I Tracked My Sex Life on a Spreadsheet This Year, And I Orgasm So Much More – golinmena.com

I Tracked My Sex Life on a Spreadsheet This Year, And I Orgasm So Much More

There are few icebreakers better than “I track my sex life in an Excel spreadsheet.” I learned this in 2017, when I decided to expand on a scribbled sex diary I kept in 2016 and transform it into a fully-fledged, color-coded spreadsheet, rife with data functions and of-the-moment notes.

One of the first questions people ask me when this comes up in conversation is, well, “Why?” There are several good reasons I list when in polite or judgmental company: It’ll be a useful record in case of STI or pregnancy scares, it keeps me abreast of my sexual patterns, and it’s a self-esteem booster when I doubt my attractiveness. But fundamentally, I think I began this endeavor out of simple nerdy fascination. As a devout sex nerd, and someone who gets tearily sentimental about intimate experiences, it thrills me to my bones to glance back at my year in sex and see all those white-hot encounters encapsulated in data cells. It’s like a geeky museum of my vagina’s history.

So what do I track in this spreadsheet? There are columns for basic info, like the date and location of the encounter and who it was with. There are columns to mark “yes” or “no” for the inclusion of each of my favorite sexual acts: finger-banging, blowjobs, oral sex on me, spanking, and good ol’ P-in-V. There are columns to note whether I had an orgasm (or, in rare cases, more than one) and whether my partner did. There’s a column to record which toys we used, if any. And there’s one column for miscellaneous notes, which is full of gems like “Extremely stoned,” “Rainy-morning butt stuff,” and “He came on my face :(.”

An additional tab tracks my partners for the year: their ages in relation to mine, astrological signs, where I met them, how many times we’ve boned, and how many times we’ve each gotten each other off. A “Locations” tab breaks down the geographical journey of my sex life this year, neatly chronicling how many orgasms I’ve had in each place and with which people. The last tab is a “Monthly Summary,” where, at the end of every month, I record how much sex I had, how many orgasms and partners, and which encounter sticks out in my mind as the best and most memorable of the past few weeks.

As you might imagine, this can be overwhelming for people I hook up with. I once misread a geeky Tinder paramour after he talked my ear off about comics all night, and when, post-sex, I joked-but-not-joking that I’d have to enter him in my spreadsheet, he scoffed, “And you think I’m a nerd?!” Other partners, however, have been chill about it: I will always remember the night this past summer when my then-boyfriend and I finished hooking up and he proposed, “How about I go get you some ice cream while you update your spreadsheet?” Considering my identity is based partly upon my dorky enthusiasm about sex, I’ve come to view the spreadsheet as a litmus test: Anyone who’s put off by it will probably be put off by me, in the long run.

They say data doesn’t lie, and even if maybe that’s less true when it comes to something as personal as sex, the data I’ve gathered has helped me make better sense of my intimate life. I noticed, for example, that my favorite partners—the ones who turn me into a giggly, blushing idiot when I think about them—tend to give me orgasms only 60 to 80 percent of the time. Maybe this is a sign of their low-pressure attitude: They’re eager to get me off when that’s what I want, but they’ll also accept an “It’s just not gonna happen tonight” without batting an eye—a refreshing quality in a world that constantly, harmfully dictates to us what an acceptable, “normal” sex life ought to look like.

I also learned that certain locations are more conducive to my pleasure than others. My own bedroom, for example, scores highly on the orgasm ratio scale at 96 percent, while a local sex club I frequent only facilitates my orgasm 55 percent of the time (probably because it’s hard to relax when naked strangers are leering at you). Data like this helps me make wiser, more self-loving decisions about my sex life. It’s like talking to a good therapist who, upon listening to the tale of your latest hookup, asks you, “And how do you feel about that?”

My spreadsheet was also instrumental in my decision earlier this year to stop having one-night stands (or at least, to stop having them intentionally). I noticed in the numbers that one-off hookups rarely led to an orgasm for me: I was so wrapped up in first-time jitters that relaxation, and especially genuine pleasure, was unthinkable.

It’s eye-opening to see my deep truths reflected back in an Excel document.

Orgasm isn’t the only or best measure of sexual enjoyment, of course, but it’s a clue. And my feelings about that are backed up by actual science, like a 2013 study which found women are half as likely to get off from a casual encounter than from relationship sex. So while I applaud and support folks who joyfully pursue casual hookups, I’ve decided they’re just not my jam anymore. My spreadsheet helped me see that.

Seeing my sexual patterns in such stark relief helped me make bigger, broader decisions about my sex life, too. In discovering my kinky identity over the past couple years, I’ve increasingly wondered if I should phase out vanilla people from my dating pool for both our sakes—and in reviewing all the encounters I selected as my favorite from each month, it’s clear that kinky sex is way more exciting and memorable to me than the vanilla kind. I’m not declaring my life a vanilla-free zone just yet, but it’s eye-opening to see my deep truths reflected back at me in an Excel document.

So should you start a sex spreadsheet in 2018? That depends. Does the very thought make you feel nervous, disgusted, or confused? Then skip it! I know it’s not for everyone. Tracking your sex life in such minute detail can create feelings of overwhelming self-criticism in an area of life already riddled with that. If the thought of reducing your sex life to data functions freaks you out, don’t do it. Your sex life can be plenty colorful even outside the bounds of color-coded cells.

But if the idea of a sex spreadsheet incites in you a dorky delight, or an aching curiosity, I encourage you to give it a shot. I’ve learned so much more from mine than I ever imagined I would.

We’re now at year’s end and I have three lovely dudes on my non-monogamous roster. With each of them, I share a deeply fulfilling sexual connection, not to mention laughs, affection, and respect. I’m not saying my spreadsheet was entirely responsible for getting me here, but it absolutely helped. The data, as they say, does not lie.


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