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Expanding Your Sexual Frontiers

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Take it from an activist, entrepreneur and alt-porn icon: Your ticket to Pleasure Town is simple curiosity.

We don’t have remote controls for our brains (yet), but we do know that novelty raises our dopamine levels and that leaving our comfort zones for areas that feel taboo can trigger the whole thumping-heart, sweating-palms adventure we credit to adrenaline. In her book Moody Bitches, Dr Julie Holland explains how an increase in dopamine and adrenaline in the body can result in a surge of testosterone, which in turn contributes to sexual arousal. Put simply, investigating the unknown may make you want to have sex more often and can improve the sex you’re already having. There’s a solid case for developing your sense of sexual curiosity — and I’m here to help. Novelty is subjective. The space between our boundaries and what we’re familiar with is different for each individual. Hence the handy grid on the opposite page: a tip-of-the-iceberg look at the sexual-adventure spectrum, running from private and relatively easy, in the lower-left corner, to more daring, in the upper right. Which quadrant feels most like home? Find your co-ordinates, and then ask yourself if any of the surrounding plot points pique your interest. The seasoned sexual voyager may even discover that the more “vanilla” options are where the real adventure lies. Sometimes a feather is just as powerful as a flogging. Meanwhile, allow me to share three of my own observations that may help you boldly go where you’ve never gone before. Sometimes exploration is simply a matter of being more present in your body. The patches of skin we tend to forget — behind the ears, under the breasts, next to the balls — can be stealth erogenous zones. Watching ASMR videos (see the lower-left quadrant) may give you a pleasurable tingle, and that tingle may become erotically charged. Subtraction works too: Covering your eyes intensifies your awareness of what you smell, hear and feel. Exploration should be methodical, a process of trouser-parts titration. If you like the idea of having your wrists restrained by your partner’s hands, try using some easily escapable thick ribbon; if you enjoy that, dive into handcuffs or advanced rope bondage. Tactile sensations can range from fingertip caresses to the isolated pricks of a Wartenberg wheel to the sharp heat of a single-tail whip. An interest in group sex can lead to a poly munch (i.e., a casual, semi-public gathering dedicated to discussing polyamory rather than practising it) and then to a sex party, where easing into things by first observing is absolutely acceptable. Perhaps most important, reversing roles can expand your understanding of another person’s body. Acting as the recipient if you tend to top — or being inside another person when you’re usually the one who is penetrated — can lead to powerful insights into what your partner feels. We all know that a pegging session is worth a thousand think pieces, and that’s because physical empathy is a profoundly intimate connection. If you don’t know where to start, ask yourself, What do I want that I have not experienced? Whether it’s a tryst with a vibrator, an affair with your old babysitter or something else entirely, listen to your urges and make your fantasies a reality — or as close to it as possible. And if none of these suggestions whets your appetite, look in the gaps between and beyond.

By Stoya

Illustrations by Serge Seidlitz

THRILL SEEKER AT HOME, ABROAD, WEEKENDER.

  1. The cheesier the better — erotic dice, sex bingo, kinky truth or dare. Laughter can be an aphrodisiac.
  2. Modern sex stores often have classes on everything from vocalising desires to learning intricate rope bondage.
  3. The improv way: You propose something you find arousing, and the other builds on it. For example, “We’re in an alley at night”. “Yes, and I’m.…”
  4. Set a timer for five minutes. Enter a sex shop. Buy something. Go home and use it.