When it comes to getting intimate, no one minds your between-the-sheets business quite like Shan “Shan Boody” Boodram (below), a certified sexologist, a dating coach and one of YouTube’s go-to girls for all things sex positive. With more than 35 million views and counting, Boodram’s no-nonsense real-talk channel has catapulted her to the top of our social feeds. We know having satisfying sex is essential self-care, so we asked the Canadian-born bestselling author to give us the deets on how to achieve it after she recently published her new book, The Game of Desire: 5 Surprising Secrets to Dating With Dominance—and Getting What You Want.
ESSENCE: It can be challenging to enjoy sex when you’re not yet emotionally intimate. What’s a single girl to do?
SHAN BOODRAM: The best possible way to please yourself is when you’re alone in front of a mirror. I’m a TENGA ambassador, and the pleasure-product company surveyed more than 10,000 men and women across nine countries for its 2019 Self-Pleasure Report. It found that women who use a sex toy are more satisfied with every aspect of their sex life than women who don’t, especially when it comes to orgasming. Just give yourself permission. People who know how to do it for themselves are more able to do it with others.
The best possible way to please yourself is when you’re alone in front of a mirror.
ESSENCE: How can we take what we’ve learned about self pleasuring into the bedroom?
BOODRAM: We need to arm ourselves with words to describe what we feel. A great resource is omgyes.com, which details the science behind how women orgasm and defines terms like orbiting, consistency and layering. So when you get to the bedroom, you’ll now have a way to express what you like and why. You can say, “Direct stimulation on my clit is just too much for me. I prefer if there’s a barrier.” That’s layering. If you didn’t have the word, it might be difficult to put your desires into a language that your partner can understand.
ESSENCE: What do you recommend for getting out of a sexual rut?
BOODRAM: The simplest thing is to do exciting things together. Make some tweaks because your brain gets surprised by every [new] trick. Try changing your tone of voice or bringing in coconut oil if you’re no longer using condoms. It’s about honoring what works for you.
ESSENCE: Busy women often feel that having sex is more like a chore. What should they do?
BOODRAM: The majority of sexual encounters don’t last that long, so when people say they don’t have time, what they mean is that they don’t want to do all the prep work. If you lead a hectic life, don’t put off sex until the end of the day. If you’re a morning person, use that to your advantage, and if you’re horny throughout the day, communicate that to your partner. Start the foreplay before you even get together.