In the words of Salt n Pepa, ‘Let’s talk about sex’. Fear, shame and embarrassment causes many of us to avoid the awkward intimacy of discussing our sex lives. We don’t want to upset our partners’ by telling them sex could be better. We also don’t want our hidden fantasies to be judged.
If you’re looking to ‘spice things up’ and have better sex, communication is the way to go. So yes, just like the dentist, we can’t keep putting it off.
Before you attempt to create a sex conversation, consider the following tips to make the process go smoothly.
1. Be clear on what you want
I once told a guy I wanted rough sex. I pictured handcuffs and light spanking – he went into full BDSM mode.
Before speaking to your partner, make sure you understand what you want and how you can explain this. Does spicing things up mean more spontaneity, passion, romance, stimulation, trying out a fantasy?
Are you looking for them to take the lead or would you like to gain control? Is there a particular sex scene on TV that you can’t stop thinking about?
It’s easy to say, ‘I want you to be more romantic’ or ‘Can we try some new positions?’. But this is like asking for a chocolate bar and expecting someone to know which one to buy.
Don’t assume your partner and you are on the same wavelength – they’re not going to know what your idea of spontaneity is unless you explain it.
2. Turn yourself on to see where your thoughts lead
If you want to spice things up with your partner but don’t know how, tap into your sexual fantasies. Stimulate yourself through masturbation, a film, book etc., and try to imagine you and your partner. What thoughts turn you on?
Lovehoney gifted me with a sex game that took me out of my comfort zone. It has all these different cards with sex acts and sexual questions. You can also buy sex position cards and books with lots of ideas.
Even if you’re a ‘vanilla’ kind of girl, you can explore positions, scents, outfits, locations, the use of mirrors, toys, massage and temperature play before considering bondage.
3. Find the right moment
Don’t discuss your sex life when you’re naked and in the middle of sex. Especially if you want to explore something that your partner may consider taboo. Choose a time when you’re both relaxed to bring up the subject.
There are a few ways to go about this:
You blurt it out – ‘Hey, I would like you to play with me with one of my vibrators when we next have sex. What are your thoughts?’
2 You casually mention the topic – ‘Hey, I was reading an article about golden showers. Do you think you could ever try it? How do you feel about it?’
3 You focus on them and their desires – ‘Hey, have you had any sexual fantasies recently? Is there anything we’ve haven’t done together that you’re interested in trying?’
You could take part in an online sex quiz together or run through a list of different sex ideas. This is a good way to see how they feel about certain acts.
4. Communicate fears and worries
When you’re used to having sex a certain way, it can be uncomfortable to relearn techniques and ideas. Certain acts such as voyeurism, anal and pegging can instantly make people shut down.
Be prepared for some level of discomfort. Create an open and honest conversation where you don’t try to persuade or argue with your partner’s thoughts.
Also note that just because you want to try something, it doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to feel vulnerable. Speak to your partner about any fears. This may include embarrassment, a fear of not being ‘sexy’ enough or possible side-effects such as pain from anal (though this is a myth if you do it correctly).
5. Take baby steps
Depending on how you want to spice things up, it may be best to start slowly. If you’ve never done any form of roleplay, asking your partner to become an actress is probably not going to go well. Rather than jumping straight into the deep end, see if you can discuss something less drastic.
That could be wearing costumes with no form of acting or giving each other different names in bed.
6. Leave the conversation open
There is a chance your partner believes there is nothing wrong with your sex life. They may have no interest in doing anything new or listening to your ideas. If they shut the conversation down, mention when you are next going to bring it up – ‘I can see now is not a good time so I’m going to talk about this again Thursday evening’.
While your partner has every right to turn down your ideas, you deserve to talk about your feelings and address issues you’re experiencing.
7. Don’t do something without a conversation
Yes, just to be clear – you do need this convo. Remember when Carrie bought lingerie and heels to spice up sex with Berger. She almost turned into a character to turn him on rather than facing a conversation. Long story short – a conversation helped improve the issue.
You don’t have to let your partner know that you’re bored or no longer satisfied. If anything, wanting to improve sex shows that you’re committed to having fun with your partner and that you care about your sex life. Make the conversation into a ‘We could do this’ rather than ‘You need to fix this’.
Looking for more ways to spice up your relationship with your partner? Try these guides: