Don’t be intimidated. A sex journal is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a journal, private or shared, where you write about your sexual experiences. You can note new experiences, past experiences, and even use prompts to help you be more mindful about your sex and intimacy.
You can keep the journal private, where only you and your innermost private thoughts interact. Or you can use it as a tool to get some clarity on your own thoughts before sharing them with a partner.
Why the hell would I want to keep a journal about my sex life?
Journaling in general has a bunch of benefits. Research suggests that self-expressive writing can help limit negative thoughts and improve your memory. Consistent journaling can also help with stress, depressive feelings, and anxiety.
Now think about how these can be applied to your sex life. What areas of sex and intimacy stress you out or bring you anxiety? Do you have bad habits that spill over into the bedroom, such as low self-esteem or unclear communication? Is it difficult for you to stay in the moment or be present during sex?
Journaling is an amazing way to sort out the obstacles that are keeping you from improving your sex and intimacy.
I don’t know how to keep a sex journal. Where do I even start?
I got you! Use these four tips to start your journey to better sex and intimacy using your sex journal:
Set your intentions
Ok, so you know that there’s something in your sex life that you want to work on. As you use your journal as a personal, sacred space for reflection and exploration, you need to be specific about what you want out of it. And while a sex journal can be an effective tool for unpacking traumas or areas for improvement, it doesn’t always have to be a space for the bad or the negative.
Certified sex coach and sex educator Davia Frost notes, “”Everyone who’s looking to reconnect with their sexuality or who’s ready to really dive deep and explore their sexuality should have a journal—even if it’s to just remember your most pleasurable experiences, reflect, and have better feelings toward certain events that took place. Having experiences in print allows you to see what it is that you like and need for your sexual experiences, whether partnered or solo.”
Before you add any journal entries, start by asking yourself, What do I want out of my sex life? What are the things I need to improve the sex I’m having? What goals do I want to achieve through sex and intimacy?
Explore your yes’s, no’s, and maybes
Once you know how you want to incorporate the journal into your life, you should explore what’s working, what’s not, and things you may want to try one day. As you reflect on various parts of your sexual experiences, you can start to customize your sex life to your liking so that you experience it in a way that is most pleasurable for you.
You can document what things make you feel sexy as yeses; positions or acts you’ve tried but aren’t open to trying again as nos; and things you may want to try in future experiences as maybes.
In addition to helping you explore your fantasies, this method of journaling will help you create your sexual archetype, or your sexual alter ego. A comprehensive look at your yes, nos and maybes will help you figure out who you want to be when you step into the bedroom. Then, you can ask yourself What’s holding me back from being that person? What steps can I take to get there?
Journal about your feelings towards the sex, not just the actions
It’s not easy to talk about our sexual selves. Even if it’s only you and the journal in conversation. We have to examine ourselves from an outside looking in perspective to pinpoint which areas we need to grow in. At the same time, we have to constantly return to our inner selves to examine how we feel about the experiences we’re having.
Many sexual issues like sexual dysfunction, pain, and disconnect with partners arise from how we react to sex emotionally. If you don’t examine the emotions attached to an action, how will you know what parts of sex fulfill you, and what parts are keeping you from growing?
Be consistent with your entries and your journey
Sex may not be an everyday activity for you, but that’s okay. You can still use your off days as inspiration to write out how you feel and your plans for the future. The key to seeing patterns that characterize your sex life as you journal is keeping account of the moments along your journey.
That means celebrating achievements, no matter how big or small. It also means reminding yourself of your goals, and continually checking in with yourself. You may not always feel like keeping up with the journal, but your clear-minded more sexually-empowered self will thank you for staying the course.
Kymberly Deane is a writer, content creator, and storyteller based in Brooklyn, New York. Her passion for continual self-improvement and exploring new things has led her to become a health and wellness zealot, with a particular love for sexual health and wellness. She uses her writing to share the gems she discovers throughout her journey.