3 Tips for Tapping Into Your Inner Provocateur This Valentine’s Day—Because Sexuality Is as Mental As It Is Physical

Picture this: You're in your bedroom. The lights are low, the room is enveloped in sensual aroma (thanks candles), and you just slipped into something silky and comfy. Is this the opening scene of a romance novel? Maybe. Could this be your own personal and intimate Valentine’s Day evening or pre-game? You bet.

Solo or partnered, Valentine’s Day is a holiday to revel in self love (and self pleasure). So if you’re seeking ways to turn up the heat and tune into yourself, it might be time to explore your inner provocateur.

In short, that means making space for your sexual curiosity and your appetite for pleasure—a goal Gina Gutierrez, co-founder and chief creative of Dipsea, the self-described "sexiest storytelling app ever," can get behind. "You know that buzzy, relaxed feeling you get after feeling pleasure? It’s not that different from the end of a yoga class," she says. "In our productivity-obsessed world, slowing down, reconnecting with your body, and lighting yourself up is so important."

"You know that buzzy, relaxed feeling you get after feeling pleasure? It’s not that different from the end of a yoga class."

Dipsea offers the ideal way to tap into your inner provocateur: audio stories that let you play out your fantasies (think of it like your fave podcast... just in app form, and way steamier). According to Gutierrez, the benefits of listening to erotica are numerous: helping you get out of your head and focus on your turn-ons, giving you a safe space to play out your desires, cultivating ideas for role play or new kinks, and even becoming a better communicator.

All of the above are why Gutierrez believes the pursuit of pleasure above all else is healthy, not shameful.  “Pleasure matters," she says. "Pay attention to where pleasure shows up: when you’re touched lovingly... when you’re outside smelling freshly cut grass, when you get verbal praise from a colleague. Note it about yourself, and ask for more for it.”

Whether you’re new to (or shy about) diving into this practice or are already an enthusiastic proponent, putting together the ingredients of your own pleasure pie can help you unleash a higher level of empowerment and agency. Consider Valentine's Day the perfect invitation to utilize Gutierrez’s tips for doing just that.

Learn three ways to tap into your inner provocateur this Valentine’s Day below (hint: sensual stories can help).

1. Talk to yourself like you’d speak to a trusted lover

First, invest in some intimate self talk. Speak to yourself how you would to a partner you’re in a new relationship with—excited, buzzy, curious, and open. Having a hard time getting into it? "Call a friend that actually is your hype girl and ask for a pep talk until you’re both laughing so hard you feel amazing," Gutierrez recommends.

And remember: Prioritizing your own pleasure is a process, and one that requires stepping away from the male-centric, heteronormative narratives that have long been the cultural norm. To help, try listening to Dipsea's sensual stories to get yourself into the mood. "Dipsea is empowering hundreds of thousands of people to realize that their desires, wants, boundaries, fears, and wishes are completely normal," Gutierrez says. "And when we start to realize that, shame starts to disappear, and agency becomes a lot more possible." 

2. Ground yourself in your body

Next, get out of your head—and into your body. "Whether that’s dancing, or self massage, or stretching, or masturbating, remind yourself what a gorgeous vessel you get to live in," Gutierrez says.

As part of this, wear what makes you comfortable—whether that's lingerie, loungewear, or nothing at all—and do exactly what it is that brings you joy. "Listen to yourself: Are you in the mood for a cozy night in? Honor that. Did you already say yes to a plan you’re not that excited about? Re-negotiate it. Do you want to get dressed to the nines and feel like your sexiest self? Own your own power this Valentine’s Day," says Gutierrez.

3. Treat yourself to a fantasy

The final part of the equation is fantasy—and this is where it's time to get creative. "Select your fantasy like a fine wine that you get to be picky about," advises Gutierrez. "Jason Momoa? Check. On a mountaintop? Nope, too cold. Okay, on a beach? Perfect." And if you need a little inspiration, Dipsea has all of the jumping off points you could possibly imagine to start spinning your own inner story to share with a partner or savor solo.

And on that note, you are the main character in your life’s story, and thus the most vital part of  your own sensuality. “All you need is you," says Gutierrez. "Stop waiting for someone else to know you better than you know yourself.” Yep—your inner provocateur was in there all along.

Art: Well+Good Creative

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