Good news: The year is 2020, which means the country is definitely reaching a new, progressive era of sexual awakening. If you’re not discussing sex with your girls over a glass of wine, you’re listening to the Girls Gotta Eat podcast or picking up cowgirl sex tips from a viral Tweet on Twitter.
(And NGL, it’s really cool to see so many average people, activists, and sex toy companies encouraging female pleasure and exploration in general).
But even despite the fact that there have been major strides to destigmatize the negative connotations associated with sex and self-pleasure (especially for women), there still remains some taboo sex topics people don’t discuss—with partners or with friends. Even if they’re interested in said topic.
But for whatever reason why this is the case, freeing yourself from looking at certain sex acts as being off limits or “too taboo” could be the way to your next full-body orgasm. Seriously.
Take it from an expert: “Anything between two (or more) consenting adults, involving safe words (if necessary), performed in private, is encouraged,” says Alex Miller, sexologist at Orchid Toys. “How can you know what you like until you try it all?”
So we spoke with a tonnnn of experts who advise on what sex acts you should be exploring (with consent and if you’re interested), regardless of reputation. Trust, these things shouldn’t be considered taboo, especially because of all the orgasms they could potentially bring you. You—and only you—determine what brings you pleasure, and exploring what turns you on should not be rooted in judgement, my friend.
“There are a lot of couples out there that completely avoid period sex because one or both partners considers it taboo or weird. This shouldn’t be the case at all!” says Emily Brooks, a sex and relationship coach at BeyondAges.com. “With a little preparation and a little extra cleanup, period sex can be just as much fun as any other time of the month.” Keep in mind, though, that period sex could actually worsen cramps and bloating (and in other cases, alleviate cramp and bloating pain!) so stay in tune with your body and what feels good.
Sex, but without a focus on anything below the belt
Okay, so maybe it’s not taboo necessarily, but sex without even touching the genitals is something most adults don’t opt for. And even though this may seem a lil middle schoolish, “focusing on a partner’s body, exploring their curves, and seeing the way they react to different types of touch in unexpected places can be both erotic and incredibly intimate,” says expert and LGBTQ+ expert Kryss Shane.
Plus, given that many folks identify as a different gender than their assigned gender at birth, “some people may prefer to utilize the body’s other pleasure points in order to stimulate enjoyment,” Shane adds.
Sex, but without penetration
Fun lil factoid: Sex can mean whatever you want it to mean. And contrary to what you may have been taught, it also doesn’t have to involve anything going inside of you or your partner. “We should realize that the penis isn’t the only organ that allows for pleasure—and for many with a clitoris, they can orgasm without the need for any penetration,” says Shane. So define and have sex in whatever way you want to have sex—whether that involves penetration or not.
ICYMI: We’re in a global pandemic, which has high-key made virtual sex the only safe option right now. But just because it’s the only option currently doesn’t mean we have to completely forgo it when it’s safe to have IRL sex again. “Gone are the days of online sex being relegated to the dark corners of shady chat rooms. Whether you want to send steamy messages via text or voice note, share sexy photos, or have full-on video sex, sex and digital technology now go hand in hand,” says sexologist Jess O’Reilly, PhD, We-Vibe sex expert.
Anal sex (or booty play in general)
And yes, this applies to exploration for both men and women. “There are tons of nerve endings in and around the anus that make everyone feel amazing. Penetration isn’t necessary for anal play, there is plenty of sensation around the outside of the anus (not to mention the whole booty region!)” says Portia Brown, director and content creator at Froetic Sexology. “I think we have to become less squeamish and more educated when it comes to anal play and sex. Part of the reason this remains taboo is a lack of knowledge around how to do it painlessly and pleasurably.”
Sex toys during sex
Remember when I mentioned above that most women cannot orgasm from strictly penetration? Allow me to introduce a vibrator (or any other sex toy you’d like to try out). “Sex toys, while certainly fun on their own, can enhance sex with a partner more than many people realize,” says Searah Deysach, sex educator and owner of Early to Bed. “From helping two people orgasm at the same (or close to) the same time, to adding a whole new type of sensation to your sex play, sex toys can actually do a lot to make partner sex more fun and even feel more intimate.”
This goes for sex toys for men, too: “The truth is, there are so many awesome, thoughtfully designed devices out there for penises now that everyone who has a penis should be using them,” says Deysach. And whether for solo play or paired for coupled sex, “there should be no shame around accessing this type of pleasure for anyone.”
Along the same lines as impact play, BDSM, which stands for bondage, discipline, dominance, and submission, is a maje turn on for a lot of folx. “Safely restraining your partner, adding some more intense sensations with crops and clamps, or blindfolding your partner while you tease their body are all ways that more and more people are pushing the boundaries on what kinds of sex is ‘normal,’” says Deysach. Again, like any kink, as long as every partner has consented and a safe word is established, it’s all fun and orgasms.
Most often, pegging is used to refer to a hetero, cisgender woman strapping on a dildo and penetrating a hetero, cisgender man. And unfortunately, because anal sex has historically been associated as a “gay men act,” many straight men don’t consider pegging. But, a reminder: where and how you receive pleasure does not determine your sexuality.
“Not only can anal stimulation and penetration be awesome for all kinds of folks, but being on the receiving end of a partner who is experiencing the power and sexiness that can come from wearing a strap-on can be life-changing. Or at the very least, super-hot,” says Deysach.
Voyeurism and exhibitionism
Forget about what you think voyeurism and exhibitionism is because you probably have it all wrong (and associate it with the icky, illegal context). When consensual and used in a sexual matter, these kinks are actually extremely hot.
“Exhibitionism is a kink in which the person feels sexual arousal at the idea or reality of being seen naked or engaged in sexual activities by others,” says clinical sexologist Sarah Melancon, sexuality and relationship expert for SexToyCollective.com. And it typically goes hand-in-hand with a voyeur, which is someone who “feels sexual arousal by watching someone else nude or doing sexual activities,” says Melancon.
Unfortunately, “voyeurism and exhibitionism are still considered taboo because there’s a lack of understanding of how to approach it and propose it to people,” says Brown. But “You are not a sexual deviant just because you want someone to watch you have sex, want to have sex out in public, or want to watch someone else masturbate, whatever it is.”