Dear Dr. Kat,
I’m a 35 year old married woman in a ten year relationship. It’s gotten to the point where is seems like I’m having the same sex all the time. My husband says he is up for trying something new but I’m not sure where to start, since he probably won’t initiate the changes. Basically, my sex life has hit a wall. How can I expand my horizons (and my husband’s) in the New Year?
New Year’s resolutions are great. They can be a catalyst for alot of positive change — and they can also fizzle out within a month. I get the feeling that maybe you’d like to experiment with a few new tricks while adding some new sexual behaviors to your long term repertoire to keep things fresh. You can do this by doing two things: 1) Figure out where to push the boundaries and where to leave them and 2) Do something, ANYTHING different.
First off, don’t make the mistake of going over board too quickly. For instance, if the both of you know you want to keep things monogamous, I wouldn’t suggest you bringing a third party into bed. Or, if he knows you hate to watch yourself on video, he shouldn’t go videotaping your sex romps without you knowing. However, people tend to find a lot more negotiable in their sex lives than they realized when they start to talk about it with their partners honestly. So, you might begin by planning a special night together with him and bring up the issue over a sexy dinner. I understand that you may need to initiate this first foray into the sexually explorative discussion but sex (usually, unless your masturbating by yourself) is a two way street. Part of what he needs to buy into during this discussion is his own responsibility in this relationship to turn up the heat as well. The issue is not your issue alone.
What you’ll both need to find out is what turn’s you on at the core? What do you respond to sexually without even thinking? And don’t rule out acts that you would consider socially unacceptable – rape fantasies rank among the most common fantasies for women – obviously you’d play this one out within reason. If you can’t think of anything off hand, rent/buy some erotic videos with varying themes and see what your body (and your mind) responds to. This can be a great way for the both of you to get conscious about what gets you off and it can also be a fun way to lead to a little sex play in front of the tellie.
Once you get a few ideas together, talk out the top one or two behaviors that you both seem most interested in. Granted, you both may find you have different erotic interests. But if you both discuss your favorites you can both figure out how far you’re willing to go to fill one another’s fantasy. An example might be that he’d love to try anal sex with you but you’re not into the idea of jumping right in to full penal/anal penetration. Why not then, buy a good lube a couple of non-intimidating anal toys to play with? Decide that you’ll initially only play on the outside of the anus and then maybe (if you’re comfortable) graduate up to finger insertion.
Maybe he’s a control freak but you’ve always wanted to tie him up and experiment with a little S&M. Negotiate what his limits are. There are many accoutrements now that allow for “light” S&M play; satiny sashes that don’t tie too tightly and soft, playful whips. Just be sure you both decide on a “safe word” that let’s you each know when you’re seriously done playing – many people like to say “no” or “don’t” as apart of the sex play. A safe word should be a word not normally used during sex…perhaps something as random as “kumquat” or “constellation”.
As mentioned the whole point is to do anything different. So, whether it’s even having sex in different rooms of your house or deciding to have regular sex dates – it doesn’t have to be a profound change – just a change. Some changes may stick and others may not but the point is you’re both making an effort to preserve the health of your sexual relationship. The fun part may just be in trying something new, even if it doesn’t work out. In fact, every New Year you may want to sit down with your partner and have your ritual dinner to come up with a kinky thing or two to do to keep each year as fresh as your first year together.