Practical sex tips: blankets, playlists and banishing shame!

Image by the brilliant Stuart F Taylor

Last week, during the Patreon Q&A, a lovely supporter asked a question about super-practical sex tips – what they described as ‘non-sexy sex tips’. Basically, advice for things one can do to improve the general environment and make sex itself more likely and/or fun. I had a blast answering this, because I think often some of the best sex tips aren’t directly related to play – top positions, sex toy recommendations, best lube for a hand job, etc – they’re peripheral things (like communication) that are all about creating an atmosphere in which everyone feels comfortable and hot.

Here’s their initial question, complete with advice of their own:

“Do you have any completely practical, non-sexy sex tips? We bought a Splash Blanket before Christmas and it’s been a really great buy. Things leaking or squirting out of you during or after sex and staining stuff can be a real concern for some folks.”

I love this. And as someone who frequently leaks after sex I should probably stop just assuming everything will come out in the wash and instead have more of a plan about it. Lately I keep having to remind my boyfriend that I bleed occasionally when we’re fucking, especially in the 2-3 days after my period because … umm … he hits a depth I’m not used to? So those stains on the bedsheets are definitely me, and definitely nothing to worry about. I have a gorgeous Sheets of San Francisco throw, which is amazing for sensory play and wet fucking but the texture isn’t the same as a blanket, and sometimes you need cosiness as well as water resistance. Big thanks to these lovely Patreons for the tip!

I’m going to share an expanded version of the answer I gave on the call. Starting with a few bits of advice that I think are in a similar wheelhouse – practical ones for making a shag more comfortable and easy – before zooming out (as I always do) and giving you some much broader practical sex tips that are harder to accomplish but super rewarding when you nail them.

Practical sex tips

Towels and other accessories on-hand

As well as a blanket to fuck on (if you need/want that), I personally think it’s helpful to have a stack of flannels or small hand towels near your bed for lube clean-up. My ex and I started doing this when we invented anal Sundays (we basically just scheduled Sunday afternoons for ass-play, because we got sad that we’d fallen out of practice and forgotten how much we used to love it) so I know for a fact I’m more likely to reach for the lube (for a pre-fuck hand job, a bit of anal, or whatever it might be) if I know that it’ll be easy to clean off afterwards. I hate having sticky, lubey hands – I want to be able to move straight from wanking you off to sitting on your dick, and I’d love to be able to grasp your face in both my hands and lustily tell you to look into my eyes while I slide down the shaft… without first having to wipe those hands on the pillowcase or something. And no, tissue isn’t the same. It’s rubbish. Get flannels – they’re more eco anyway.

Another practical sex tip: hairbands! If you have long hair, and you sometimes need to tie it back to focus on cocksucking, make sure you have tonnes of them in any and every place where you usually fuck. Whether that’s bed, sofa, kitchen table, or garden shed: stock it up with hairbands. If you and your partner use condoms, dams, or other barrier contraception, the same advice goes here. I think it was Cindy Gallop who once said that condoms should never be more than an arms length away when you’re feeling in the mood – buy in bulk, scatter around your home (in little code-locked boxes if you have kids or dogs or other inquisitive creatures) and thank me later. Likewise: Viagra/sildenafil. If you want to use it, make sure you never have to scrabble around for ages to find it.

Importantly, too: get comfortable! If you start making out with a hottie but you realise your mouth is dry – get water! If you need the bathroom? Go! If you suddenly become aware of how loudly your neighbours are getting stuck into DIY, put some music on! Turn off the top light and switch to a bedside light if you feel more sexy with that softer glow. Do whatever you need to make the environment conducive to sex, it makes a MASSIVE difference. I used to shag a man (a lovely man, of whom I was very fond, so don’t be mean about him) whose bedroom had curtains that didn’t come even close to fully covering the windows. He didn’t seem to mind, but I absolutely did – all the sex we had in there thrummed with an undercurrent of can-your-neighbours-see-my-tits tension. And although the sex was still fucking fantastic (like I say: I was very fond of him indeed), it could have been even better if he’d only invested in a pair of decent drapes that actually gave us some privacy. Pay attention to your environment, and make it as good for fucking as you possibly can (given space, time and budget constraints of course). Sometimes this is as easy as buying some curtains or a ‘warm’ lightbulb, or as cheap as building a decent make-out playlist.

Make fucking a priority

This isn’t possible for everyone, and it’s certainly not possible for everybody all the time, but personally I think one of the best practical sex tips is to bump fucking up your priority list. I like to have sex early in the evening, before dinner and before I’m too tired: I know that food and sleep will demand my attention later on, so shagging now – right now – means I give it pride of place in my schedule. It also means we can dissect our favourite bits of the shag while we’re cooking dinner.

I also sometimes try and encourage men to come to bed with me in the middle of the day. Instead of just letting Netflix roll on to another episode of that show you’re only half-watching, why not ask your partner if they’d like to come to bed with you and listen to that new album by the band you both like? Or an episode of a podcast, or John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme? Go to bed for no reason other than you want to go to bed. Spend nice, fun time there with your partner. Sometimes that leads to sex, although crucially it doesn’t have to and shouldn’t become a demand. It’s just a bit of space you’re taking away from mindless box sets and devoting to closeness and connection instead. Radio is better than telly for this, in my opinion – you can hug however you like without having to worry about sightlines and screens. You could even check out some of the incredibly sexy free audio porn that’s available on this very website [SEAMLESS PLUG, WELL DONE ME]. Make space for closeness, and give yourselves the opportunity to think about sex, even if you don’t do it in that exact moment.

