How to Queer Your Sex Life
“Queer” is an expansive word (and identity) that has evolved tremendously over the years. Despite the term’s history as a slur, many have claimed the label proudly. As early as 1937, The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang notes ‘Queer’ is considered ‘derogatory from the outside, not from within.’ The same is true today with many claiming and owning the expansiveness of the term, while others admonish its use because of its complicated history.
Queer as a Verb
For those who embrace queerness as an identity, the term has also come into use as a verb. “To queer” something means to free it from constraints. Queering something doesn’t necessarily mean “to make it gay.” Queering is about breaking free from normative expectations and allowing space for self-definition. When we talk about how to queer your sex life, what we mean is…
- Exploring outside the box
- Accepting everyone has a different relationship with their own body
- Accepting your desires without shame (as long as you’re acting on them consensually with another adult)
- Setting any boundary you need to in order to enjoy sex
- Opening yourself up to endless possibilities for expressing your sexuality
Basically, there is no blueprint for exciting, connected, empowering sex. Regardless of your gender, your relationship status, and your desires, you should have the tools to explore sex on your terms, however queer they may be.
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Tools for Queering Your Sex
Whether you’re at the beginning of queering your sexual adventures or refining your tastes and desires, our tips, tricks and toys for queering your sex can help you along the way.
The Spice Girls lovingly taught us to name what you want (what you really, really want). Easier said than done, am I right? It can be so hard to name our desires and even harder to share them with a partner, especially when it comes to “queer sex,” which defies expectations and breaks conventions by its nature. So, how do you let your partner know what turns you on?
The Yes/No/Maybe list is a fun and effective tool for establishing your shared interests with a partner. The list includes a range of sex acts to consider. Each partner fills it out separately by categorizing the sex acts on the list into the “yes”, “maybe” or “no” columns as a way of naming your personal desires. You and your partner can then get together and share your interests. The items on both of your “yes” columns can go on your shared sexual bucket list. Your "maybe” column list will likely contain things that you may not actually choose to explore with your partner. But are good things to discuss so you learn more about your partner’s limits and boundaries and, perhaps, about the conditions that need to be in place to feel comfortable exploring those sex acts. Your “no” column helps you set limits on play that you're not into. It’s important to keep in mind that the goal with the Y/N/M list is NOT to get your partner’s “no’s” into the yes column. You will have plenty to explore between your shared “yes’s” and “maybe’s.” The goal of the Yes/No/Maybe list is to have safe, fun, and sexy dialogue between partners new and old. It is an intimate way to share your likes and dislikes with your partner (and a fun date night activity). Our interests are constantly evolving, and you can update or revisit your list at any time!
Explore Your Erogenous Zones
Virtually everyone gets in their head about sex. We are all fed a lot of messaging that sex should look a particular way and if it doesn’t then there’s something wrong with you. Our bodies hold these stories and our relationship to our own body can be fraught. It is hard to have expansive, orgasmic experiences when certain areas of our body or certain kinds of touch send us into our heads or cause us to tighten up.
Creating your own pleasure map and discovering your unique erogenous zones is a supremely queer act. Identify the areas on your body that are erogenous, meaning they make you feel relaxed, aroused or receptive to touch when stimulated. It’s also helpful to identify areas in your body that cause you to put the brakes on or tense up. While you can identify your erogenous zones with a partner, it is best to spend some time with yourself to learn what comes up for you before extending the practice to partner play. A blind shower is a great way to do this. Showers can be a sensual space because of the element of water and our familiarity with being nude in the shower. Trying this in bed or seated on the floor works too. Turn the lights off, get in the shower, and explore your whole body with different types of sensations, noticing both how the sensations feel and how your body feels in your hands. Taking away the sense of sight helps keep you out of your head and in your body. Notice how your body responds to each type of sensation – squeezing, tickling, scratching, caressing. Also note where, specifically, on your body you like different kinds of sensations and where you tense up. Keep in mind your erogenous zones are not a static, fixed map. You may find they change over time or with different partners, or in different circumstances. Knowing the general lay of the land, where you like to be touched and how, is incredibly empowering. It also enhances any kind of play you explore.
Toys for Queering Your Sex
We are lucky to have access to a bountiful variety of toys, props, gear, position aids, lubricants, sensation enhancers and the like. Our built-in tools - our hands, our mouths, our genitals – they get tired, they cramp up, they go soft or just don’t always respond how we expect them to. Toys help us to reach all of the spots we want to hit, to achieve the consistent or intense sensations we crave, and they make it a lot easier to get off. If everyone invested in tools to enhance their pleasure, we’d all be having much more satisfying sex. Here’s a selection of products that we love for their versatility and for amping up exploration in the bedroom.
Ignite Finger Vibrator
Whether you’re looking to enhance your blow job skills, build arousal with vibration on the nipples or add vibration to your solo routine, finger vibrators can be used over the whole body to amplify any kind of play you enjoy. The Ignite Finger Vibrator’s discreet size, design and small storage bag also makes it a fun hookup toy you can stash when you hit the dance floor or hit the road for a romantic getaway.
