Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 3/9/2021
Exploring your sexuality is key to a happy, healthy sex life. It means continually seeking out knowledge of your unique preferences and desires.
Equally important, it means gaining knowledge on what experiences or characteristics you don’t want your sex life to include. That self-understanding helps you generate better sexual experiences alone and with a partner.
This exploration shouldn’t be dependent on anyone else, but that can be easier said than done. Sometimes we give partners more freedom to explore our bodies than offer ourselves.
It may take years of being sexually active before venturing into the unknown and trying to finger yourself. Sometimes many people find it’s faster or more pleasurable if they let a partner take the reins.
Sometimes people are satisfied enough with the status quo that they aren’t motivated to seek out the new.
Whatever the situation, it’s easy to not be as proactive with self-exploring as we could be.
But it’s important to explore your sexuality, and to do so apart from a partner. While exploring with a partner is great, it shouldn’t be your only method. You need the space to discover what you enjoy (and don’t enjoy) without any outside influences.
Plus, you may not always have a partner to experiment with.
Whether you are single or in a relationship, it’s important to set aside time for yourself to explore your sexuality.
Below are some ways to experiment and find out more about your sexuality. Let the exploring begin.
Something powerful happens when we journal. We get into a writing groove and all of a sudden thoughts and feelings we didn’t know we had surface into plain sight.
It may feel awkward to simply sit and ponder your sex life and journaling can offer a more approachable way to gain insight.
Head on over to Target and pick up a fun, new journal that’ll be dedicated to your sex life. You can write about anything, but a good place to start is thinking about your three best and worst sexual encounters.
Try to pinpoint what made them that way and see if there are any patterns. This can give you clarity on what you want moving forward.
Use this journal to unpack your thoughts on sexual encounters, your desires, anything related to sex that’ll give you more insight into yourself.
Learn From Others
No need to reinvent the wheel, right? There is an unending supply of knowledge out there waiting for you to tap into.
If you have a long commute, check out sex-themed podcasts. You may discover new things you want to try in bed.
Or you can listen to ones that unpack the complex power dynamics and societal pressures put on women in regards to sex, which can help give you strategies to lead an empowered sex life.
If you enjoy reading, see what your local library or bookstore has to offer. You’d be surprised at how many types of books exist out there.
There are ones offering techniques (such as the Kama Sutra), ones discussing the psychology of female desire (such as Come As You Are) or ones designed to turn you on (such as erotica).
If you want hands-on learning, try out a class or workshop. These can be centered on any topic from setting healthy boundaries to an introduction into the BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism) world.
Places to look would be local sex shops and online communities (such as meet up groups that are sex-positive).
If you feel comfortable talking about sex with your friends, host a get-together.
Share self-love strategies, discuss the challenges of navigating today’s complex sexual landscape, whatever you feel like talking about.
Depending on how big your city is, heading over to a sex club might be an option. There is a huge range of options out there so you can find one that’s your speed.
Some are a low-key bar where most people are clothed and playing sexy games (and a few people happen to be having sex in a corner). Others are more of a club vibe where there are plenty of dedicated play rooms.
Quality ones should check everyone’s ID’s against a sex offender database, require a commitment to respecting consent and boundaries, and employ bouncers walking around ready to oust anyone who makes someone else uncomfortable.
The benefit of a sex club is you can be in a sexy atmosphere and observe all body types, races, sexual orientations and so on intermingling.
Maybe you find you get turned on by that group sex encounter over there and you later spend some time contemplating having a three way.
Maybe you are intrigued by the clothed female, naked male encounter over there and decide it’s something you want to try. A sex club should offer a safe, fun place for you to observe different sexual encounters in action.
Make it your next ladies night out so you can all explore together!
Tantra yoga can be done alone or with a partner, but the focus is on connecting with yourself. It can help you feel more in tune with your sexuality, your desires and your body.
It’s a great addition to your self-care routine. There are different meditations and poses you can do depending on your style and yoga skill level.
Assuming you stick with sites that are consensual and respectful of women, porn can be a great way to open up your world.
Dip your toes in the water for alternative sexual expressions (such as female dominating male, light bondage, role play, etc) and see what resonates with you.
A Sexy Hobby
Harness your sexuality in a physically active way! Take a pole dancing class, learn to strip tease, learn to belly dance and so on.
It can help you feel more in touch with yourself and more in tune with your body. Plus, it’s fun to strut your stuff for yourself!
Of course, no sexual exploration list would be complete without mentioning masturbating! Play around with yourself and see what you respond to.
Try teasing yourself. Vary the type and intensity of touch. Use a vibrator, feather, beaded necklace, ice, the tub faucet head... The list goes on and on.
Focus on variety and see what you like and don’t. Remember to record it in your sex journal!
Taking the time to explore your sexuality on your own will help you gain more understanding about what you do and don’t like, which makes it easier to communicate that to a partner and easier to give it to yourself. It’ll make a great impact to your solo and partnered sex life!