Talking about sex isn't easy for most people. It becomes harder when you're trying to express consent or non-consent, which is something that has only been emphasized more recently, and only in some communities. When it comes to talking about, and consenting to, different sexual acts, things get even more complicated and difficult for most people. This is true even when they discuss it with people they really care for and have an easy time communicating with.

So how do we "spice up" our sex lives? Is there an easy way to do this?

The short answer: yes. However, there are a lot of different ways to accomplish this. Each method will suit a different situation best and have different benefits and drawbacks. Let's take a look at some of the easy things you can do to help you explore your sexual interests in a way that's safe, respectful and fun.

Use a BDSM Checklist

This method has been around the longest. There are various versions of it floating around BDSM and other kink communities. These checklists are great because it's often hard to even consider all of these different options when sitting down and talking to someone. Using a checklist, each person involved can "score" their interest in certain activities or express whether it's a soft or hard limit. They can express whether or not they have tried it. You can let people know if an item is physically impossible for you. One good checklist can be found here, and it's ready to print!


A good pointer for using checklists is to discuss them in a public place regardless of whether or not this is someone you've met before (even if you've been talking to them online forever). Discussing your list in a public place keeps you from becoming distracted from the task at hand.

The Human Sex Map

This is a fun and more visual interpretation of a BDSM checklist. In this version, there is a map with different interests and actions laid out. To express your interests, you simply lay down a colored pin that indicates if it's something you've tried and liked, tried and didn't like, are interested in trying, or which is strictly for fantasy.


This method isn't nearly as specific as other choices. You can't express the degrees of interest, or whether you're willing to try something if a partner is interested in it, and you can't express if something is a hard limit or not. The visual aspect is fun. It can definitely spark conversation. I do take issue with some of the wording used on the map, especially under gender and orientation identity because it is incredibly outdated and offensive. Unfortunately, these terms and ideas are still promoted in some kink communities. You can check it out here.

Fetlife Fetish Lists

Fetlife takes it in a different route by making the list part of a social media platform. You can broadcast your interests to potential partners. The other methods listed here are easier for communicating with existing partners or people you're considering as partners.


This platform is also relatively simplistic; you can label something as "into" or "curious about" and then further categorize them, if applicable, under "giving," "receiving," "watching," "wearing," "watching others wear," and "everything to do with it." This usually will cover most things, but can be confusing or limiting for some actions or interests. In these situations, it's usually just best to not give it a second category.

You can further elaborate on things or include links to other interests listed on your profile. This makes it a little easier to cover more ground in some aspects. These lists have the same issue as Human Sex Map in that many terms, especially those referring to people who are gender non-conforming, are offensive. As I said, it's a common issue.

The most obvious drawback here is that more than just your partner(s) can see your fetish lists. If this is something you're not interested in, then Fetlife isn't the place for you.

Mojo Upgrade

Mojo Upgrade is an app, and it's perfect for people who are worried about what their partner might think of them if they're into something that their partner really isn't into at all. This is a common phobia, and regularly keeps people from discussing things they're interested in with their partner.


The way it works is that you sign up to do it on the same or two different computers. You decide what your nickname will be, pick your gender (which is, unfortunately binary, and a lot of the activities heavily rely on you and your partner's genders), age, and whether or not you want "advanced" items added or only advanced options. Advanced options are more extreme kink and BDSM scenarios and actions. Then you each, successively, get to choose whether or not you're interested in something by clicking "no," "we already do that," "if my partner is interested," and "yes." When the results are finished, your partner will only see the things you answered anything except no to that matches their answers. So, if you picked "if my partner is interested" and they picked "yes," then you both would see the results.

There are definitely some drawbacks to this one, but the ability to leave things your partner isn't interested in private will definitely make it an ideal conversation starter for many people.

Go to an Adult Store

Piggybacking off of the assertion that talking about things in a safe but public space will help you concentrate on the task at hand, going to an adult store with a really good selection of adult items will enable you and your partner to look at things in person and discuss whether or not it's something you're interested in. Depending on the place, you might even get to try on some outfits to show your partner. This is a more tangible option than writing out lists, but can only cover what is available in the store. Perhaps going ahead of time and scoping the place out will help. The best stores are focused on sex education and body safe products. You can find a thorough list of these shops on the Superhero Sex Shop Tour.


What are some ways you've opened up the conversation about ways you're interested in "spicing up" your sex life?