The 5 Erotic Blueprints: What They Are & How To Find Yours
Gaining more insight into ourselves and our lives has consistently proved to be of value to us. We go to therapy to better understand why we think the way we think and do the things we do. We take personality assessments to determine what sort of jobs we might be suited for or have an inclination toward. We figure out our love languages so we can communicate how we want to experience love and affection.
It only makes sense that methods of understanding our own and others' thoughts and behaviors could also be incredibly useful tools for enhancing our sex lives and potential for pleasure. Enter: the erotic blueprint.
What is an erotic blueprint?
An erotic blueprint is an arousal map to your primary sexual style, which includes the types of pleasure you enjoy, your turn-ons, turnoffs, and what makes you reach orgasm. There are five erotic blueprints: energetic, sensual, sexual, kinky, and shapeshifter.
The concept was developed by somatic sexologist Jaiya from her two decades of study and clinical research into sexuality, arousal, and pleasure. Throughout her work, Jaiya noticed certain patterns in desire and arousal, which she conceptualizes as five sexual archetypes, or "blueprints." According to her theory, uncovering yours can help increase self-awareness, compassion, communication, and erotic pleasure in your sex life.
"It can help my clients understand where and why they are, sexually, at this stage of their life, and where they want to be, and creates language for them to recognize and communicate their needs and desires so they can be met," explains Camilla Davis, MEd, a certified Erotic Blueprint Coach and sexologist.
The 5 erotic blueprints.
Typically one or two of the five erotic blueprints emerge as your primary blueprints, according to Tosh Patterson, MEd, a certified Erotic Blueprint Coach, though it's not uncommon to have a little bit of each type. "Our primary blueprint represents the fastest route to your eroticism, while your secondary opens another pathway and supports your pleasure," Davis adds.
Your erotic blueprint can also change or shift depending on where you are in the different stages in your life, she adds, or you may become intrigued by the other blueprints and want to explore more or expand your sex life.
Each blueprint also has a shadow side, which Jaiya describes as beliefs, judgments, and feelings that kill your access to the enjoyment of your erotic body and mind and keep you from experiencing desire and pleasure.
Here's a breakdown of each blueprint:
For the energetic blueprint, energy is what it's all about. People with this blueprint are aroused by space, anticipation, and teasing. According to Patterson, energetics are also often hypersensitive, and therefore less touch is more.
"They tend to prefer light, hovering touch, eye contact, using breath, etc.," says Deborah Davis, MEd, a certified clinical sexologist and Erotic Blueprint Coach.
People with the energetic blueprint often experience altered states, have nongenital full-body orgasms, and orgasm without being touched, she adds. Diving deeper, they may also be more intuitive, and their sexual connections are usually deeply emotional or spiritual experiences. As a result, according to Deborah Davis, "energetics may require a sense of safety to allow them to maintain arousal."
How to thrive: If you're an energetic blueprint, don't underestimate the power of your breath, says Lauren Johnson, sex educator and co-founder of sexual wellness brand Berry Lemon. "Always ground yourself and breathe deeply during sex," she recommends. She also recommends couples try synchronized breathwork for increased intimacy and orgasmic potential.
The Energetic's shadow: For the energetic blueprint, their shadow side may express itself as overwhelm, anxiety, and shutting down when things start to move too quickly or if the person feels overstimulated.
Because of their tendency for overstimulation, energetics may want to try slowly and incrementally introducing more touch into their sexual experiences.
The sensual blueprint is all about the vibes. They're turned on by exploring and entertaining all of their senses during sexual and erotic intimacy: taste, smell, touch, sight, and sound.
"To the sensual, setting the mood is very important," sex and empowerment coach Domina Doll tells mbg. "They may enjoy setting up a beautiful space, lighting candles, or putting on music."
This type really likes to savor the experience and take in the atmosphere. They may delight in various types of play that enhance, tease, or deprive the senses.
How to thrive: Lucky for the sensual blueprint, there is an entire genre of sexual play and exploration dedicated to the senses: sensation play. Something as simple as a blindfold can also go a long way; by depriving one sense, you enhance the experience and sensitivity of the others. Megwyn White, a clinical sexologist and director of education for Satisfyer, also recommends temperature play: "Try some ice cubes, massage candles, or a heated toy."
Sensual's shadow: For a person with the sensual blueprint, since the environment is the key, they can be easily affected if something in their environment is off, like the wrong music, an unpleasant smell, or unflattering lighting.
The sexual blueprint tends to be focused on the ins and outs of sex, quite literally. They pursue orgasm and pleasure primarily through genital stimulation and penetrative sex.
According to Deborah Davis, sex for this type is usually orgasm-driven, fun, and used as a way to relax. "They're often aroused easily and quickly and like to have sex frequently," she mentions.
