Did you know that one of Kinkly's favorite bloggers, Girly Juice, keeps a sex spreadsheet? I learned about this habit of hers via Twitter, and I've been thinking about its value ever since.
Since I've started my statistics classes for my psychology major, I've been more and more interested in the idea of the "quantified self", or the practice of measuring physiological and psychological states via apps and devices. By keeping measurements about everything in your life, you can start making correlations between things. Maybe you will discover certain foods that give you headaches. Maybe you'll figure out what kind of evening activities help you sleep better.
So for 2018, I challenge you to start keeping stats about your sex life. What you learn may just help you have better sex!
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Why keep stats about sex?
If you're a fan of keeping stats about yourself in the first place, the question really is, "why not?"
The simplest data you can keep, a count of when you have sex, can tell you many things. Do you have more sex at particular times of the month or year? Do events and stress levels affect your libido? If you get pregnant, when was the likely time it happened? For purely observational purposes, keeping stats about your sex life can teach you a lot about your own patterns.
There are tons of other reasons why you would want to keep such stats: tracking potential STIs, knowing who you have the best sex with, which toys or activities turn you on the most, etc.
Maybe you're just a data nerd who loves to make graphs and find correlations between things. Maybe you've been doing it for things like food or exercise, but didn't think to do it about sex. But, once you begin, you can start to cross-reference your sex life with other things, like hours of work or commuting, the food you eat, the alcohol you drink, etc.
What can I track?
The beauty of keeping this information on a spreadsheet is that you can track literally anything you want. There are sex tracking apps that can do a good job and make things easier for you, but they're usually less flexible than a blank spreadsheet.
Here are some things you can note in your spreadsheet:
- Date and time
- Gender of partner
- Where/how you met
- Your orgasm
- Their orgasm
- Toys used
- Specific activities like digital, anal or genital penetration, oral, kink, etc.
- Condom/birth control used
- A star rating for the encounter
- Alcohol or drugs consumed
Girly Juice's example spreadsheet is pretty thorough and interesting, so I suggest you go have a look at hers for some inpsiration.
The secret here is to be honest and truthful. There's no point in keeping data about yourself if you're going to lie to yourself. It's like trying to keep a food log but "forgetting" to put in all the snacks you eat. It might look good on paper, but it's useless for changing your habits.
Become a Sex Data Nerd
If you plan to have more and better sex in 2018, then keeping sex stats might be a great way to help you with that. Although we do know a lot about ourselves, we know less than we think. Noting your activities can remind you of things that you enjoy but forget to ask about, or of things that get in the way of having great sex (drinking too much, for example.)
Scientists use all kinds of data to understand the world around them. Psychologists have found ways to turn changeable human behavior into observable information, and keeping stats about your sex life is a little like doing a long-term self-study. What questions you have in the beginning and what conclusions you come to all depend on what you're interested in learning. Or maybe you're just interested in seeing where the data takes you with no specific goal. For the visually-minded, a cool project might be to make your own "sex infographic" summarizing your sex life for the year, for example.
Also, maybe keeping stats about your sex life will make it a less taboo topic for you, something to be proud of rather than ashamed about. It might also help you find more words to talk about your needs and desires, as well as what you like and what you don't.
Do you plan on trying this out in 2018? I already have my own spreadsheet ready...