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Knowing Your Partner's Erotic Language Is The Key To Elevating Your Sex Life

There's power in the tongue.

Sex

When it comes to sex and self-pleasure, we typically rely on trial and error to discover what feels good. And though that can spell instant sexual chemistry and orgasms galore for some, sexual intimacy in solo sex and partnered sex is something we have to work at more times than not. Sexual needs differ, sexual incompatibility comes into play, and sometimes the inability to communicate what those needs and differences are can lead to frustration, lack of satisfaction, and overall lack of intimacy. But what if you could apply language to the way you approach intimacy in sexual relationships and self-pleasure? Well, there is power in the tongue and, turns out, there’s power in learning what your Erotic Blueprint type is, too.


Similar to the way love languages and apology languages are important tools in how we communicate and understand intimacy, Erotic Blueprints can be transformative to one’s self-relationship as well as their relationship with others. Jaiya, award-winning somatic sexologist and creator of the Erotic Blueprints, says they are an arousal map to more pleasure, more understanding, deeper connection, and deeper satisfaction. “When you expand into who you really are you can own your pleasure. When we are living our pleasure, we are no longer at odds with life and there is a whole new level of satisfaction in all of life, not just in the bedroom."

The Healing Power of Erotic Blueprints

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There is sometimes a mind-body-soul disconnect we experience due to a lack of knowledge of our true selves that can lead to discontentment in the self-relationship and our intimate relationships. Jaiya says the end result is surface-level experiences that don’t even crack the surface of how powerful our solo and partnered sex lives can truly be. “When we don’t know what turns us on, we don’t know how to ask for it,” she explains. “When we don’t have a language or teaching on how to uncover what turns us on, we stay stuck in shame and guilt, and silence around sex.”

In that way, Erotic Blueprints are rooted in so much more than sex. The framework in relationships is so transformative because “when we know ourselves and we know another more deeply, we are able to really honor who we are and who another is in that moment in time. When we honor another person, they feel seen, heard, and deeply loved for who they are," she adds. Therein lies the healing capabilities of this work.

In our adult relationships, we often seek the things that we lacked from parents and caretakers in our childhood. On healing from attachment issues, Jaiya says, “It gives us permission to be ourselves and love ourselves, and sex is one of those places where we often judge, criticize, and shame. It’s often the final frontier of personal growth.”

The 5 Erotic Blueprints 

The Erotic Blueprints are comprised of five types: energetic, sensual, sexual, kinky, and shapeshifter. To learn your primary type, take the basic quiz here. Jaiya also says you should “listen to what your body likes and doesn’t like. Think about the five blueprints and notice, during sexual play or based on your history, where things line up for you.”

Below, Jaiya provides insights into each Erotic Blueprint type, their respective superpowers (pros), and their shadow sides or aspects (cons).

1. Energetic

The Energetic Erotic Blueprint type “is turned on by anticipation, space, tease, and longing. They love to yearn. Their superpower is that they are very sensitive to the point of being able to orgasm without being touched. Hypersensitivity can cause them to ‘short-circuit’ and become turned off because it is too much sensation, too fast and their arousal system shuts down.”

Slow and steady wins the race for the Energetic type. In order to speak their language, Jaiya advises, “Play with more tease, light touch on the body and with consciously giving more spaciousness for ‘turn on’ to turn into begging for more.”

2. Sensual

A Sensual type “is someone who is turned on by all of their senses being ignited. Their superpower is that they bring beauty and sensuality to the sexual experience. The shadow side of the Sensual is that they get caught in their heads and stop feeling what is happening in their body. They lose their presence and get lost in ‘to-do’ lists, for example.”

Sensual types really crave the sensory benefits that come with being fully present. To combat that, “it’s important to have what I call ‘Toggles,’ things that help you transition from the mundane tasks of life to the erotic realm… things like getting a massage, having a hot bath with rose petals, eating some chocolate, doing something relaxing and snuggly.”

3. Sexual

The Sexual Erotic Blueprint Type is “someone who is turned on by what we think of as 'sex' in our culture (nudity, orgasms, penetration, etc.) Their superpower is that they can go from zero to sixty in their arousal and that they love the simplicity of sexuality. The shadow side is that they lose the journey and all the other wonderful flavors of the experience because they focus too much on a limited definition of sex and the end goal.”

The key to tapping into the Sexual type's power is expansion. Because they can sometimes be tied to a very limited perspective of what sex is and what sex looks like, elevation looks like thinking less and dipping and dabbling into understanding other Erotic Blueprints more. “Just go for it,” Jaiya suggests. “Hang out naked. Give yourself or your lover direct touch.”

4. Kinky

The Kinky type “is turned on by what they define as taboo. There are two types of Kinky - one is psychological, meaning that the turn-on is more about the power dynamics or the role-play (more in their minds), the other is someone who is turned on by the sensation of kink (spanking, impact play, feelings of ropes, etc). Some people have a mix of both types. The superpower of the kinky is that they are endlessly creative and can also have orgasmic experiences that have nothing to do with intercourse. On the shadow side, there is usually a lot of shame for having ‘out of the box’ desires and that shame can turn into distress.”

Jaiya notes, “For the Kinky, there’s a whole world to explore! This is really a place to find out what you deeply enjoy. Explore a bunch of different sensations from scratch to slaps to different temperatures. Get creative.”

5. Shapeshifter

“A Shapeshifter is someone who is turned on by all of it. They love all the flavors and lots of variety. Their superpower is that they can be great lovers because they can shift to please any of the Erotic Blueprint Types. On the shadow side, they have been told they are too much and because they can shift to please they are often starving when it comes to their own sexual needs.”

For the uninitiated, this may seem true. But for the erotically intelligent, there is no such thing as a Shapeshifter type being too much. Create time and space for yourself. “Shapeshifters love variety, so give yourself a lot of different ways to play in every Blueprint,” Jaiya suggests. “Make sure you set aside ample time for yourself to really indulge in the exploration.”

How to Navigate Different Erotic Blueprint Types

What’s beautiful about this arousal map framework is that there isn’t necessarily an ideal match. In fact, if you find that your Erotic Blueprint type(s) differs from your partner’s, it’s not the end of the world or the relationship. Speaking or being fluent in one language doesn’t mean you can’t become fluent or learn to speak another. Like with any skill, it can be honed on and improved upon. The participants just have to be willing to journey through the doing the work to speak one another’s arousal language. Jaiya breaks down this journey into four phases: Healing, Feeding, Speaking and Expanding.

"We need to heal the shadow aspects of our Blueprints that put the brakes on our arousal," she explains. "Here is an opportunity that as we HEAL, we also feed our Blueprints so that we are not depleted and starving, and also to FEED our lover’s Blueprints which is a skill we can learn to do. We also can learn to SPEAK each other’s languages. And eventually, as we learn a new Blueprint we EXPAND into that Blueprint. This means that the Blueprint that once was not a turn-on becomes our own turn-on.”

The end result leads to a positive impact on your relationships and your sex lives. To maximize that healing and growth, Jaiya recommends that couples join a sex-positive community, sign up for an online course together, or hire a sexuality coach to help to navigate potential challenges.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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