What customers say: "The perfect vibrator! Portable, easy to handle and so many settings, so easy to use in sex, doesn’t get in the way."
Lovehoney Colorplay Color-Changing Silicone Nipple Suckers
Live a more colorful life with these color-changing silicone nipple suckers. Sticking to your skin with nothing but gentle suction, they titillate your nips until they're super sensitive and change color from purple to hot pink as things get steamy. Nipple suction is something everyone can enjoy and can be a great starter for expanding your exploration of your or partner’s pleasure zones.
What customers say: "I adore these. I was worried when I ordered them that the suction wouldn't be strong enough but I worried for nothing! You can get a really good suction on them, they're super easy and fun to use, and I love the colours""
Lovehoney Oh! Talk Dirty Playing Cards
Naming your sexual desires and exploring your unique turn-ons with a partner is exactly what “queering” your sex life is all about. A game that guides you through how to talk to your partner about sex and sexy ways to share your likes and dislikes is such an awesome way to connect more intimately.
What customers say: "I bought these cards as a little gift for my partner as he loves card games. They have helped introduce us to the world of role play and helped us to improve our confidence."
ROMP Bass Vibrating Butt Plug
ROMP Bass is stylish and universal – doesn’t get more queer than that! Plugs are the perfect starter for anyone curious about anal play. A vibrating plug engages the sensitive nerve endings in the anus, applies pressure and vibration to the rectum, and can be easily inserted, adding hands-free pleasure to any kind of solo or coupled play.
What customers say: "Now my first butt plug was non vibrating, and was new to me however I’ve just purchased this one and used once. Wow, wish I could use it more, which says all you need to know, can’t wait to try it again, very very soon."
Ignite Vibrating Love Ring
Cock rings are designed to go around the full base of the penis – around the balls and over the shaft – to restrict blood flow and increase the firmness and sensitivity of an erection. A vibrating cock ring is one of the most versatile sex toys that can be worn on a penis, a dildo, on fingers, around any insertable toy to add clitoral or perineal vibration for the receiver. Vibrating rings with a bit more reach, like the Ignite 20 Function ring, can be used by anyone for adding vibration into play.
What customers say: "Best couples ring yet! We love that it’s rechargeable and has a great build. Strong vibrations and quite a few fun settings. A great enhancement to many positions, but especially riding."
Lifelike Lover Multicolored Silicone Dildo
Oh, suction dildos how we love thee. Let us count the ways. The suction-cup base is versatile for hands-free penetration whether you’re looking to play in the shower, against the fridge, explore double penetration with a partner or explore other creative scenarios. It can also be used with a harness for strap-on and pegging play with a partner.
What customers say: "Cute and high quality. Tie dye colors are beautiful, dildo has good weight for it's size, well designed suction cup and overall shape."
Mantric Rechargeable G-Spot Vibrator
Don't let the name of this versatile insertable fool you. This vibe is ready to stimulate any urethral sponge (aka the g-spot or the prostate). The curved shaft and bulbous tip makes it perfect for accessing these erogenous zones whether you're excited about penetration vaginally or anally. The flared base and silicone material makes it safe for anal explorations.
What customers say: "Originally I bought this for my wife but got the shock of my life when she decided to use the toy on me. Wow, I had one of the best orgasms of my life I was left shaking and shuddering from the orgasm.....must buy"
Tracey Cox Supersex Pegging Set
Coined by Dan Savage, pegging refers to the act of bending over your partner and penetrating them anally. Originally, the sex act was conceived of as a role reversal with the vulva owning partner wearing the strap on and the penis owning partner receiving the penetration. Really, any partners can enjoy pegging regardless of gender and sexuality! As long as you bring a spirit of adventure and a solid strap-on kit like this one.
What customers say: "This is the item we tend to use most in our sex life and cannot recommend enough. If you are looking for an introduction into pegging then this is definitely the best we’ve used."
Dominix Deluxe Nipple and Clit Sucker Set
Suitable for use anywhere on the body, these 3 pumps create strong, reliable suction wherever you use them. Simply place the open ends over your nipples, clitoris or any other part you want sucked, and start twisting the top. As you twist, the suction increases. Suction devices increase sensitivity once removed because they bring blood flow to the area. When used on the clitoris, suction also engorges and temporarily enlarges the clit. This can enhance pleasure for the wearer of a harness by “pumping” the clit prior to play. They can be used by anyone receiving hormone therapy to support the enlargement of the clitoris or bringing blood flow back to the nipples post top surgery. The 3 suction pumps can be used together on the clit, and nipples simultaneously for an explosion of sensation.
What customers say: "I've never had a whole lot of sensitivity in my nipples, and that caused a lot of doubt when it came to ordering this product, but after using it for a while I can say it was money well spent. It's brought a new light to nipple play for me, making my nipples much more sensitive and eager to be touched. The clitoral stimulation is amazing too, bringing an amazing tingly sensation, and significantly more intense orgasms, these are easily in my most used toys."