This is the third installment of a new Dating and Relationships column I’m attempting to create here on Phicklephilly. My friend Jackie and I have been kicking around the idea of writing an advice column together. We actually came up with the idea a few years ago. We wanted something that gave advice from a man’s and a woman’s perspective. We’re going to try to publish this column at least once or twice a month for now. If it catches on, we’ll probably run every week.
Welcome to: HIS & HERS!
Here’s a little background on Jackie.
Jackie Rupp grew up as a very sheltered only child, having parents with mental illness and few friends, she’s always been fascinated by the human condition and all our unique quirks and idiosyncrasies. She often writes about wrestling with social anxiety, fumbling through relationships, and ways to improve outlook. As a marketing consultant and founder of CAT creative agency, she helps businesses develop better content and branding messages and is always taking on new clients. A proud mom of two, she’s also passionate about pancakes, kittens, and exploring new adventures in handmade crafting.
Okay, let’s get to the business at hand. Here’s our newest question.
Bored In The Bedroom
Help guys, I’m bored in the bedroom and want to add some new things to our repertoire but I don’t seem to have the guts to bring it up! I’m a straight female in a happy monogamous relationship. I’d just like to explore more but I don’t know what, how, what I’m comfortable with, or what my bf would be comfortable with. The thought of him not being into something I suggest scares the crap out of me. Are there any baby steps I could take to add the spice without the scares?
Thank you, wonderful human. You said what so many of us are feeling. Because sex doesn’t get talked about (honestly) between all but the best of friends generally (and even then sometimes we try not to listen to what we’re hearing) many times we’re left with unrealistic FOMO that everyone is having open, wild sex but us. Actually, a lot of us are just fumbling through.
Even though you might be able to talk to your partner about that weird bump on your ear and point out their boogers without hesitation, sometimes sex can feel not as easy to discuss. And, I’ll add that the longer you’re together, the more difficult to change things up, because there’s this huge elephant in the room of “that’s not the way we’ve always done it.” Change is hard. But there’s no need to go it alone. You have a partner so you don’t have to.
You can try to approach it like a team by just dropping a small conversation starter like, “I was wondering if we could talk about sex.” or “I’m curious to explore some sexual variety together.” Now, if those sentences sound too hard to blurt out, it always helps to preface something that you’re having trouble saying by being honest about it being a challenge to say.
Trust me, if you say something like “This has been on my mind and I’m having a hard time figuring out how to say this to you…” it’s gonna be one hell of a relief when the topic you want to talk about is sex and not breaking up or revealing that you’re moving to New Zealand to join a LOTR-themed circus.
And then there’s the old-stand-by option when something is too scary to say face-to-face, you could always send a text to it’s been on your mind that you’d like to get to know his fantasies better. Probably the best text he’ll get all month or probably all year for that matter.
Keep in mind, this is a good thing, a fun thing, and something you’re doing to make your relationship better. So frame it as such so you can go into it not-so terrified.
Another option to consider is to buy one of those “adult” board games or fill out a Yes, No, Maybe quiz together that covers all types of sexual activities and fetishes so you can explore together. It’s an easy way to take the pressure off of yourself from carrying the conversation and let it happen on its own.
One more suggestion is if you’re both comfortable with porn and watching it together to browse some sites together and see what strikes your fancy. What could be easier than clicking on a video!
Charles – Answer:
In most long-term relationships, sex is not always spontaneous and effortless. The initial burst of excitement we experience during the honeymoon phase can fade, and couples have to prioritize sex just like any other part of their relationship.
The good news is that being intentional and communicative about your sexual relationship can bring back elements of surprise, experimentation, and variety.
When lulls in a couple’s sex life occur, it’s the responsibility of both partners to address it together; it’s best not to criticize or assign blame to your partner.
Be sure to first highlight the positives. You can say, “I love it when you do …” Then make a suggestion — not a complaint — about what you would like to see more of. Keep the conversation brief and the suggestions specific.
Consider aspects of your lives that could indirectly be affecting your sex life, such as work stress, conflicting schedules, medical issues, or child-rearing. It’s not just about “spicing things up,” but thinking through what could be getting in the way of a satisfying sexual relationship.
It’s extremely important to express genuine curiosity about what your partner would like in the bedroom. This approach invites collaborative conversation and communicates that you value your partner’s sexual needs and desires as much as your own.
The way you provide feedback is so important when you’re dealing with a sensitive topic and when you don’t want to hurt your spouse.
First, make sure you have good timing; I wouldn’t wait until you are in bed. Pick a more neutral time and place.
I would recommend starting on a positive note. You can describe some things you like about your lovemaking, and then you can add some ideas to spice it up more.
Ask your partner if he or she has any ideas too. Approach the topic as a fun “project” you can both embark on together.
I love the idea of a neutral place! Sometimes if you wait until sex is happening or getting started, you can be so distracted trying to bring up this new concept or initiate something new that it takes you out of the moment.
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Do you have a dating and relationship question you’d like answered?
Send it to me in the Contact section of this blog, and Jackie and I will answer it in a future post!
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