In our sex-phobic and slut-shaming culture, very few of us have been able to untangle the limitations caused by social norms and sex policing from great sex. Instead of being supported in an ongoing journey of erotic exploration, we are shamed and limited at every stage of our lives.
Fear of being called a sex addict — a made-up term that shames hyper-sexuality — suppresses our desire.
Sexual orientation labels box us in and prevent us from exploring a wider spectrum of sexual experience.
The gay community does not allow the eroticization of the female body and often engages in misogyny (“Ew! Vaginas are gross!”).
Biphobia dismisses bi men as living in the closet.
Slut-shaming leaves people who enjoy having lots of great sex feeling bad about being a “ho” or not being “boyfriend material.”
This means that what you see as your sexual orientation is most likely a watered-down and limited version of your actual authentic sexuality.
In a sexually healthy (and socially healthy) culture, sexuality would exist in a more open and expansive way, with few (or no) sexual labels and instead more diverse experiences. Labels lead to rules, expectations and discrimination.
Healthy, great sex allows for a multitude of sexual experiences, including those that may push you outside the boundaries of who you thought you were. Some may be confusing, others may be highly arousing and some could be without a label or a name.
Our sex lives are often built out of comfort and consistency, where we engage in sex that is familiar to us and not what is most arousing. But our arousal systems are plastic and malleable, and allow for constant absorption as we have new experiences. (Think back to how at one time magazine underwear ads were highly arousing, but then later more graphic images were what met your arousal needs.)
So for great sex, be open to new things, and more importantly to trying them more than once.
If we remain open to newness, our sexualities will expand and incorporate a wealth of new triggers for pleasure. This is how sex can be kept fun and novel, which are the keys to high sexual interest and desire.
New partners — or new experiences with current partners — are opportunities to expand our sexualities. If you feel safe and trust your partner, try something new in bed (or out of bed), and try it at least a few times to fully explore.
Dr. Chris Donaghue is a lecturer, therapist and host of the LoveLine podcast, a weekly expert on The Amber Rose Show, and a frequent co-host on TV series The Doctors. He previously hosted WE tv’s Sex Box and Logo’s Bad Sex. He authored the book Sex Outside the Lines: Authentic Sexuality in a Sexually Dysfunctional Culture and has been published in various professional journals and top magazines, from The New York Times and Newsweek to Cosmo and National Geographic. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Featured image by hannatverdokhlib via iStock