Last week saw the release of Gwyneth Paltrow’s second Goop documentary series on Netflix, Love, Sex & Goop, and it’s actually an extremely decent exploration of sexuality and relationships from the wellness guru and her team.
Bear with us.
Paltrow has become the unfortunate punching bag when it comes to alternative and often explorative wellness practices, a seemingly easy target thanks to her overt vulnerability and openness to explore new ideas. However why that is perceived as a negative trait is confusing, especially given her proven success in the wellness industry and the increasing market value of her lifestyle brand… the truth is that she’s simply living 4 years in the future, and that’s hard for some of us to comprehend. She was on kale before it became a mainstay in every Eastern Suburbs smoothie, by which time she’d moved onto crystals, now the neckpiece of every Byron Bay holidaymaker. And whilst we’re trying to keep up, Paltrow and her team have been busy researching, birthing Love, Sex & Goop, their latest sex-infused project. And based on Paltrow’s track record, it’s almost a certain bet that sexual health will be the next great trend we see in wellness. Love her or loathe her, there are worse ways to nurture your mind, body and spirit than through sex and intimacy.
Whilst this series is rooted in sex, the nature of the show allows for greater explorations into connection, communication and intimacy – useful tools for any man looking to leave a lasting impression. The series follows a couples from varying contexts, all of whom are experiencing issues in intimacy or communication, pairing them with experts in the field.
The first episode of the docu-series sees couple Damon and Erika team up with somatic sexologist and educator Jaiya to determine their ‘erotic blueprint’. Happily married, and completely in love, Damon and Erika are apparently experiencing a sexual disconnect, which Jaiya quickly diagnoses as a sexual misunderstanding. They come from a different ‘erotic blueprint’ and fail to understand each others’ turn ons.
Operating in a very similar manner to ‘love languages’, your sexual blueprint is your roadmap to discovering pleasure and turn ons; your ‘arousal language’ as Jaiya puts it.
According to Jaiya’s methods, everyone falls primarily into one of five categories; sensual, energetic, sexual, kinky or shape-shifters. Whilst one of these characteristics will be dominant, almost everyone will possess at least some aspect of all erotic types. Eg. you may be 60 per cent sensual, but the remaining 40 per cent of your sexual blueprint will be made up of the remaining types.
“Every cell in our body is wired for pleasure,” says Jaiya. “And I believe pleasure is our birthright and it’s part of what brings us our liveliness and our connection and our intimacy with this world and with life.”
As discovered by Damon and Erika, determining your sexual blueprint not only allows you to communicate your own desires to your partner more effectively, but helps you to also understand their needs and turn ons. As Paltrow observes in the series, not all couples speak the same sexual language, but this doesn’t equal incompatibility if you’re fluent in erotic understanding.
Someone who’s turned on by all of their senses being ignited. This is someone who loves tastes, smell. They want to walk into a beautiful setting when they’re coming into their erotic play. They bring the artistry. And so the superpower of sensual is that they have full-body access to orgasmic pleasure through sensations—it isn’t always a genital-focused orgasm. It could be something like somebody feeding you a delicious piece of chocolate while they lick the back of your knee.
The energetic type
An individual turned on by anticipation, space, tease, longing, yearning. You may be an energetic if you feel everything before the kiss happens. You are very, very sensitive, so it doesn’t take much to turn you on. It’s like dropping a pebble into water. If you drop the pebble into water, the ripples will go out.
Is someone who is turned on by what we think of as sex in our culture. Nudity, genitals, orgasm, penetration—these are some of the things the sexual loves. The superpower of the sexual is that usually turn-on is pretty easy: You can go from zero to sixty quickly. It’s not that there’s a lack of depth, but there is a simplicity.
The kinky type
Turns on here are those that are considered taboo. There are a couple of different kinds of kinky types: One is more psychological, where it’s about the power dynamics. One is more sensation-based, where it’s more about the feeling of ropes on their skin or impact play or intense sensation that arises. It’s not necessarily what we think of as kink, though; it’s about what’s taboo for you.
The shapeshifter type
This is essentially an amalgamation of all erotic blueprint types; someone who’s turned on by sensual, sexual, kinky, and energetic types of stimulation. The superpower of a shapeshifter is that they can shapeshift to be an amazing lover to anyone.
Luckily for viewers of the show, Jaiya offers her own online quiz allowing you to determine your erotic blueprint in only 10 short questions.