Decades ago, when I began my bachelor’s degree in health education, we had a slogan. “Do it for the health of it!” As young students in the program, we snickered at the “do it” while we focused on health. After a full career in the sexuality field, these words have morphed into other meanings.
When I got my counseling and therapy degrees, I learned to add permission to my conversations. Permission to talk, to share, to investigate. I became the person who helped to normalize sexuality in the lives of my clients. This was crucial because most people in the United States never received comprehensive sexuality education much less an open, nonjudgmental context in which to discuss concerns or pose questions.
I have spent my career setting the permission stage, then dispelling myths and replacing them with factual sexuality information while also making specific educational suggestions.
I’m in the last chapter of my professional career. I chose to follow my students’ suggestions and use erotica as a new tool to continue the good fight for sex-positive sexuality, one which is healthy, holistic, and life-affirming.
But now, what’s different is I am an erotica author. And as the erotica author who trained as a sex educator and therapist, I have some specific thoughts about reading erotica.
Why Read Erotica?
Read Erotica for your Sexual Health.
There is the “use it or lose it” component of health for your body. Banish a sedentary life. Exercise. Dance. Run. Swim. Whatever floats your boat. Basically, get up and move.
This sentiment is no different in relation to your sexual parts. Get that blood flow moving and use what you have if you want to keep your sexual system healthy. Sexual activity relies on the cardiovascular system, so let’s keep the blood pumping to the pelvis and distribute it there for your own pleasure. Whether in solo self-care with masturbation or in sensual play sharing with a partner or partners, exercise your sexual system.
A date with erotica may keep your body in shape. You can read it to begin the sex processes, ramping up interest and desire for sexual play. Or you can read it to keep the movement going while you’re hot and heavy in bed by reading naughty scenes to a partner(s). Erotica can serve a specific function tailored for you.
Read Erotica to Intensify Pleasure
Orgasm is a reflex and our bodies use all our senses to attain and pass through the threshold of arousal/desire and orgasm. You might find it helpful to determine which sense provides the most stimulation.
Erotica can amp up what is working for you. But the opposite can be true. Suppose you like visuals and read a story that includes blindfolding. You might access more tactile information joining the character experiencing the effects of no sight. That might be a powerful jolt to your sex system.
Read Erotica to find a New Spot on your Personal Sexual Pleasure Continuum
Erotica is about sexual fantasy (created pictures in our minds). You may find that certain sexual situations provide more stimulation than others. When younger, the newness of sex provided the extra excitement especially when coupled with surging hormones. As you move through the aging process, you may find that experience harder to replicate. More mental and physical stimulation may be necessary to reach those reflex thresholds. Dr. Justin Lehmiller talks about these ideas in his latest sex research on sexual fantasies. As we age, we may need MORE. More varied scenarios and situations to get that blood flowing south resulting in erections and lubrication.
Writing erotica showed that to me. When menopause depleted and reset my hormones to a lower level, I found that more mental stimulation aided the physical deficit. I coupled that with Ruby Glow, a sexy new toy designed by Tabitha Rayne, for the seated woman and I had recharged the sexual flow. When I combined erotic words with direct stimulation to my body, my sexual system loved it.
Read Erotica to find New Turn-ons
If you cannot imagine erotic situations that would make you hot, perhaps someone else can create interesting scenarios for you.
There are many genres in erotica, styles of writing, and sexual activities on the continuum of sex from which to choose. Find what you like. But remember, everyone who writes erotica may not have had specific training in comprehensive sexuality. Therefore, not all writers tackle their writing with accurate sexual information in mind. They may choose to leave all their work in the fantasy realm. You need to decide what that means to you. Whether writers know it, they educate with their words. It leaves you, the reader to discern the difference. Is it all accurate facts woven into the story or all fiction?
Read Erotica to Take your Sexuality into your Own Hands-Literally and Figuratively
If you need permission to read erotica, here it is. You are the captain of your ship, the driver of your car, the owner of your body. What you choose to do for you is important. Let reading erotica speak to your solid-self, a person who is experiencing their worth and integrating sexuality equally into their life for pleasure.
Investigate to find what you like. Ask friends. Talking to others about erotica might be scary, but doing so makes you the instrument of permission in your world. Matching your actions and words about sexuality is empowering.
Erotica stories are words on a page that can create an alternative universe to arouse you. You can stop reading, set the book aside and pick it back up at your leisure. Your choice is not only how much, when, and where, but how, solo or partnered.
What you do with those words depends on your experience, your interest in exploring, and maybe a renewed sense of your self-worth. Context is everything. I wish you a sex-positive journey in discovering what works for you.