Almost every “self-care” or “productivity routine” video I’ve seen on YouTube has one thing in common: they all suggest keeping a journal. They have this in common for a reason. Journaling about your thoughts and feelings can significantly improve your mental health and well-being.
Journaling can help you find a healthy way to express yourself and provides an outlet to work through your negative thoughts, fears, and feelings. Keeping a journal also gives you the opportunity to identify any triggers you may have with your anxiety. After realizing all of the amazing benefits of keeping a journal, I thought about how useful it might be to keep a journal specifically for my sex life! The following is an account of my experience with keeping a sex journal for a week.
First, and most importantly, I decided to commit to writing in my journal every single day. The first step towards journaling successfully is making the decision to commit to the practice. Next, I decided how long I was going to write every day. I figured five minutes before bed would be the best time for me. Anyone can, of course, journal for any length of time at any time of the day that feels best for them. Most importantly, it is about finding a practice that serves and benefits you.
Second, I wanted to plan out writing prompts for each day I journaled while also leaving the second half of my time for freewriting. Again, this aspect of planning just works for me—finding a system that works for you is best! I found 10 great writing prompts about sex on National Journal Writing Month’s website. I chose prompts that made me really think about myself as a sexual being and how I could improve my sex life as a whole. I’ve shared these prompts, and my responses to them, below.
Write about your first sexual experience. Interpret sexual experience any way you like, even if it’s about your first kiss.
My first experience was awkward but life-changing at the same time. I was 15 years old and with my very first boyfriend. Cliche, right? I mean first EVERYTHING. First kiss, first intimate moment, and first sexual experience. It was NOT at all romantic. He rode his bike over after buying condoms and came over in a sweaty mess. We didn’t really understand what foreplay was, so when it was time I wasn’t lubricated at all. I honestly cried for a little bit because I thought something was wrong with me. But after some spit and success, we had sex.
Write about your last sexual experience. How was it different from your first sexual experience?
Oh my god. What a difference! Ha! I now have 10 years of experience (both good and bad of course) under my belt so things are definitely different. My partner and I had a sexual experience today and it was mind-blowingly good. Now, I can communicate my needs and wants to my partner in a more effective manner than I could have for my first time. I’ve learned to be patient with my body and not to expect anything during sex. Being in the moment. I also know my body very well and exactly what will make me orgasm and what will not—so that’s definitely a plus! It’s really crazy to see how far I’ve come. I can only imagine if I started journaling about my sex life 10 years ago!
What were you taught about sex as you grew up? What did you not know that you needed to know?
So. Many. Things. I think—most importantly—for me was learning appropriate boundaries and warning signs for unhealthy and abusive relationships. If I had learned how to set clear boundaries with my relationships, I don’t think I would have been in an abusive relationship. I also wish I was taught about female pleasure. In my high school “health” class they just kind of skipped over the important pleasure centers in the vagina and only focused on the vagina in terms of reproductive means.
How have your views of sex changed over time?
I believe I am a lot more knowledgeable about sex than I was before. But that is of course growing and changing and feeling more comfortable in my body. At the beginning of my sexual journey, like most women, I thought that it was a negative thing to have multiple sexual partners. That is the stereotype—women are seen as “dirty” if they sleep with multiple people and men are praised for it. Now, I feel so much more free and comfortable in my own skin and am proud of the sexual encounters I have experienced because each one has helped me learn more about myself.
List some non-sexual acts of intimacy
Words of affirmation are my love language (If you haven’t heard of the quiz by now, check it out here) so I really value a partner that makes me feel valued and understood. That brings us closer together intimately because trust is established.
What struggles have you had with your sexuality?
There have definitely been “fine-line” struggles when it comes to my sexuality. When I was younger, I thought that the more sexual partners you had the less appealing and attractive you would be to others. I also struggled with my bisexuality for a while, until I turned 18. It took a lot of reworking my brain to realize that I am perfectly fine the way I am and that it does not matter how many sexual partners I have had. It doesn’t make you less appealing or attractive. All that matters is that you are true to yourself.
In what ways do you nurture your personal sense of sexuality, and/or sexual relationships?
I thought that this was a great closing question to answer. I nurture by giving myself time to revel in my sexual energy (through meditation and breathwork) and to just slow down. That is also so important with me and my partner. We tend to move fast since we know each other so well, but I think there is a lot of value in slowing down and just being and breathing with your partner. We also communicate a lot before and after, what went well (and not so well) so we can reflect and remember what we each liked and didn’t.
After journaling for 7 days, I feel like I have gained a new and higher perspective on not just my sexuality, but my entire being. The mindfulness of journaling was really meditative and calming. My sexual experiences seemed enhanced because I was more aware of being in the present moment and was not worried about insignificant thoughts like how my face and body looked. I would highly recommend journaling about your sex life if you want a more enhanced perspective on your sexuality—and then reap the benefits.