My husband and I were sitting in a hotel ballroom at the Sexual Health Expo in Los Angeles, attending a talk by a woman named Jaiya. She was in a flowy dress and was sharing her theory on her "Five Erotic Blueprints" with the audience. We were there because we'd been married forever and were trying to take a fresh look at our sex life, to forget what we thought we knew about ourselves and each other, and to see what new ideas seemed worth exploring.
As Jaiya began to talk about her blueprints, I felt like I could hear a little bit about myself in each one. For instance, there was the "sensual" who needs to feel relaxed before they can feel sexy, and the "kinky" who is turned on by taboo. I thought to myself, sure, I find it helpful to be relaxed and fun to be naughty.
But then she started to talk about the "energetic" and asked for a volunteer from the audience who would like to be kissed. As you can imagine, about half the room (men and women) raised their hands, and one lucky person was selected. What happened next hit me like a ton of bricks.
She brought her volunteer to the front of the room and slowly looked them up and down. She then proceeded to very very slowly move in towards them. She flirted with her eyes and her smile, and breathed more deeply and heavily the closer she got. The tension in the air was absolutely palpable. She got within millimeters of the volunteer's mouth and I'm not entirely sure, but it seemed like they might have had a mini-orgasm. Then she stopped, turned and faced the audience and said "That is what it looks like to be turned on if you are an energetic."
Holy moly. There was no doubt in my mind that right then and there, I had found my erotic blueprint. According to her, the energetic is highly turned on by "the space in between," by anticipation, by tension, by eye-gazing, by stillness, by tease. If things move too fast, they can't keep track of it all and the erotic energy goes "poof".
My mind was suddenly racing, reviewing all of my fantasies. Guy across the bar? Eye-gazing... check. Sexting? Anticipation... check. Making out before dinner but not finishing until after? Tease... check. It made so much sense, that I suddenly felt like I had found the map to a buried treasure I hadn't even realized was there all along.
It's been a couple years since that workshop and I'm ridiculously happy to confess that I'm a sexual tension junkie. It's counter to every cultural message I received growing up that I shouldn't be a tease, that sex should be more about my partner's pleasure than mine, that I shouldn't want to be objectified. But you know what? I like being a tease, I love pleasure and I want to be objectified.
So what does that mean concretely for our sex life? Well, sex for us used to look like heading to the bedroom after putting our kid to bed, taking off our clothes, getting under the covers and getting straight to it. I mean, come on, we were married, we knew the drill. And it worked. It was good. But it wasn't as hot as it could be.
Thanks to learning about things like my erotic blueprint, sex looks different now. My husband knows that if he sexts me during the day about what he'd like to do together that night, he'll light my pilot light. And I know, if I give him a look across the dinner table, I'll turn up the flame on that pilot light. And when we get to the bedroom, we don't take off our clothes. Because making out with our clothes on builds tension which turns me on like crazy. And edging. Omg edging.
So if you are reading this and getting overly aroused, or wondering if your partner might be an "energetic"... think about your next kiss. What if instead of leaning in quickly, you took a moment to look at your partner with eyes that say "I want you"? What if you slowly approached them and wrapped your hand around the small of their back, but kept your face a few inches away from theirs? What if you ever so slowly approached their lips... but then paused... right at that moment... when there was barely any space left... between your mouth and theirs? Sigh. Melt.
This blog reflects my real-life experiences. I'd love to hear about your experiences, so let's continue the conversation in the comments section below.
You can also check out these resources or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in classes or coaching to explore your own sexuality. I am a sex and relationship coach and if I can't personally help you, I'd be very happy to connect you with other wonderful sex educators, coaches and therapists.
New to this blog and want to start at the beginning? Check out this post about why I started a blog about sex.