She adds that the sexual blueprint tends to be very visually aroused by bodies and sex and may not experience much shame around their sexuality.
How to thrive: Sexual blueprints tend to enjoy watching sex, especially penetrative, so (ethical) porn is often a great place to go to heighten sexual experiences. Instead of just enjoying it on your own, you can use it to discover new positions or watch something with your partner as foreplay or during sex.
Purchasing quality, body-safe sex toys that mimic penetrative sex (like Dame's Arc G-Spot Vibrator or the TENGA Flip Hole Masturbator, depending on your genitals), is also a good investment for when you're flying solo.
Sexual's shadow: Sexual blueprints desire very genital-focused sex with orgasm as the main or ultimate goal, so they may find themselves uninterested in exploring other avenues of pleasure. This can create issues if their partner has a different blueprint.
Kinky blueprints are titillated by the taboo. They are primarily excited by situations or activities that are considered outside of the social norms of sexuality or labeled "deviant."
"People with this blueprint are drawn to things like power dynamics, stepping out of their comfort zone, pushing edges, etc., and are turned on by psychological, sensation, and/or fetish-based kink," says Camilla Davis.
As a result, kinky blueprints tend to embrace a lot of fantasy and creativity in their sex lives and enjoy role-play situations.
How to thrive: It can be helpful to prioritize finding a kink-positive partner who is also interested in the particular things you have an affinity for, says Carmel Jones, a sex and relationship coach with The Big Fling.
Kinky's shadow: For a kinky blueprint, their shadow most often takes the form of shame. They may find themselves feeling guilty for having certain desires and can experience mental and emotional barriers to communicating their desires to their partners, especially if they have experienced a shameful reaction from a previous partner. Johnson suggests working to unpack any unconscious sexual shame or repression they may have.
Shapeshifters get off on all of it. Their arousal is influenced by a little bit of everything we've mentioned. They crave variety and are considered the explorers of the blueprints when it comes to sexuality and kink. Fresh, new experiences are key in satiating the appetite of the shapeshifter blueprint.
"They'll need a partner who is also equally yoked with a broad capacity for pleasure," says Deborah Davis.
How to thrive: Because of the shapeshifter's versatility, it can be a good idea to build a robust sexual tool kit, with a range of toys, implements, outfits, and more, so you can easily access a variety of sexual experiences. Shapeshifters might want to make a sexual bucket list for themselves as well.
According to certified sexologist Sarah Melancon, Ph.D., shapeshifter blueprints can get stuck people-pleasing and struggle to own all of their desires, so it's also helpful to be aware of these potential behaviors and patterns.
Shapeshifter's shadow: As a result of the shapeshifter's broad sexual interests and embodiment of all blueprints, they also experience all of the shadows of those blueprints, which can be overwhelming to work through. They may also feel as if they are "too much" for their sexual partners, which can lead to inhibited orgasm and pleasure.
Why knowing your blueprint can benefit your sex life.
As we know, sex education in the United States is either nonexistent, not medically accurate, and/or steeped in outdated fear tactics and gender norms. We literally have no blueprint (get it?) when it comes to sexuality and pleasure, especially one that caters to our specific sexual personality.
That's why the erotic blueprint concept can be so helpful: "It takes the guesswork out of knowing how you're erotically wired," says Deborah Davis.
If we can understand our own sexual needs, desires, boundaries, and emotional blocks, we can then talk about them with our partners with more confidence and comfort.
"In relationships, erotic blueprints can help partners understand each other's needs and make adjustments in the bedroom so both are having more fun and experiencing more uninhibited pleasure," Melancon adds.
Knowing your primary and secondary blueprints can also help you discover fun, sexy, and fresh ways to liven up your sex life and tips for navigating your shadow side.
How to find your blueprint.
You can take the free version of the quiz here to find out your primary blueprint type, or you can pay $17 to unlock your secondary blueprint and a full pleasure profile.
Keep in mind that, just like love languages, you should be just as interested in learning your partner's blueprint and their pathway to pleasure, as you are in communicating yours.
The bottom line.
Erotic blueprints are like your sexual personality type. Learning how you're sexually wired, what your needs are, and what your boundaries or limits are will help you have affirming and positive sexual experiences, both alone and with others.
Discovering your partner's blueprint(s) can help you both confidently navigate sex and intimacy and any challenges or roadblocks you may encounter.
Jamie LeClaire is a disabled queer nonbinary freelance sex and LGBTQ educator, sex worker, and writer. They received a Bachelor's Degree in both Psychology and Human Sexuality in 2016 from California State University Northridge. They write on the topics of sexual health and pleasure, queer and trans identity, dating & relationships, sex work, disability, body politics, and more. LeClaire has bylines in SELF, Healthline, Well Good, Rewire News Group, Xtra, and more. You can view all their writing on Muck Rack and everything else at their website.