I was being interviewed one day and this is the first question she asked me. My short answer is “whatever the couple agrees that it is”. I’ll explain.
Sex is obviously a very personal thing. It doesn’t matter whether you’re into “plain, vanilla sex using the “missionary” position” or if you’re into full on BDSM where one party is the submissive and the other party is the dominant. The ONLY thing that matters, is that both parties involved agree that they are happy with their sex life.
“Well that’s great Sandy … I guess this post is over”. It could be, but it isn’t. There’s actually way more to the story than “as long as both parties are happy”.
Unfortunately what ends up happening along the way, especially in long term relationships, is that while you’re in agreement in the beginning, sometimes things change. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it’s a great thing. It opens up experiences that you may have never had before. But that only happens when both parties are open and honest about how they feel, what they want and what their limits are.
Say for instance that you start your relationship and you both enjoy oral sex and some pretty safe positions such as missionary and maybe doggy style. Then for whatever reason, be it books or porn or a conversation they have with someone, one party wants to try something different. Perhaps it’s tying their partner’s hands so they can’t move freely. Perhaps it’s blindfolding their partner so they can’t see what’s happening. Both of these actions require an enormous amount of trust between partners. If the initiating partner speaks up and addresses this interest, the receiving partner can either react positively or negatively. Either way is fine as long as they’re honest and they don’t turn it into a fight.
So what do you do if you want to “take things the next level”, whatever that happens to be in your relationship, and your partner doesn’t want to. Well, I’m big into communication and pushing limits so I would suggest talking it out. Ask why they don’t want to try something new. Is it fear? Is there a perception that it’s “dirty” or “slutty” to do what you want to do? What about toys? Porn? Do you hesitate because it might make you or your partner feel inadequate?
Here’s the thing. If you don’t try it, how will you know whether you like it or not? It’s kinda like food. We may THINK we won’t like it, but then we try it and discover it’s actually pretty good … like Brussels sprouts. There were things I refused to do for far too many years for fear that I’d hate it, I’d feel slutty. But here’s the thing. Once I got out of my way I discovered that some of those things I feared doing turned out to be some of my favourite things to do.
So while I would NEVER encourage you to bully, push, insult or put down your partner in an attempt to get them to try something new, why not have an open conversation OUT of the bedroom. Be calm, relaxed and approach the conversation in an empowering way. And if your partner broaches the subject of trying something new, please keep an open mind and really question why you hesitate to even try.
And remember … if you try something and you don’t like it … you don’t have to do it again and both parties must respect that decision. Kinda like Brussels sprouts 🙂
As always, if I can help in any way, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have an awesome week and remember … always keep the lines of communication open and never hesitate to let your partner know you’d like to try something different. Maybe they’d like to as well but have been afraid to suggest anything new.
Sandy O’Shea, CNP
Sex and Hormone Nutritionist
Stepping Stones Wellness Inc.