Identifying Your Sexual Boundaries
One of the things that has been on my mind for quite some time – well, years actually – is how do you identify what your sexual boundaries are. We all them – sex acts we’re absolutely game for, experimentation we’ll get into for the happiness of a partner, lines in the sand that won’t get crossed even for a small fortune and the promise of nirvana.
You might think it’s pretty easy, especially if you’re in a long-term, committed relationship. But in actuality, I think that it’s even harder in that situation. Couples tend to settle into assumptions as time goes on, and the sex talk slowly fades into obscurity. I believe that’s how many couples end up in trouble as their relationship goes on. They forget the importance of establishing a verbal connection on the subject of sex – and just because you’ve done something a hundred times, doesn’t mean the next time is a green light.
For me, perhaps one of the best examples of this would be anal – and that’s probably common for a lot of women. Still one of the enduring sexual taboos, when I was younger it was something I was more willing to experiment and indulge in. The sense of “breaking the rules” mixed with a sensation of “sweet hard salami, that hurts!” was enough to fire up the libido, get kinky, naughty and give him something that seemed “forbidden.” But as I have matured (and my sexual preferences along with me), anal has become something more selective and situational. It’s not a part of my sexual routine – and is very dependent on my mood.
Moving from being far more interested in anal to not, meant having to reaffirm what my sexual boundaries were. It’s a very good example of why sexual communication is vital to maintaining a healthy sexual relationship – and sense of adventure with a partner.
And the same goes for my sexual desires. They do evolve, as we do. My interests in my 40s are certainly not the same they were in my 20s. Naturally some have been enlightened by reality … and pure physics; while others I never considered when I was young have edged into my sexual imagination.
Without talking about these with my husband, how would he ever know what was going through my mind?
We’ve been through a fair bit of sexual experimentation as a couple. He’s helped me realize that on many levels, it can be damn fun being a woman. Of course, a lot of us already know that … but when I hear certain things from my female friends and coworkers, I realize I have something unique in my life: I have someone who actively champions my sexuality. He’s helped me overcome some of the engrained Catholic guilt on such topics as masturbation, oral sex and nudity. He’s been my enabler, providing encouragement, opportunity and ‘apparatus’ for me to rediscover my orgasm – both after childbirth (which was a struggle) and a hysterectomy (an even bigger struggle).
More than that, he’s encouraged and supported me to be wildly open with my imagination, and given me ample opportunity to explore some of my fantasies.
The confidence and sense of freedom from jealousy is a significant reason why our relationship has been able to grow and remain exciting.
But … what about those boundaries?
All along, they have been ‘negotiated’ … discussed openly between us (perhaps to a fault instead of allowing for spontaneity). For us, those boundaries aren’t so much about “allowed” and “not allowed” but more about “what would affect our relationship” if something happened. And, as it can be with couples who have been sexually creative, it’s important to understand where compromise can take place. Those “heat of the moment” issues can be extremely challenging – which is why the concept of “what is allowed” can be difficult when your mind and body are fighting against desire and logic.