Asking for what you want — in love, in sex, in relationships — requires creativity. Yet fear, shyness, and plain old being stuck in a rut can keep you from being creative in and out of the bedroom.

Erotic creativity is so much more than dressing up in lingerie or nibbling chocolate off of each other (though both of those can be fun.) It engages your mind and your senses. It requires you to let go of how things “should” be, and to be present, to play around with what’s here right now. It means you won’t necessarily know where things are going, or how they’ll turn out, which can be scary — and incredibly hot.

When you’re trying to find the right words to describe the feeling that drives your fantasies, you’re using your erotic creativity. When you get worked up thinking about the hot date you’re going to have later tonight, you’re leveraging your erotic creativity. When you spontaneously touch your lover in a different way than usual, you’re engaging with your erotic creativity.

Erotic creativity keeps things fresh, because you’re not bringing your same old self to the table. It doesn’t have to be dramatic or even noticeable to anyone but yourself. Erotic creativity starts outside of the bedroom, with little acts of innovation and playfulness.

Here are 10 ways to bring more creativity (erotic and otherwise) into your life:

1) Give yourself permission to create. This means having room to make mistakes, to try things, to not know if it will work out. Start somewhere small… where in your life can you let go of perfection? Where can you try a new way of doing things?

2) Get inspired. Go to an art show and see what turns you on. Read erotica and highlight the sections that get you hot. Wear clothes you feel sexy in. Put on music that makes you feel more in your own skin and move your body in ways that feel good.

3) Find a new turn-on. Fantasize about being a different gender, being the center of a group sex experience, being a naughty student or a perverse principal. Browse the erotica section of the bookstore or Amazon for ideas.

4) Pay attention. So often we gloss over what turns us on, because we think it’s “not appropriate” or “nice girls/guys don’t do that.” After doing this a while, we don’t know what turns us on. Walk down the street and pay attention to who you’re attracted to. What is it that turns your head? What comes up for you when you see someone you think is hot? What does attraction feel like in your body?

5) Allow yourself to be curious. What happens if I touch her like this? What happens if I fantasize about that? Do I like this toy? What’s it like to masturbate in the living room? “What if?” is a powerful question to ask.

6) Go back to basics. I’m talking kiddy stuff here. Buy some Play-Doh or a Slinky and play with it tonight. Finger paint. Draw on the sidewalk. Build with Lego. Get in touch with the basic senses of color and texture. Pay attention to the sensation in your hands as you play.

7) Stop — or start — with the porn. If you use porn, take a couple of weeks off, and see how it affects your perceptions of sex. If you don’t use porn, try a few different kinds to see what gets you off.

8) Quit using words. Draw stick figure pictures of what you want to do in bed tonight. Paint colors and patterns that feel like orgasm to you. Play sexy charades with your partner until you’re both cracking up.

9) Masturbate differently. When you do things differently, you create new neural pathways that connect up different parts of the brain, leading to more creativity. So switch hands. Change positions. Give lighter or heavier pressure. Change the lighting. Light a scented candle. Masturbate at a different time of day. Use a toy if you usually use your hand or vice versa.

10) Stop taking yourself so seriously. Do a goofy strip-tease. Cut your pubic hair into a funny pattern. Stop trying to live up to the beauty myth and see what it’s like to just enjoy yourself in your full, acceptable, lovable glory.

What ways do you bring creativity into your erotic life? Look for what is already fun and what you can expand into.

Make Consent Sexy

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