It is nice to know that there is much more conversation trying to figure out what ignites our sexual desires than there used to be. That is good! Unfortunately, what is often ignited is a dumpster fire. “What turns us on?” is the loaded and controversial question we explore in this week’s Sex Stories We Love.

Motors Running?

OK, let’s get right to the heart of the matter - what do we even know about what turns us on? Is it even possible to put that phrase together? Is it even possible for there to be a collective answer? Nope. Being turned on is an entirely personal thing. Are there some things in this world that a significant number of folks will find appealing, in a sexual way? For sure! Yet, there really is no way to categorically say “This will turn you on.” However, there are some understandings about human sexual behaviour that can help us, individually, understand our own needs. If you haven’t already read Emily Nagoski’s "Come As You Are," I highly recommend it. Cynthia Loyst offers some thoughts on Nagoski’s concept of sexual accelerators and brakes and how those can affect your sexual desire and, ultimately, your sexual pleasure.

Lingerie Is Revealing

There are always lots of people who are ready - and sometimes too willing - to dish out sexual advice. There’s nothing to say this is necessarily a bad thing, but it isn’t always a good thing. The best advice is to take any advice you read and see if it can apply to your sexual happiness. Don’t try to pigeonhole yourself into the words of a stranger who doesn’t know your situation. One of the most common types of sex advice is the “how to spice up your long-term relationship” variety that seems to come out in a new version every other week. Sure, it speaks to a real issue for some couples, but does it also manufacture anxiety? Personally, I love how Ceilide Winn both approached and learned from her week of wearing lingerie to bed. It doesn’t hurt that she has a strong relationship with her husband, but the experiences they have in that week speak to the best type of spice you can bring to a long-term relationship: learning more about each other, even when you thought there wasn’t more to be learned.

Paper Cut Porn

Hey, I’ll readily admit, I cut my sexual teeth on porno mags. As I developed my own sexuality and explored, there were also some hidden in my room. And that was in the heyday of this sexual medium. Pre-Internet, pre-DVD even. There were rows upon rows of explicit magazines available, featuring almost every sexual interest and niche you can think of. However, times changed and I moved away from print porn just as most everybody else has done. Sometimes, I pass by those print racks and wonder if there’s any life left in the porn magazine industry. Now, I don’t think the situation is as dire here as where Isabelle Hellyer was shopping, but the market for these products does seem, at this point, to be gone.

Not a Solid Solution

I’m not convinced that the invention of Viagra was to help men achieve erections. I mean, yes, that is essentially what this drug does - and good for those folks whose sex lives have been helped by the little blue pill. But the more I read about the true white whale of sexual pharmaceuticals - a medication to increase women’s sexual desire - the more I am convinced it was done to establish a baseline of “we made cocks hard, we can surely make vaginas wet.” People have been seeking aphrodisiacs forever, with a distinct focus on getting women to the same libidinal level as men. But, the difference remains: making a penis pop a tent is nothing at all like building the house of true sexual desire. A tent is a temporary structure to get by. Building a house features numerous challenges and needs to be maintained long-term.

RIP Leonard Cohen

I gravitated to Leonard Cohen’s work for many reasons: his beautiful use of language, the perfect combination of musical style to lyrical content...and because he infused sexual content in his offering in the most delicious way. Sex was an integral part of so much of Cohen’s work, but it wasn’t explicit and in-your-face. It was just there, stunning, but at the same time, a part of our life. Fleeting, but memorable. Through failing or flying. He turned us on to sex in a way few others have ever tried.

Peek-a-Boo or Perv?

This report wouldn’t be complete without including something about someone actually getting turned on! And Jade Nixon really loves flashing and public sex. A lot of people love differing levels of exhibitionism, and it can be sexy as hell. As long as you’re not imposing yourself on people who aren’t consenting to seeing your junk, it's all good - there is a fine line between being creepy and fulfilling your fantasies. Also, it is always good to remember that these are activities that do often run afoul of the law. So, take heed of Jade’s advice: be ready to deal with the consequences - or see how fast you can run with pants around your knees!