Exploring the Palace of the Mind

Exploring the Palace of the Mind

Keeping Intimacy Fun & Fresh: Part 2

by Win, AYLI Staff Writer

Welcome back for more tips and ideas on how to spice things up in the bedroom! Or, if you’ve already read the first part of this series, lots of other places! If you haven't, consider starting there! If you don’t want to go back and read, here's the important starter bit when it comes to sexy bits: it’s a good idea to try new things. Our brains are hardwired to seek out new experiences, because that's how we learn and grow. In fact, new experiences cause our brains to release a burst of sweet sweet serotonin, one of the neurochemicals responsible for pleasure. So even if you’re already having great sex, having it in new and creative ways is good for both your emotional and physical self. Plus, it’s a great excuse to do fun things! 

In the first part of this series we talked about changing up where you have sex, but now I want to talk about ways to change how you have sex. If moving locations isn't viable or nature isn't appealing, consider ways to change up how you mentally interact with sex by introducing new elements or dynamics. This can range from exploring new fantasies to kink to reading each other erotica and doesn't stop there! 

Let's start with the kinky stuff. The definition kink is, pardon the pun, hotly debated. Kink is a generalised term that can include nearly any kind of sex that deviates from a cultural norm. BDSM is another term that gets thrown around a lot. It typically refers to the specific kinks of ‘bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism’, and the acronym has largely replaced the earlier term ‘sadomasochism’. BDSM is what most people think of when they hear the word kink, but there’s a whole world of different kink out there. 

Maybe there are some aspects of BDSM that appeal to you, or hidden kinks just waiting to be discovered. People have a lot of strong feelings about kink and BDSM, which is understandable! The landscape of human sexuality is broad and wild, and for people unfamiliar with the safe-sane-consensual model of kink it can seem pretty scary. But it doesn't need to be! Kink, even the ‘scary’ and ‘dangerous’ kinks that require a lot of education, can be done completely safely. It’s a massive playground with a ton of different aspects and activities. In fact, if you really dive into it, there's no such thing as ‘kink’ since there is no ‘normal’ way to have sex or experience intimacy! 

 If you think you might want to explore that avenue, I recommend taking a look at The New Topping and The New Bottoming books. Notice I said AND not OR; regardless of what role you think you might be interested in, reading both perspectives can help give you a rounded idea of what you’re looking for. Know you’re interested in kink but have a hesitant partner? Consider doing some reading together. Cuffed, Tied, and Satisfied and When Someone You Love Is Kinky are both great places to start when it comes to easing a nervous lover into understanding your interests. You can also look for local meet ups, called munches, of kinksters in your area. These are great opportunities to meet more experienced people who are happy to share their knowledge and give you tips. Or if you’re near us, you can always come chat with our kink specialists! 

Kink not for you? Cool. There are other ways to explore dynamics and how you mentally interact with sex! We mentioned fantasy earlier, and while lots of fantasies are kinky, lots aren't. Fantasy is a way for you to explore scenarios or situations that you don’t have access to in real life. These can range from a tryst in a magical setting (who doesn’t have a LOTR crush?) to exploring power dynamics and situations that would be taboo or unethical in reality. Try writing out your fantasies or finding erotica that aligns with it and sharing it with each other. Dirty talk can be really hot, but can also feel like a lot of pressure in the moment. Reading to each other is a nice way to scratch that auditory itch and explore fantasy without the performance anxiety.

Regardless of what else you’re doing, when it comes to sex and brains, mindfulness is a must. Mindfulness is described as “...the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.” Many people practise mindfulness in their lives, but it’s an essential part of having a good mental state during intimacy. Staying present and honest means you can fully participate in what's happening around you and engage with your partner(s). Setting and holding good boundaries, practising clear communication, and asking for what you want are all important parts of staying mindful and having good sex. If you're interested in exploring this element of sexuality, I recommend the book Urban Tantra

They say life is all in our heads, and maybe that's true, because when it comes to sex your mental state is crucial. These are just a handful of ways to change things up, but even small changes can make a big difference. We hope that something in this blog sparked for you and you’re planning something fun as you read this. If not, check back with us soon for more ideas. Plus you can always read through our archive of blogs, check out our social media or come chat with us in the store!

About the Author:

A self-described Queer Freak, Win (it/its) has never been interested in normal. An Agender/PreBinary person of mixed Lakota and Romani descent with a broad Kink background, Win brings a different perspective to AYLI. It splits its time between AYLI and its community, and can usually be found in the kitchen, the forest, or wherever there's mischief to be made!

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