Try doing this when you’re alone too – instead of doomscrolling on your phone, how about making yourself a cup of tea (or pouring a large glass of wine), putting on some songs that make you horny and allowing yourself time to sit and dream – reminisce about the sex you had yesterday, and the sex you might want to treat your partner to tomorrow. It might or might not lead to a wank, but either way you’ve given your brain a lovely horny diversion.

I’ve mentioned music a few times now, so here’s a specific example of using it as a tool to improve your sex in general. Recently I asked my boyfriend to help me create a ‘Songs to make out to’ playlist. We spent a lovely evening together drinking wine, chatting, and taking it in turns to add to a Spotify playlist the sort of songs we’d want to make out to, or have lovely soft feelings to. The next time we hung out, we took it in turns to pick an activity (hug topless and stroke each other, give each other foot rubs, make out, give head, kiss nipples etc) for the duration of a song. When the next song kicked in, it was the other person’s turn to pick an activity. I fucking loved doing this, obviously, and I think it was a hit with him too. What’s more, now I have that playlist in the bank, if I want to kick off something sexy it’s always there as a default if I can’t think of any album romantic or cool enough in the moment. The act of curating it caused us to make out loads too, which was a riotously horny bonus.

Emotional sex tips

Make your bedroom (and life) a safe place

This is the hardest section, with two practical sex tips that I always strive for but won’t ever fully achieve. They’re both worth attempting though, I think, and they’re so rarely mentioned that I feel I should at least touch on them.

Firstly, try to make your bedroom a space free from sadness or anger. If you need to have a difficult conversation with your partner, go out for a walk or a coffee rather than have that potential row in the space where you’re hoping to connect and bring pleasure. I have a broader rule in my life in general (in my flat, in my home, no one may ever shout at me) and it’s brought me so much peace. Trying to implement ‘no fights’ in the bedroom has been harder – sometimes pillow talk brings up tricky topics, for instance, or my anxious brain decides that the best time to process hurt from earlier in the day is to cry about it when I’m finally lying in darkness. But most of the time I try hard to make it so that the only things that happen in my bedroom are sleeping, fucking, and occasionally hula hooping in my knickers. The holy trinity of fun activities.

Finally – and as I say, I am still very much working on this one, it’s a lifelong task that will never be complete – try to make your relationship a space that’s free from shame. That means never rubbing it in if your partner doesn’t feel like shagging, if they can’t get hard or wet, if they want to take a Viagra or use lube or have five minutes on their own to collect their thoughts and masturbate before inviting you in. Don’t shame your partner for anything outside the bedroom either – the way they look/dress/carry themselves, the things they say, their ideas and dreams and needs. It means never ever shaming the things their body does that they cannot help – not making an ‘eww’ face if they burp or vomit or look like crap one morning. Playful teasing is one thing (that fart you just let rip with is a fucking war crime), outright shame (you’re disgusting, I don’t want to be near you, go do that outside) another. It means telling your partner as often as you can all the things that make them hot – whether physical, verbal, emotional, whatever. Try to make your relationship an environment where the good things are amplified, and shame is not welcome.

As I say. A life’s work. I don’t think I’ll ever have completed it. My goal when it comes to sex is always to get the other person so comfortable with me that they feel like they can tell me their hottest fantasies without worrying I’ll make a face or step away, and the ‘no shame’ thing is just an extension of that. I want my partner to feel so happy in his own skin that he never feels the need to apologise for sexual things that don’t go exactly how we planned them, or worry that I’ll sneer or be disappointed or angry or sad. I’d like us both to be able to dive into the weird and fun ideas we have with total confidence that if either (or both) of us fucks up, it’ll be a funny story rather than a shameful failure. Your aim, I think, should always be to help your partner feel so comfortable in their body, and so confident that you love it, that the only reason they’d ever want the lights off while you shag is because they think it’d be sexier to whisper filth in the dark.

That’s my best non-sexy sex tip, although I think when you manage to achieve it, it’s the sexiest one there is: make your partner feel safe. Comfortable and wanted and welcomed and sexy. Not just in the bedroom, but everywhere.



This post contains affiliate links – if you buy through those links you’re supporting the website! 


  • James says:

    Love the seamless plug.
    Well done you 😁

  • V says:

    Loved this piece, thank you! Your general life rule of no one shouting to me in my house is something I fully understand, after my most recent ex crossed that line and made me feel unsafe (and angry for being witg such an idiot).
    I’d be curious to see your Spotify snogging playlist, amd share my Sexy times one in return :)

  • Nykki says:

    A couple of ideas…unrefined virgin coconut oil (Which becomes solid when cold, melts very quickly So you have a solid or liquid option!! Much Less expensive than “lube”. Good on furniture to!) is an awesome lube! Its female friendly… antibacterial… good on minor tears & scrapes… easily washes out. Rub all over for those dry patches. The shiny… glide fun ….is endless… you’ll love it!! (Find at grocery store in oils dept)
    Sometimes it just fun to get your partner off… I may not be in the mood…. too stressed out… whatever. But the fun of watching him go for it… or me playing with him & teasing…. making it happen when I want…. totally fun! Or visa versa…. Sometimes it even brings the mood back on. The important thing is you don’t have to expect both of you to orgasm at same time or even during same playtime.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Coconut oil is awesome! Especially for massages etc, because it smells completely amazing <3 Just a quick note on safety as a lubricant tho - if you're using condoms steer clear of coconut oil or any other oil-based lubes. The oil can break down the latex in a condom and make them more likely to split. But yeah, I couldn't agree more on shiny, glidey fun =)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.