Talking to your partner about trying some new sexual activity can feel risky. You’re both pushing the envelope of your current sexual relationship and at the same time revealing a sexual desire or interest that you may have never raised before. Experimenting with different ways to have sex is by no means required for a healthy or hot sex life. But having curiosity about other sex acts and desires to try new things is also completely healthy and can lead a relationship to grow in new directions. If you’re not sure how to broach the subject of trying something new with your partner, these tips may help.
Time Required: Take time and don’t bring up trying new sex things at the last minute.
1. Do Your Homework
Whatever you want to try, make sure you know how to do it in a way that will be pleasurable and safe for all involved. If you want to try anal sex, for example, do you know the safety tips and techniques to avoid painful anal sex? If you want to use a sex toy, have you done a little retail reconnaissance to scope out a great sex shop or website you can both browse through? You don’t need to make yourself an expert on the subject, and learning together can be a lot of fun. But having an overview or context may increase your own comfort level and make it easier to bring it up with your partner.
2. Establish the Ground Rules
Every relationship has rules, spoken and unspoken, about what is and isn’t OK to talk about and how to talk to each other. If you’re not allowed to bring up sex or ask for what you want, trying new sexual things will always be a matter of luck or accident. If you want to explore new sexual possibilities with a partner, it’s a lot easier if you both agree that both of you can ask for anything as long as you ask nicely and take no for an answer. Sometimes it’s helpful to have a conversation about ground rules before you even get to talking about sex.
3. Pick Your Time
Timing can make a huge difference in how a conversation goes about sex. Bringing up the idea of going to a swingers’ club right before your in-laws are coming over for dinner, or talking about watching porn together in the car on the way to work, may or may not be the right time. What’s important is that you pick a time when you have some privacy and are not rushed, so you can both think about what’s being said and how it feels before you respond. It’s generally not a good idea to wait until you’re in bed or having sex before suggesting a significant sexual departure.
4. Make Sure They Know Why
Sometimes partners are put off or threatened by trying something new because they think it “means” something about your relationship (that you’re bored, that you’re having an affair, that you aren’t interested in them anymore, etc.) Be sure to remind your partner before, during, and after you suggest something new that it’s not just that you want to try this new thing with anyone, you want to try it with them. That the reason you think it will be fun or hot is because it’s something you’ll be doing together.
5. Be Prepared to Risk It
Suggesting a new addition to your sexual repertoire will probably always feel a bit risky. You’re putting yourself out there, and yes, you may get some rejection and/or judgment from your partner. But one of you has to get the ball rolling, and as they say, nothing ventured nothing gained. Also, taking risks is part of growing and even if it doesn’t work out, you never know where it will lead you or your relationship.
6. Try to Keep the Pressure Off
Putting pressure on your partner to try something new pretty much never works. You can’t force someone to want to do something, and even if they do it just to please you (or shut you up), the chances they’ll enjoy it are less than if they were doing it for their own interest or fun. The other kind of pressure that doesn’t help is that of high expectations for a specific kind of sex. If you’re building up tantric sex, role play, or dirty talk into something that is going to transform your sexual relationship, you may find the act is diminished.
7. Be Willing to Make the First Move
If you’re the one suggesting a new kind of sex; don’t expect your partner to make the first move. If you’re the one who tends to initiate sex more often, this can feel like a drag, and maybe the new sexual activity you should suggest is anything that the other person initiates. But the fact remains that partners will have different sexual interests, and even if you’re both ready and willing to dress up like Batman and Robin, if you’re the one who has a fetish for capes and red tights, you’re probably going to have to be the one to get the Bat mobile warmed up.