Hello friends! Step here, thinking about our recent email with Dr. Jane, in which we asked you to redefine what sex means to you.
In posing that challenge, we wanted folks to move past that narrow definition we've been given of what sex is and who it's for.
Because there are so many ways to give and receive pleasure.
But homing in what really brings you pleasure isn't a one-time thing. The way we view and experience our sexuality can change over time.
There's always something new to discover.
How might our experience of sexuality shift?
Our preferences might change. With every sexual experience we have, there's the potential to learn something new about what we enjoy. A partner might introduce a new form of play. A solo session might lead to the realization that, hell, our belly button is the mind-blowing erogenous zone we never knew we had.
The longer we explore, the more information we gather about what makes us feel good.
Our gender or sexuality might be in flux. Whether cisgender, transgender, or somewhere in between… whether heterosexual, bisexual, asexual, or still figuring it out… we might not know what sex means to us in this moment.
And that's okay.
Many folks exploring their gender or sexuality go through a variety of transitions, physical, psychological, and social. And these transitions can leave them questioning whether they're "queer enough." After all, shouldn't we just know who we are as sexual beings?
But it's okay to explore, even if our current experience of sexuality is just a phase.
We're allowed to experiment and grow and change as many times as we want or need.
What's true and authentic now may not be the same two days or two months from now. But that does not invalidate our experiences in this moment.
We're allowed to approach these parts of ourselves with a sense of curiosity… and to continue to do so even after we think we've figured it all out.
We might be living with a disability that evolves over time. Many disabilities — such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and vision and hearing loss — progress over time, changing us physically in ways we can't control.
Approaching sex with a beginner's mindset ensures we don't miss out on all the possibilities for pleasure that continue to exist for us.
Our bodies change as we age. We'll all experience at least some of the physical changes that come with age. Sometimes, erections are hard to come by. Sometimes, penetration feels uncomfortable. Sometimes, fluctuating hormones make our desire ping-pong all over the place.
Being open to those changes, and open to new forms of sexual expression, can make it easier to adapt as we get to know these new versions of ourselves.
What we have space for in our lives can shift with our circumstances. A new job. A new relationship. Kids. These life transitions can impact what we have time for or what we choose to prioritize. Long, languorous sex sessions might be out. Quickies might be in. Morning sex might seem impossible. Masturbating after midnight might be the only opportunity we have for a satisfying sexy time.
Nothing is forever, though.
Not even the way we happen to enjoy sex…