What the Heck Is Your Erotic Blueprint (& Is It the Key to Better Sex)?

erotic blueprint cat

Let’s cut to the chase: We all want to be having the best sex possible, right? Meaning we’re always in search of new tips and tricks to up our bedroom game (eating oysters and chocolates as aphrodisiacs, etc.) Well, we recently learned about another method that could take things to the next level in the bedroom and obviously we had to share. It’s called your Erotic Blueprint, and it’s basically a map to what turns you on. We turned to Jaiya, an award-winning somatic sexologist (featured on Netflix’s Sex, Love & Goop) who coined the term more than two decades ago, for the low-down on what an Erotic Blueprint is, how we can find our own and what it means for our sex life.

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1. What exactly is an Erotic Blueprint?

Jaiya: An Erotic Blueprint is a language that helps us to communicate who we are erotically. It describes what turns us on, what challenges we may face when it comes to our sexuality and how we are wired in our arousal. 

2. How can knowing your Erotic Blueprint improve your sex life?

J: Knowing your Erotic Blueprint can help you to improve your sex life because it gives you a language to be able to communicate to your current or future lover(s) how you are most turned on. The Blueprints open a door to communication, deeper pleasure and a way to honor people who are different than you. 

Most people are not the same Blueprints in relationships, so when we know our Erotic Blueprints, we are able to see that the issue isn’t what we thought it was. It isn’t about sexual incompatibility, it’s all about learning skills, just like learning a language. You realize that if you are willing to learn then there is no limit to your sexual expression and pleasure!

3. There are 5 different erotic languages (energetic, sensual, sexual, kinky and shapeshifter). How would you define each?

J: Energetic: Someone who is turned on by anticipation, tease, yearning and longing.  They love light teasing touch on their skin. They can be challenged by too much, too fast and dissociate from pleasure when they get overwhelmed.

Sensual: Someone who is turned on by all of their senses being ignited.  They love taste, smells, beautiful environments and delicious scents as part of their sexual play.  They appreciate romantic gestures, connection and closeness. They need to relax to feel like they are in a sexual place. Their biggest challenge is getting caught up in their head, thinking instead of feeling.      

Sexual: Someone who is turned on by what we think of as sex in our mainstream culture; orgasms, nudity, penetration, intercourse and climax.  They love sex and use it to relate and feel connected. Arousal is usually easy for this type. Their biggest challenge is a limited definition of sex: They focus too much on the goal and not enough on the journey.     

Kinky: Someone who is turned on by the taboo.  There are two different types, the psychological- and the sensation-based. Psychological turns ons include power play, surrender and dominance. Sensation based turns ons include intense sensation such as spanking.  The challenge for most people who identify as Kinky is shame for desiring something that is edgy or taboo for them.           

Shapeshifter: Someone who is turned on by it all.  If you like all of the above, then you just might be a Shapeshifter. Shapeshifters love all the variety and they have a huge capacity for pleasure. They love having a long time to languish in all the things. They are wonderful lovers with a high Erotic Intelligence.  The challenge for most Shapeshifters is getting fully fed in their desires, since they can shapeshift easily to please others but are told they are often too much.

4. What's the best way to find your own erotic blueprint?

J: There are a few ways to discover your Erotic Blueprint.  The first step that we guide people to is to take the online quiz. There are two versions: one which will give you your primary blueprint (that’s free) and another which will give you your entire Erotic Blueprint map (for $17). The benefit of taking the second quiz and getting your entire Erotic Blueprint is that we are truly a mix of all the Blueprints, so getting the whole map will give you a picture of what percentage you are of each. 

The second step is to see what your body has to say about what turns you on. Exploring with a partner or on your own with a variety of touches on your body can provide you more information. Most people have never taken the time to explore who they really are and what really turns them on. Go through and map your body with touches in each Blueprint and see what you like best. (You can see this kind of body mapping in the first episode of Sex, Love and Goop.)

To go even further, you can take an Erotic Blueprint course or hire an Erotic Blueprint coach who can guide you through the process. We hire people to teach us all kinds of things, so why not take a course or have a coach to take you step by step through not just the process of uncovering your Blueprint, but also to teach you how to gain deeper satisfaction and healing once you know what your Blueprint is?

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...