What are your sexual values, and how can knowing your pleasure code improve your sex life?
I travel around the country asking people to reflect on their sexual values. I don’t mean a moral code of values exactly — I call it a pleasure code. I believe that knowing what you want from your sexual experiences, and how to get what you want, helps you get on the path to fully realizing your sexual potential.
In my installation, the Graphic Sex Project, I ask people to build a “graph” of their desires and values. Browse the collection of these graphs and you’ll see a hint of the diversity of sexual experience, actions, preferences, and values that people have.
Everyone has a their typical sexual script - WHAT things they tend to do. Also, everyone has sexual values — what they want sex to bring to their life: WHY they have sex.
Your pleasure code is the combination of these two perspectives - actions and values. That's when the WHAT and the WHY align to unlock a fully self-actualized sex life -- and that makes for truly hot sex.
The “WHAT” of your Desires
This is simply what you want to do and what you actually do. There is an infinite assortment of things people do for sexual pleasure, and infinite ways of arranging those things into a sexual experience. What happens first? For how long? What happens next?
How much have you thought about your sexual experiences to examine what happens? For instance, what exactly gets you in the mood and ready to have sex? How much kissing and what is that kissing like? Brief or long? A little tongue? A lot of tongue? How do you want your skin stroked - soft and slow? Firm, scratchy, tickle-y, pinches, slaps? How long before you want your genitals touched? What is that touch like? What else do you do? What do you like doing to the other person? What do you like to happen afterwards?
Here’s an example of one person’s pleasure code, made at a Graphic Sex Project installation. It includes talking, touching, kissing, oral giving and receiving, gentle sex, rough sex, orgasms and cuddling. Notice that her “rough sex” and “gentle sex” alternate in bands of green and blue.
Here’s another, which included sexting, anticipation, 1st touch, subtle acts of dominance in public, submissive collaring and restraint. Notice that almost half of the experience is the buildup to sex - all the things that get her in the mood. It ends with a LOT of cuddles.
What are the things that get you in the mood? What things do you like to happen, in what order? You can go to GraphicSexProject.com and make a graph to explore your own pleasure code.
The “WHY” of your Desires
You may know very well what it is you like to do, but it can be a powerful exercise to think about why you like those things - this WHY is your set of sexual values.
Here’s a great example of a values graph, made by 2 men at one of my installations. It’s divided into 3 categories: spiritual, mental, physical. These two young men value these things in their sexual experiences: vulnerability without judgement; trust; cooking; conscious intention; freedom in love; connection through conversation; confidence; sexual tension; dominance/submission; soft touch; positions; roughness.
What are your sexual values -- and what do you do during sex to express or achieve those values?
In my next post I'll show how you can bring the WHAT and WHY together to create your pleasure code -- and unlock mind-blowing sex!
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay updated on our best sexual well-being articles, podcasts, workshops, and more.