The first half of this article appeared in our Sacred Sexual Secrets newsletter. Read it here. You can receive future free articles in your email inbox by clicking here.
We learned in a Native American sacred sexuality workshop that there are three roles that fully realized sexual beings play: exhibitionist, voyeur, and adventurer. For sure, you need lots of confidence to get off on being nude or more in front of others. But are you adventuresome enough to self-pleasure in front of your partner? Or more publicly at a party or on a web cam?
Does watching others do it turn you on or make you uncomfortable? Clearly, avid porn viewers enjoy voyeurism at some level.
How do you feel about disclosing these behaviors to family, friends, and the world at large? It’s one thing to declare that you’re sex positive, but if you proudly put yourself out there with exhibitionism and voyeurism, you’re doing so much more than just boasting.
The third corner of the three-role triangle defines how complacent versus adventuresome you are about the kind of sex you have. Are you happy with the way your sex life is and don’t want to rock the boat? Or are you committed to realize your full sexual potential? Do you read books, take workshops, and talk to sexually savvy friends or experts so you can experiment?
True sexual explorers develop a robust repertoire to pleasure every available orifice and hungry erogenous zone. And find an acceptable way to enjoy multiple partners.
For many, how adventurous you want to be is central to their sexual philosophy. How would you feel about being called sexless, frigid, or inhibited? Or for that matter, horny, randy, slutty, promiscuous, sex-addicted, or a nymphomaniac? Are these good things or put-downs in your personal lexicon?
How satisfied are you with what you consider normal sex? Review your past sex life, what you like about it, and what you’d like to be different.
How openly do you want to be about asking for it? What kinds of erotic invitations most tempt you? Would that include sexting explicit pictures? Would you enjoy an hour of foreplay? What would it include?
What parts of your body do you want to be titillated before, during, or after sex? What are you willing to do with your hands and mouth? What do you want your lover to do with theirs? How to you feel about sex toys before and during intercourse?
Does having sex to you have to include intercourse? If so, how long and what kind? How many positions should it include? Do you want it to include anal penetration?
Tantric lovers don’t rush towards orgasm. We prefer to draw things out, creating more and more pleasure for longer times. How important is quick orgasm instant and gratification for you? Or, for that matter, multiple and simultaneous orgasms?
Is intimate bonding as important or more important than coming to you? Or would you rather go for broke and break records every time you make love?
If you choose to be adventurous, you’d be wise to decide how to manage the risks of unplanned pregnancy, STDs and STIs (sexually transmitted diseases and infections).
Certainly, there are many birth control practices today that are socially acceptable. What form will you use and how will you address your choices with new partners?
With new partners, it’s essential to discuss your sexual histories, past infections, and how you want to avoid health risks. Your openness determines how you will approach what many call the “Pre-Sex Interview.”
Do you require condoms for penetration or even other barriers for manual and oral play? What are your firm boundaries for safer sex and what grey areas are you willing to negotiate about? What kinds of new partners would you be uncomfortable connecting with? There’s much more to talk about before coupling as the following sections suggest.
How much responsibility do you want to exercise about what happens in the sack? Or on the floor? Or in the back yard? Or in the park?
Is your best sex when you’re leading? Or do you prefer to be swept off your feet and taken? Would you rather assert what you want, or do you get more turned on when you’re passive? If you’ve been afraid of taking charge, do you want to grow out that?
Would your rather be on the top or the bottom? Aficionados of the BDSM world (bondage, domination, submission, sadism, masochism) generate incredible amounts of excitement by playing with power. Do you prefer dominating, submitting, or switching? Do you get off on being tied up, led around on a leash, spanked, or more?
My preference is the cooperative style of Tantric Love Making where we share power and exchange leading and following. Sometimes one of us calls the shots while the other goes with the flow. But often we alternate who’s giving and who’s receiving.
Being responsible for your own pleasure doesn’t require being aggressive. Skilled receivers learn to direct the action not only with their words but with non-verbal feedback. How willing are you to show your turn-on by moving your body and letting your moans and screams out? I guess that boils down to how passionate you’re willing to be.
Are you open to kinky play? What’s normal and what’s kinky to you? What are you comfortable with and what freaks you out? Fo example, does talking dirty do anything for you?
This part of your sexual philosophy defines how much satisfaction you derive by stretching your comfort zone. Just a little exploration of the BDSM world online will demonstrate how many options on the wild side there are to experiment with. Many lovers relish playing with pain and humiliation. If the whole idea doesn’t float your cork at first, don’t be so hasty. Like so many things outside the box, you might not appreciate how much excitement you might receive until you dip a toe in the water.
There are as many fetishes that turn people on as there colors in the rainbow. Fascination with shoes, fluids, and unexpected body parts come to mind. Years ago I stayed with a girlfriend whose roommates dragged us to a radio-station’s public fetish party. The guys went shopping for skirts, had their nails painted, and wore makeup. (I drew the line at shaving my beard.) The gals wore outrageously revealing wisps of fabric. It turned out to be good clean titillating fun. Too bad it was before Facebook.
We all have fantasies so you should also consider how you want to deal with them. Do you think it’s healthy in a relationship to share them? We always tell each other our dreams and what we’d like to do with sexy strangers we encounter. But how far do you want to go? Do you want to dress up and play out your fantasies for each other or in public? Would you enjoy strip clubs?
Depending on your relationship values above, you might opt for bar pickups leading to kinky sport sex. Or swing clubs or private parties where you can sample the wares. Are there any orgies in your future?
So where do you fit in each category?
Don’t just blindly accept the cultural norms we’re all immersed in, especially when they do’t serve you. Use the above questions to start an honest and in-depth conversation with yourself. And your long-term partner if you have one.
I don’t intend to pass right or wrong judgments about what you decide. You don’t have to wildly go for it with any of the facets. I just hope these musings will help you to make your beliefs conscious. Being mindful about your own sexual philosophy can only help you enjoy the passionate parts of your life more.
Finally, let me acknowledge that defining who you are sexually is a moving target. Do we every really know ourselves fully? And even when we do, we change.
To create thoroughly fulfilling sex lives, my partners and I continuously reevaluate our sexual philosophies. And venues. And actions. And what we want to do with whom.
I suggest, however far you get with clarifying your sexual identity, that you consider it the beginning of a lifelong dialogue with yourself.
I’m sure there are more things to consider. I’d love to hear your additions and reactions in the comments below.