(The following was sampled from The Huffington Post.)
Sometimes, I think we take sex way too seriously. We can talk the sexy and the pleasure right out of sexy. And if you are like most people, you’re yearning to laugh, play and get out of your head and into your body again.
When was the last time you played with your sexuality? Actually, when it comes to sex: When was the last time you did something different?
Some people even put their noses up in the air and make groaning sounds at the very thought of being sexual with their partners or even with their own bodies.
It’s time to take out the big box of sex crayons and learn to color outside of the lines again.
To truly experience what it is to have sexual freedom, we need to cultivate our erotic imagination. For each of us, our sexual freedom and playfulness lies in our ability and willingness to create a sexuality of our very own. Forget normal. In truth, what works for doctors and some psychotherapists putting the human experiences into boxes of normal and not normal does not always serve us when it comes to sexuality.
What if we were each invited to view our sexuality as a work of art, and I handed you a blank canvas that was the size of the biggest wall you had ever seen, and an endless supply of colorful paints, pencils and markers. What if I invited you to fill this tremendous blank canvas with your erotic desires? What if you felt truly free enough to create your very own sexuality without shame, judgement or inhibitions? What if I invited you to play in your sexuality?
The human erotic imagination may be one of the golden keys to having an extraordinary sex life. So many of us are raised with a spoken and unspoken understanding of what is allowable when it comes to having sex. We are raised with this idea of what is “normal’ and “approved” and what is not. Quite literally, for many of us our erotic imagination get’s shut down and we are left with a very short list of what is allowable for us in our expression of sexuality. Everything else is somehow made “taboo” or “dirty” or “not normal”.
That can leave us filled with shame over desires that we may think are wrong, or we can simply become numbed out to the possibilities.
For others, we may simply have not explored how to cultivate our erotic imagination. So what makes up our erotic imagination?
Here are some tips to explore our erotic imagination:
1. Sexual fantasy is a great starting ground. Allowing ourselves to travel freely in our own mind and explore without shame or putting any labels of judgement around our sexual fantasies.
2.. Reading erotica and romance novels can be a great place to put your erotic flint to stone.
3. Wandering through a sex toy shop can also be a great place to cultivate your erotic imagination. Walk around and handle the toys. Often there are books and videos to explore as well.
4. Explore the idea of sexuality being playful. When we play we are free to get things wrong, experiment, try on different roles, laugh and even be foolish. What if we looked at sexuality as play?
5. Put on costumes. And this idea is not just limited to women. Erotic lingerie can be a wonderful tool to assist our erotic imaginations. I know men who put on superman boxer shorts to get into the mood. Are they exploring their erotic imagination? I think so.
6. For couples who are bored, who feel like there is nothing new to do with each other and are stuck in a rut, here is my all time favorite game. I call it, “What’s in Your Basket?” This is a couple’s game. Go into a sex toy store … or go on line and each person gets half an hour to put toys in their basket. Sometimes, “Showing” our desires and fantasies is SO much less scary than “Telling”.
The couple meets up and they get to look into each others baskets. Oh la la! I bet you will find things in each others basket that you had no idea they were interested in. Remember that when your beloved brings you their basket, they are bringing you an incredibly intimate and vulnerable part of themselves. Please receive the basket with as much love, and kindness as possible. You may be truly surprised and delighted by what is in the basket, and you might be blown away too! That’s great!
Now, each person gets to pick three things from the other person’s basket that they are willing to explore. This is where “Consent” and “Boundaries” come in. When you pick the items in your partner’s basket you are only consenting to exploring the toy or fantasies that the toy represents. You are not consenting to do it. You are consenting to explore it. Talk about it and then decide how much you want to play. And you just might be a “Hell Yes”! And you might be a “Maybe”. It’s also really acceptable to be a “No”. The hope is that you can find three items in each others baskets that you can be either a “Hell Yes” or a “Maybe” too.
It’s a great way to begin the conversation of “what turns my partner on” as well as opening new playful doors for the two of you to explore. And it’s fun! Amazing openings and play has happened with this delicious heart opening game. Enjoy the conversations and experiences. Go to dinner after and then go home to slowly explore and savor the play that will unfold.
7. For all of us: Do you have a secret sexual alter ego? You now, the sexual person you might want to be if you didn’t have any rules around who you had to be in your real life as a sexual being?Have you ever spent time with your sexual alter ego? Playing online with your secret sexual alter ego can be a lot of fun. Some people write blogs or develop Facebook pages. Some people even go out and buy clothing for this part of themselves, and will go out in cities or areas of their town where they are not known and enjoy being seen in this part of themselves that they normally wouldn’t allow anyone to see them. This can be a lot of fun and very playful. This can also be a way of “trying on” parts of yourself.
8 . Do something really different. There are so many different kinds of retreats, trips, meet ups and centers for sex positive explorations. Sex stores in your community may be running workshops. Go. Getting out and explore some of your edges. They are waiting for you.
We can all cultivate our own erotic imagination and create a sexuality of our very own. Let go of “normal” and invite in exploration and play. The possibilities for sexual expression is as vast and limitless as the human mind.