Reflections: A Toy Box Tease
I have a love/hate relationship with mirrors. As a kid, I loved dancing in front of the mirror, lip-syncing to my favorite songs. When I was a teen, I cringed over every pimple and imagined flaw. On the night I had penis in vagina sex for the first time, I remember looking at myself in the mirror. I gazed at my reflection, wondering if anyone would be able to see a difference. Once I was staying with a friend, and I took a shower at her house. Her bathroom had a mirror positioned directly across from the tub where I could watch myself shower. I remember watching the water and soap suds cascade down my body, exactly the way I had seen portrayed in movies. It was a very visually sensual experience for me. Now as an adult woman in her 40s, my reflection doesn’t always show me the body I imagine I have. I must work to look at my body neutrally or with love versus focusing on the flaws.
This love/hate experience was amplified the first time I saw my reflection in a mirror while I was having sex with a partner. At times I couldn’t look away, and at other times I found it very distracting. I hadn’t seen my body and face in those moments of passion. It was a heady mix of arousal, embarrassment, sensuality, and shame all expressed in my eyes as I watched myself. When I was watching my partner, it was a different story. I loved seeing his muscles flex and watching him from a different angle. Meeting his eyes in the mirror just increased the sexual energy flowing between us.
For this reason, I love mirrors as a toy box item to enhance your sexual experiences. When you have a full-length mirror to watch as you engage sexually, you can lose yourself in the imagery you are creating with your partner. You can enjoy being able to see them in a whole new light. You can focus on the sexiness of your partner. A simple full-length mirror just elevates play time.
Mirrors can also be a deeply personal way to engage in masturbation. Vulva owners can’t see their vulvas during masturbation without using a mirror. By setting up a mirror, vulva owners can watch how their body responds in various times of arousal. Let your imagination wander and try to see how beautiful you are as if through a partner’s eyes. Set up a mirror during bath time, light some candles, and enjoy some intimate time with yourself. It can be a great way to practice self-care and self-love.
There is another kind of mirror that can be a part of your toybox. Sexual mirroring. Sexual mirroring is simply copying what your partner does in a sexual encounter. Scientists have learned that humans possess “mirror neurons,” which fire up when we observe another person and mimic their actions. It most often happens in non-sexual encounters. According to sex educator, Sadie Allison, PhD, “At the most basic level, mirroring is process of matching someone’s actions. We often do it when we’re experiencing a connection with someone, and it’s actually a telltale sign of emotional intelligence.” When we do it in a sexual encounter, it can make the moment more intimate, meaningful, and intense.
Mirroring can be a great way to explore if you want to make sure your partner is comfortable. You can tell a lot about what a person likes from how and where they touch you. According to Dr. Lara Maister, “…people show a very clear mirroring in the preferences for different body parts; they enjoyed touching areas on their partner’s bodies that matched the areas that they specifically like to be touched on their own bodies.”
More research needs to be done in this because the areas of viewing and pleasure differ among the genders. A study, published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, found that men tended to enjoy touching women’s bodies in places where women also enjoyed being touched. Whereas, the areas of a man’s body that women enjoyed touching didn’t necessarily line up with men’s preferences.
I have used sexual mirroring with partners before, and for me it helps to cause a feedback loop of pleasure. There was one very memorable experience that I remember having. I picked up a handsome gentleman at a bar during a weekend trip away. We had been talking about kink, and he stated that he had never done anything like that. We decided to continue talking and exploring more. I offered to give him a taste of kink by doing a very basic sensory scene with him. At each stage I would gently ask for his consent to touch him or remove any clothing. As I ran my hands, hair, and other sensory objects over his skin, I would ask him to focus on his body and tell me how he felt. I would share how I felt as I explored his body. I ended the scene very simply with a kiss, and then he asked if he could do the same for me. As he was exploring my body, I realized that he was mirroring everything I had done before. He asked my consent, asked for feedback, and told me what he liked. This evening stands out as one of the more erotic and memorable sexual experiences I’ve had, and we didn’t have penetrative sex. The erotism of the intentional sexual mirroring we gave each other just heightened everything and created a feeling of safety for each of us.
Whether it is a physical mirror or intentional sexual mirroring, the reflections that happen when I use a mirror just add more pleasure to any sexual encounter I have. Mirrors are a great toy to have in the toy box, and I highly recommend you explore with mirrors and mirroring as a way to enhance your own sexual journey.
As usual, here is my quick disclaimer that I am not a licensed health or sexual expert, all opinions are my own and do not constitute medical advice. Join me on the Mōn app to discuss this review in more detail. If you enjoyed this review, reach out to me on Twitter or Instagram with more ideas. If you want to support more reviews, please consider buying me a coffee so we can get more toys!!