+by+nicole+higginbotham%2Ci%3Astripbooks&keywords=Progress+by+nicole+higginbotham&ie=UTF8&qid=1422484792
A date night with yourself sounds like the best idea that I won’t do. Like, I know myself and theoretically it sounds fantastic, but if we’re getting real I’m not sure I have the courage to go out alone.
Same, except with me, it’s motivation/general mental state. I’ll think how nice and positive it would be, and then I’ll find a million reasons to talk myself out of it.
I was thinking through mini-alternatives, though, and here’s some things I came up with. Maybe one might work for you?
-Hang around at the coffee shop for longer than usual– park, don’t just drink one coffee and run.
-Take something to sit on (towel/blanket) and go sit in the park with music or a book; just chill out. Maybe take coffee in a thermos and a snack to encourage sitting longer.
-Clean the tub, then take a bath worthy of a rom-com, with lights off, candles, beverage, the whole deal. And if you’ve been hanging on to some expensive bath treat for a special occasion (like a bath bomb or something), use it now and call yourself a special occasion.
-Cook yourself a special dinner (not something that’s a pain to make) or get takeout from a favorite place (not necessarily something fancy, just something you like a lot). Don’t eat in front of the TV or computer or on the couch (if possible, for the last). Every single thing advised for dining out could apply– but you’d be in the comfort of your home.
Just some things I was thinking about that are closer to my safe zone, possibly yours– the safe zone I know I should be challenging, but maybe if I tried some of these first, I could work my way up?
I mean you don’t HAVE to go out alone, but in my experience it’s the sort of thing that can maybe seem intimidating before you do it and then you start and you get to learn how to be the best date for yourself and it’s a great feeling. (They don’t really fall in line with the point of the exercise this week but if dinner feels too conspicuous, movies are excellent, especially because with a coat on the seat next to you it’s easy to pretend you’re just waiting for someone who went off to pee even if the person you are pretending to is yourself.)
But you can also just make yourself dinner in your own house – just make it an event dinner and do all the things you might do if there was someone you wanted to impress, but do it for you.
I honestly love going on ‘date’ nights alone!! it’s so fun :D