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What Do I Want?

I’m all for people advocating for their pleasure and asking partner(s) for what they want- what if you’re unsure though? What if you don’t really know what you want to ask for?

Here are some ideas to help you (re)connect with your desires! 

  • First, let’s start out with non-erotic pleasures. You have a relationship to pleasure, I promise, it’s just about awareness and reconnecting to it. Observing your relationship to pleasure also allows you to bring mindfulness into the ordinary which is a helpful and transferable skill. Here are some things to consider: why did you choose that temperature in the shower? When you choose a particular drink, why is that? When you picked out your clothes, why those? Distill your whys into the pleasure of your experience. 

  • Now let’s talk of solo-play, also known as masterbation or solo-sex. If you already have an established practice that’s enjoyable, ask yourself, are there things I’d like to recreate/reenact with my partner(s)? Note what comes to mind and if you don’t have a solo-practice, here’s an invitation to start one. Get to know your body and anatomy. Try pulling out a mirror and exploring what types of touch and sensations feel good, even explore outside of your genitals. Expert tip: using a body-safe lube while exploring can enhance your experience too!  

  • Think back to enjoyable sexual experiences. Write down in detail what each one was made of and get really clear on nuances of each experience. Further suss out the setting, life circumstances and relationship dynamics. See what information you can collect from past experiences. Adapted from Dr. Emily Nagasaki’s book, Come As You Are. 

  • If further exploration with external sources sound interesting, audio erotica, reading erotica, yes/no/maybe lists, and/or ethical porn will be great sources of inspiration. Become your own detective, notice what excites and arouses you - tap into your erotic energy! Now ask yourself, are these things I’d like to experience with myself and/or ask my partner to be apart of? 

Now that you have ideas on what you like and want, you’re ready for the next step - open communication with your partner(s)!

Have more questions? Get in touch with Emily, visit

This post was reposted with permission by Emily Fitzpatrick, MSW, LCSW

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