Taking Sexual Stock
I suck at New Year’s resolutions so this year I’ve decided to scrap them altogether and start a new annual tradition: a sexual inventory. I’m writing about it to convince you to give it a try too!
A sexual inventory is an inventory (points for stating the obvious) of your thoughts about your sexuality and boundaries.
The one I did was created by an awesome sex positive website called Scarleteen and is pretty comprehensive. It covers topics like body boundaries, words and terms, relationship models and choices, safer sex, sexual responses, physical and/or sexual activities, non-physical sexual activities and reproductive choices.
I especially love this inventory because of the options you have for answering—yes, no, maybe, I don’t know and fantasy—which acknowledges that sometimes we fantasize about things we never actually want to do.
That’s kind of what made me want to do this inventory in the first place. I get a lot of questions from people worried about the things they fantasize about, the porn they watch or what turns them on, and it’s usually because their turn-ons don’t match what they think or have been told is normal.
So what the hell is normal? And why are we censoring and worrying about our fantasies and turn-ons? The beauty of fantasies and sexual thoughts is supposed to be that they’re completely private if you want them to be, so there’s no need to censor yourself or feel guilty, however dirty you may think they are.
When it comes to doing things with other people, as long as everything is consensual, then the sky should be the limit.
It should be obvious that a universal normal doesn’t exist, but many of us still struggle with it.
Since sexual acts are often so taboo, we tend to grow up with strong ideas of what’s acceptable or “normal,” and forget to revisit those ideas and consider if they’re actually our own.
And since these ideas play a big role in determining our boundaries and what experiences we open ourselves up to, it can be good to take the time to think about them completely on our own and take a self-inventory of what we really think.
All these thoughts about “normal” got me wondering if there are things I unknowingly censor about my own sexuality, which is why I finally did a sexual inventory.
If you’re thinking of doing this inventory (yay!) you should do it completely alone first, and in a way that makes you confident that no one else will see your answers, so that you’re completely honest and free of pressure or influence.
In the end, there might be answers you’d like to share with a partner to open communication on certain topics, but there will likely also be some you’ll never want anyone to know.
I’ve decided to do this inventory annually to compare changes, but it can really be done as often as you like—or even just this once. Either way, I’m sure you’ll learn something new about yourself or at least have some interesting thoughts when you come across questions you’ve never considered. But best of all, you’ll create your own normal.
Wishing you a happy and sexy new year!
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