Many of us have probably kept a journal at one point in our lives. We can say for sure that our childhood diaries were full of florid recollections of what happened at the last blue light disco; and our adolescent diaries definitely contained a few never-sent love letters to our high school crushes.
If you’ve never tried journaling as an adult, we highly recommend it. Not only can it help you organise your thoughts and record some of your deepest feelings—but it can actually help you have better and more fulfilling sex, too.
Enter the sex journal: a private and totally safe space where you can unload your emotions and desires and, in the words of our sex coach Georgia Grace, “get out of your head and into your body”. Sex journaling can help you see your own thoughts and feelings, build self-awareness, meditate and reflect, reduce your stress and anxiety, integrate your learning and experiences, and understand more about yourself.
We love the idea of starting a sex journal, so in this article we’re going to tell you how to do just that. There aren’t many rules around sex journalling, and you certainly don’t need to be in a sexual relationship to do it—our sexual selves are always part of us, even if we’re not currently engaging in sexual acts. You can write as often as you want; write as long as you want; you can draw pictures, write poems, and collect mementos; or you can stick to a few short and snappy sentences. Really, the only rule is that you communicate in a way that feels comfortable and natural to you.
A sex journal can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. The only thing that matters is that it serves your needs and benefits your sexual self.
So let’s start with the basics: grab yourself a journal. It doesn’t have to be one specifically made for sex journalling, although those can be really useful as they can contain prompts to respond to, questions to answer, and exercises to complete. Our own Georgia Grace has one that we recommend called Pleasure Journal! But you can really use anything—a leather-bound notebook, a diary with a lock and key, or even just an inexpensive notepad from your local stationery shop.
A digital journal is always a possibility but as with any private information, we want you to be cautious with how you store it. If you’re using an online platform, do you need it to be totally private and anonymous? If you’re writing in your Notes app, is there a possibility that someone else—a friend, lover, or your child—might pick up your phone and find your writings? Your journal should be as secure as you need it to be, so take that into consideration when choosing your medium.
Picking a journal is pretty simple. Deciding how to use it is a little bit trickier—so we’ve come up with four ways you can use your brand-new sex journal.
To tackle the big questions
If you’ve ever wished that you felt more confident in bed, were more open to intimacy, could really relax and let yourself go, or that you were just more skilled at pleasuring your partner, the good news is that you are not alone. We all feel that way sometimes—and a sex journal can be a great way to work through those issues. Georgia recommends using a journal to ask yourself questions that encourage you to unpack your mind, be open with yourself, and clear out anything that might be getting in the way of you having a full sexual experience. You can ask, and answer, any questions you like—but here are some to get you started.
- When do I feel most confident?
- What stands in the way of me feeling more sexually confident?
- When do I feel most safe?
- When do I feel the most pleasure?
- What do I want to have a sense of control over, and why?
- What do I enjoy doing for myself, or for my partner?
- What do I fantasise about, and why does it appeal to me?
To record the little stuff
If you’re more of a data-focused person, you might enjoy recording some sexual statistics. Get inspired by Bullet Journaling and keep track of your moods, activities, how frequently you masturbate or have sex, and anything else you might be interested in keeping an eye on. Why? Because collating our data allows us to look at trends and patterns in our own life, and gives us insight into how seemingly-small choices can impact our lives in big ways. Maybe you feel more turned on when the weather’s warmer, or perhaps you’re never in the mood for sex after eating a big meal. Perhaps you like to masturbate to blow off steam after every stressful work meeting, or maybe you and your partner have sex every Thursday night after watching Q&A. And maybe you would never have realised this unless you wrote it all down! Data can be fun and revealing—start by tracking something simple, like the hours of sleep you got last night, and then expand into recording more complex stuff.
To communicate with your partner
If you’re in a relationship, you might like to invite your partner to journal with you as well. Creating an intimate and safe space in which you can both record your feelings and thoughts can bring you closer together, and help you to understand your wants and needs. Decide together on how you’d like to journal, and check-in regularly to make sure you’re both happy with how things are progressing. Perhaps you can write a list of questions you’d like to answer together, then tackle one every few days; or maybe you can take turns writing a prompt or suggestion for each other to respond to in their own time. However you choose to do it, begin with the goal of making your relationship stronger, deeper, and one of greater understanding.
To record some fond memories
Sometimes the sexiest thoughts are of experiences we’ve already had. A hot and heavy make-out session, intimate lovemaking, or just a perfect embrace—these moments can be worth writing down so that sometime in the future, we can look back and reminisce. So long as you’re not offering up any identifying details about any other parties, you can use your journal to record your most delicious, sexy, and fun experiences—and the not-so-fun ones, as well. Whether you look back on it a week from now, or in fifty years, we hope you’ll think about how much you’ve grown since that time, and give your younger self a smile.