In Pursuit of the Ultimate Erotic Games

I’ve developed an interest in human sexuality from my first chance view of The Joy of Sex in my early teens. I explored surrealistic erotic art in high school and incorporated it in many of my art projects. Although I have not painted in many years, my appreciation for erotic artwork has increased. Throughout University to this point in my life, I have read as much as possible on the history and psychology of human sexuality and relationships. I am continually intrigued by the mixed attitudes people have developed around their sexuality and their effective lack of awareness about their own bodies and minds let alone that of their partners. It is my belief that a deeply satisfying sex life (on a physical and mental level) can stimulate an emotional fulfillment that will beneficially improve your health, behavior characteristics and fortune. Great sex can dramatically improve your entire life and that of those you interact with. Helping people improve their relationships and their sex lives may be considered a socially responsible endeavour.

My quest for knowledge regarding human sexuality has encouraged me to purchase many books on the subject. The books, in general, tend to duplicate a lot of information such as the standard positions, safe sex, romance, male/female perspectives/attitudes, etc. Each book does introduce a few unique elements, concepts and ideas but they are usually buried or scattered throughout the book. At this point, it even bores me (somewhat) to reread the same type of material over and over again in my search for new and creative sexual ideas. I am positive there is a simpler, more effective means to compile the essential ideas, tips, techniques, concepts, etc. into a single format. The information would be presented to you in a way that enables you to add your own unique twists that compliments your personality and preferences without having to read all the books. This format would enable the ideas to be creatively interchanged and combined in new ways to keep things fresh and exciting while encouraging you to stretch your individual mental boundaries.

Great sex games provide a means to introduce humour, creativity, thinking and randomness in a way that can introduce various sex concepts and ideas in an optimal format. A sexy game embraces the element of fun that should be part of every life experience. Having fun with sex is critical to the emotional well being of every adult. I feel that a game context provides an excellent foundation for exploring exciting new sexual activities with a partner in a fun yet mutually instructive way. Following this reasoning, I have purchased many sex related games over the years – almost every new game I discover unless it looks utterly cheap (even bought a few of those too). Unfortunately, the critical elements I am searching for have not yet been discovered in the games I have examined. My design expectations for great erotic games may be a little too high – they are my own opinions never the less.

I have come across a small number of sex related games that I consider to be very playable and fun (especially in a social gathering) but these are not relationship enhancing from a sexuality perspective. For instance Dirty Minds, Dirty Words, and Sexual Secrets are very interesting to play with 3 to 6 people yet provide poor playability with just 2 players. They are also not good for couples already in a long-term relationship since they know each other so well. The fun is more in exploring how other people think about sexual subjects. There are a variety of board games that tend to be nothing more than “roll dice, move token, perform action (drink, strip, stroke, suck, talk, etc.)”. Some use spinners rather than dice. A variety of card games also exist but these tend to be even more banal. Existing sex related card games either have nude pictures on a regular set of playing cards or list various timed activity instructions (drink, strip, stroke, suck, talk, etc.). The game associated with the activity type cards generally involves alternately flipping a card and performing the action. The pathetic rules (in my humble opinion) combined with the expensive price usually resulted in extreme disappointment. Some of the more recently available games are more promising. (See game review section).

There are also a variety of game products that do not actually have any game elements at all. Phantasm is an example that is actually quite interesting. It may be classified as a game since it includes 69 scenarios that are deemed to be sex games. This product is very popular. There are also a variety of discussion oriented games intended for new couples to explore each other’s interests and personal characteristics. These cover a wide range of subjects not specifically sexual and usually perform their purpose adequately. Although useful as a refresher periodically, they may not be suitable for couples in an established, long term relationship.

Reviewing the games, it is apparent that partner oriented sex games are mostly trying to introduce unique sexual encounters by combining a static set of relatively simplistic sexual activities with a randomizing element. The continual teasing during the game play is intended to build the passion until it cannot be controlled and results in unbridled sexual ecstasy. It is supposedly considered to be a form of foreplay. Of course, the designers usually throw in a mix of discussion activities to help build the relationship or romance aspects of the game but these tend not to be integrated well in my opinion. There are effectively little or no elements of “game play” in these types of games. Elements involving creativity, imagination or thinking are extremely rare and minimal if they do exist.

An analysis of most successful adult games (not necessarily erotic versions) reveals a few essential elements (from I Have No Words and I Must Design by Greg Costikyan):

  • Games provide a set of rules; but the players use them to create their own consequences. The rules are not overly simplistic or tediously complicated.
  • Games require active participation. Players make decisions in order to manage resources in pursuit of a goal. Excellence in decision making is what brings success.
  • The goal must represent something meaningful to strive for against some form of opposition. The struggle to win is key. A competitive challenge should exist between the players. Nothing is as sneaky and as hard to overcome as a determined human opponent. A game without struggle is a game that’s dead!
  • Interesting decisions make for interesting games. Trivial decisions aren’t any fun. Management of meaningful game resources provides interesting opportunities to make interesting decisions.
  • Tokens are provided as a means to manage resources and enable players to provide input.
  • The game has a certain color or emotional flavor that provides the imaginary context for the game play.
  • Randomness is introduced to provide variety of encounter but does not dramatically impact the outcome of the game. Strategic excellence must be primary to the successful completion of the game.
  • Character identification provides emotional impact. Role playing occurs when you take the persona of your position. These characteristics improve the game’s color as well.
  • The game encourages socialization – bringing people together to have fun.
  • Ideally, a game should be tense all the way through, but especially so at the end. The toughest problems, the greatest obstacles, should be saved for the last.

Most of the sex games I have purchased do not come close to addressing any of these game play elements. Even though couples playing sex games intend to have sex together, there is no reason why there can’t be a competitive struggle between them. I believe that the heightened tension combined with the erotic nature of the game can lead to a much greater level of passion or lust than that provided by purely random mini-activities. In fact, tension buildup is a precursor to orgasm – higher the tension, better the release. Fun and humour can also lubricate the action.

Fortunately, throughout the many years of disappointment with the available sex games in the market, I have continued my quest by purchasing a variety of non-sexual games and mentally adapting them to a sexual context. Some of these game variation ideas will be revealed on this website. I was most compelled to create my own game design when I encountered the collectable card game Magic the Gathering. It provided me the instant inspiration to link erotic art with sex activities in a card game format. Each card has a unique piece of artwork to stimulate the visual components of the mind and trigger emotional thoughts. A textual description of a suggested activity or technique is outlined to compliment the creative imagination initiated by the image. The collectable card format enables a huge number of sex related ideas, concepts, accessories, roles, techniques, positions, etc. to be introduced into the game seamlessly. It also enables you to selectively choose the activities you are comfortable with and effectively customize your game and sex play experiences. The various card combinations allow new and creative sexual activity ideas to be introduced automatically as part of the game play. The enormous variety of card possibilities also enables the game to remain fresh and interesting to a very broad audience.

The card game idea has percolated for about 6 years – various prototypes have been developed (including many spinoff variants) and play tested. This effort has stimulated even more sex related research to help me identify as many positions, tips, techniques and activities as possible as a foundation for the cards. Many of the ideas will be presented on this website in various forms. I have mentally experimented with various game play elements to adapt the kill and destroy paradigm of various collectable card games to a mutually rewarding yet competitively loving sex game. This has been a significant challenge that I expect is why this type of game is not yet available on the market. Regardless of the reasons, the opportunity has not yet been seized successfully. I am still searching and developing new ideas to help couples have more fun in and out of the bedroom.

If you’ve ever thought of designing your own hot bedroom games, check out our article on Foreplay Games and visit our Adult Board Game Design blog.

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