Why I will always keep a sex journal (and you should, too!)

Dan. May 28th, 2014. 4/5 Stars.

Met at the bar. Took one look at his man-bun and his Vans (hey — it was two years ago, cut me some slack) and proclaimed “dibs” to my friends. Smiled at him, we chatted about music, I pretended to like Led Zeppelin a lot more than I really do. He gave me a piggy-back ride to my apartment and I tried not to fall off and obliterate my face. He said he liked my hair (I had just gotten a red ombre done — again, it was two years ago, no judgment) and I brought him home. Sex was good, very passionate and with lots of feeling. His ass was out of this world, the best I’ve ever seen. We hooked up again in the morning. Would definitely do again.

Above is a real excerpt from my very real sex journal. Dan, if you’re reading this, you’re welcome.

For my 19th birthday, a good friend of mine got me a journal to document my sex life. I thought it was weird but hilarious — full of pages to date and rate your encounters, and many famous quotes about sex from old philosophers like Plato and Aristotle (who by the sounds of it, really knew how to get it on.) At the time I was in the middle of what ended up being a moderately boring, extremely comfortable 3-year relationship, so I never had a reason to use it. When your sex life has depleted to once a week and you can only fathom describing it as “vanilla,” there’s not a whole lot to write about. The journal collected dust on my bookshelf for another year and a half, as did my relationship.

It wasn’t until I was packing up my belongings from our then-shared apartment (FYI — it makes no difference if you’re married or not, ending a long-term relationship still feels like a divorce) that I stumbled upon the journal and was inspired to use it. I knew I was crying for a new, exciting sexual interaction (or 10). Two years and many liberating sexual experiences later, it’s one of my most prized possessions. Everyone should use one, and here’s why.

For sexual growth

Document what you love and what you hate. The things that turn you on, and what you never what to do in bed ever again. Did he bite your lip so hard it bled everywhere and ruined your brand new, stark-white duvet cover from Urban Outfitters? Did he make-out with your neck in such a way that he barely had to touch you elsewhere to get you off? Did you fall off of the bed accidentally in the middle of the act? (All of these are in my journal, BTW.) It’s important that we, as healthy, functioning beings, learn to grow sexually. Everyone is always emphasizing personal growth in our social lives, as well as growth at work, but what about sex? It’s crucial that we come to understand what we enjoy so that we can pursue it. I frequently re-read my journal to remind myself to stop having mediocre sex with people who don’t care about my experience, and to remind myself to communicate with my partner.

For safety and security

This one is serious and very important. While we should all be as safe as we can during sex, sometimes things happen and safety measures fail, and we need to know what went wrong if possible and how to protect ourselves. If you’re having sex regularly, you need to be aware of the potential for STIs and pregnancy. If something does happen, you have a ton of resources at your disposal these dans, and with a sex journal, guess what – you have your very own sex tracker! If your memory is foggy, it can help you remember who you need to tell and who you need to be safer with.

For a creative outlet

Writing after a sexual encounter is so hilarious and helpful that it’s quickly become my favorite platform for writing. Since no one will likely ever read it, you can be totally ruthless and honest with yourself. Talking about your sexual experiences with others can be very liberating and fun, but I feel like we tend to hold back details that are potentially TMI, or may potentially be hurtful. Forget about hurting someone’s feelings or divulging too much information in your journal; just go for it, you’ll feel great.

For a good laugh with good friends

Honestly, sharing some of my entries has been the best part of the entire journal. There was the night my friends and I got drunk on shitty wine around my living room table and read my entry about a mutual friend we all had (sorry Zach). There was the time my friend Lindsay slept at my apartment after a rowdy night out, and in the morning when my “guy” left, she crawled into bed with me and we wrote his entry together. It’s funny and enlightening and after sharing entries with friends of mine, everyone wants their own.

For documentation of love

This one’s my favorite. Writing in a sex journal allows you to document all of the special, intimate moments you share with somebody. Mine is never just about sex — I always include details about the connection I had (or didn’t have) with someone, or just the cute little seconds you spend with them where you wonder if this could be something legitimate. Did they kiss your head when they thought you were sleeping? Hold your hand all night? Whisper something cute in their sleep? Write it down. For me, intimacy is very separate from sex, and the intimate moments I share with someone are easily my favorite to look back and read.

Upon reflection of the demise of my last relationship, I realize I should have been using the journal all along. I don’t think it’s exclusive for those of us single ladies who are wading through all the fish in the sea. I actually think it could have helped my relationship, or at least reminded me to appreciate the intimate, sensual moments we did have together, rather than focusing on the lack thereof. I urge all of you, single or otherwise, to buy a brand new journal with the sole intention of documenting these moments. I can’t imagine a stage in my life where I won’t keep a sex journal, and hopefully soon, neither will you.

Rebecca Pearson is a UK-born, Canadian-raised writer and avid reader. She loves sleeping in, wearing black, and incorporating rap lyrics into everyday conversation. Her cat Effie is her best friend and life coach. Tweet her, as her personal validation comes from likes, retweets, and mentions. 

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