Out of focus white woman lying on a bed with head at camera and legs bent up.

Negotating sex – start with context

The context in which sex takes place is often central to people feeling emotionally and physically safe as well as aroused. There are a lot of ways to work out the contexts that you feel most comfortable in, but I am going to make three suggestions:

Reflect on your experiences

Working out what contexts have worked for you in the past is really helpful. Think about your highlights reel – 5-10 sexual encounters that you think back on with particular affection or nostalgia. What was it about the context these happened in that made it so awesome. It may be that it was with someone brand new to you, or with someone you had a deep connection with already. It may be the space that they were in – a sex club or at home. It might be about your emotional context at the time – maybe heightened emotions make sex hot for you, or maybe you like it best when you feel awesome about yourself. You can also think of times when consensual sex just hasn’t worked for you. Think about the common factors that make it ‘meh’. Figuring out what has worked for you in the past can give you insight into how to create physical and emotional contexts that work best for you.

Write your own erotic movie context or outline

Think about shooting your own erotic movie. Set the scene in great detail. What would the set look like? Would it be a sex club? Bedroom? Hotel pool? Whatever it is think about the detail of where, when and what is around. Then think about the relationship between the characters. Are they strangers? Friends? Lovers? What is the emotional context? Are the characters having a relaxing holiday or an illicit affair? Writing out the scene can give you insight into appealing contexts for you regardless of whether or not you’re into role play. If you want to read more about writing an erotic movie, you can find a great prompt and other instructions in “ecstasy is necessary

Spend time re-imagining your bedroom

Many people have most of their sex in a bedroom. As such, creating a comfortable bedroom context for sex is really important. Spend some time in your bedroom working out what is best for you. Think about temperature, lighting, textures, access to safer sex supplies and what is on the surfaces. If the overhead light is too bright for your comfort, think about whether you would be more comfortable with a bedside table lamp. Some of us find particular hues better or worse, for example I have trouble with orange or red lights but love blue or green. If you’re not sure what colours work for you, it is possible to buy colour changing bulbs and try them out. The texture of what you wear and the bed linen can also be important. One of my people hates flannel sheets, another is allergic to synthetic fibers. Noone wants to be thinking about the discomfort of the fabric touching you when trying to enjoy sex, so put some thought into what feels good in advance. Easy access to lube, condoms, gloves and sex sheets* can really lower your anxiety levels if you find stopping and starting to find that stuff uncomfortable. Finding somewhere to put all the acoutremon that accompany sex is a great plan especially if you need them out of sight because you are in a shared house or feel uncomfortable about them. Even minor changes to the context can have a big impact on your comfort and enjoyment of sex and sensuality, so what are you waiting for?


* Sex sheets can protect bed linen from lube, poop and ejaculate meaning less worry about changing bedding every time you have sex. They can be especially great if you or your partner experiences female ejaculation or is self conscious about the possibility they may make a mess. You can use incontinence bed or seat pads or disposable dog toilet training pads.

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