Even if you’re having really great sex every single time you get down (which is unlikely because, well, you’re human) a lot of people come to a point where they’re interested in expanding their sexual interests and tastes. But how do you do that, exactly? It’s not like we’re a culture that’s open about this stuff, so where can you go to learn about different kinks, fetishes, or even just new positions to try?
The obvious first answer is porn, of course, but limiting your sex education to porn can give you a hella skewed view on real sex. Now, that’s not say that it should be taken off the table when you’re looking to expand your sexual tastes — you’ll see that it’s listed below — but just that it shouldn’t be the only thing you turn to. Just like television is an over-dramatized version of real life, mainstream porn can be an over-dramatized/over-waxed/over-bleached version of sex. You wouldn’t let your sole education about friendship come from watching Pretty Little Liars, so don’t let your sole education about sex come from YouPorn, you know?
Lucky for you, we live in a time where seemingly infinite amounts of information is available in so many different formats, so you’re pretty much spoiled for choice. Here are some different ways you can expand your sexual interests.
1. Talk To Your Friends About Sex
I firmly believe that the best thing we can do for our sex lives — and for our cultural attitude about sex in general — is talk honestly and openly about sex. Shed the shame and talk to your friends about what they’ve been up to! It might take a little bit of practice, but there are ways to do it without being creepy, I promise. Just approach the conversation with the clear intent of being curious about your friend, not with the intent of adding what they say to your private spank bank.
2. Ask Your Partner(s) What They’re Into
If you currently have a partner (or a couple of partners), talk to them about what they’re into. All of our sexual journeys are different, so chances are the person you’re sleeping with has some things that they like that you haven’t tried yet. Plus, this option has the bonus of coming with a built-in person to try stuff out with!
3. Read Erotica
My favorite go-to for a huge variety of erotica is Literotica.com (NSFW, obviously) which has stories about every kink and fetish that you’ve never even heard of and some straight up vanilla stuff too. The quality of the stories can vary, mainly because it’s user-submitted, but it’s great for browsing around in search of new turn-ons. If you want something a bit more curated, however, and definitely better written, check out Best Women’s Erotica 2015, edited by the un-matchable Violet Blue.
4. Go To A Sex Party
You’ll straight up see new things at a sex party and you’ll also meet people who are sexually adventurous who, I’m willing to bet, will be down to talk to you about what they do. (And probably try out a thing or two, if you’re interested.) A good sex-positive sex party is life changing, so do a little research and see if there’s one either in your town or in a city near you. For example, Kinky Salon is a party that happens in cities worldwide. You’re welcome!
5. Give Casual Sex A Try
A lot of people feel more freedom in what they’re willing to do and ask for when they’re in a casual sex situation than they do with someone they’re emotionally invested in, largely because they care less about being judged. As a result, casual sex, if it's something you're OK with, can be a great way to learn more about new positions and kinks.
6. Or Experiment Within Your LTR
For those of you in a monogamous relationship, casual sex is not really an option. But loving monogamous relationships can be one of the best places to try out new things, as long as both partners are sex positive and willing. Instead of approaching your partner like, “Hey I’m not happy with the sex we’re having,” try approaching them with something more like, “Hey, let’s have some fun and try out these awesome things together!” Who would say to no to that?
7. Listen To Sex-Positive Podcasts
The Internet is teeming with awesome sex-positive bloggers and podcasters these days and following a few will definitely expose you to new things. My top recommendations for podcasts include the Huff Post Love&Sex podcast, Dan Savage’s Lovecast, and The Heart — but go ahead and look around in your podcast app and see what best suits your tastes.
8. Watch Porn
Yup, porn is totally an option for seeing what new things could turn you on. You probably know all of the mainstream porn sites, though, so let me recommend the real world sex on MakeLoveNotPorn.tv. (Also obviously NSFW.) It’s real couples having real sex and it’s sexy and lovely all at once.
9. Spend A Little Time Just… Thinking
Seriously, just take the time to think about your sex life, what has turned you on in the past, what things you’ve thought about but never actually tried. You might have the secrets to expanding your sexual tastes in your own brain already, just waiting for you to uncover them.
10. Read (And Act Out) The Kama Sutra
It’s a classic for a reason, folks. The Kama Sutra is a great place to find new positions, especially for the more spiritually-inclined.
Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.
Images: Giphy (10); Adrianna Calvo/Pexels