Palette is to Appetite as Fetish is to Libido

Everyone has different tastes when it comes to their diet. Not in the sense of being on a diet per se but in its rawest of forms — everything that you ingest or absorb. Activities ranging from what you eat or do in your leisure to what you enjoy sexually.  There are some people who have a picky palette but an endless appetite. There are others who enjoy a diverse plate yet their appetite fluctuates. This same concept can be applied to sex: Your fetishes or kinks are the things you like to partake in or chose from - your palette. Your libido is the craving and how frequently you feel that desire, your sexual appetite. 

The average person is highly aware of their appetite and unsure or non-experimental with their palette.  Average, meaning your career or hustle isn't in the sex-industry, you either suppress those desires, seek out services to fulfill those desires, or simply don't have those desires (ace or demi).

We have to unpack and examine our own sexual diets. Knowing ourselves in this manner leads us to pleasurable sex lives and to healthier habits pursuing that pleasure. Despite it seeming like too much brain power to think about sex outside of fantasies, these adjustments in behavior will aide in your quest for pleasure.

Delineate Your Appetite
How often do you crave sex or closeness? A few times a week, hourly, maybe not quite as often? Knowing how frequently you crave sexual release is important to be able to communicate with your partner those sentiments when negotiating the relation/“situation”-ship. This means expressing consent and letting your partner know if your appetite matches. For poly or ethically non-monogamous couples it means ensuring you are consistent with communication, with monogamous couples it means letting go of expectations and being honest about or open to the love you and your partner share.

Explore and cultivate your palette
What's usually on your mind to try? Lots of oral contact? Do you think about using your hands? Penetration?  Is the entire body for you to cater to or just the genitals? How do you know this about yourself: because you think it all the time, tried something once and thoroughly want to try again? Do you watch a lot of porn and want to reenact those scenes or are you the wallflower in kink/fetish communities living vicariously through the active members? Answer these questions for yourself and write them down. If you don't know exactly where to start or even how to respond to yourself, check out this erotic care plan and sexual relationship checklist from Afrosexology. It can easily be a solitary or partnered activity. (Hint: prelude to dirty talk).

Merge the Two & Focus that Energy
It's not as new-agey and esoteric as it seems but it is spiritual. Thinking about it more practically when you pair your palette with your appetite, how are you expressing them? Expression means communicating to get your needs met — what you like and want to try, how frequently, and if you and that person are a sufficient match. For those who are single or non-monogamous this can be easier than for exclusive or monogamous/married couples, for whom it may be uncomfortable. Monogamous and married couples deserve a whole conversation on their own! We’ll discuss those relationships in a later post. When you've started deciphering your actual and ideal sexual self, you will find that all of your relationships will improve, whether sexual or not!

No matter what the palette or appetite, it’s always important to pay close attention to what methods of contraceptive and prophylaxis are the best for you. Barrier methods (i.e., condoms, diaphragms, etc.) bridge the gap between wellness and pleasure. In addition, there is a vaccine you can get to protect yourself from HPV. There’s also a new pill called PrEP that you can take once daily to protect yourself up to 99% from getting HIV! There are several options you can discuss with your doctor. It’s best to talk to your partner(s) about which methods work the best for you.

“Wrapping” this up, there are a few things that you should have surmised from this post. Being aware of your complete sexual diet means being able to express to your partner(s) what you like, listening to their desires, and being prepared. Self-awareness, communication & preparation are major keys.  Knowing and understanding your sexual self means making smarter decisions by being comfortable with your own sexuality. Communicating shows you are engaging in the experience of both you & your partner. Combining your palettes & appetites before combining bodies means knowing what you need to be responsible and enjoying a consensual session of eroticism. Bon app├Ętit.

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