Category Archives: Passion
A burning question that’s been in my inbox for … about five years (I started out on my blog with a lot of really good intentions!): How do I get my shy husband to try something a little wilder with me?
I guess that might depend on your version of “wild.”
I don’t think it’s any secret that a common theme runs through all the stuff I post on here – when you want to do anything, change anything, try anything, stop anything in a sexual relationship, you need to communicate. The only way to keep a relationship healthy is by talking to each other and keeping an open mind – even if it means you’re closing the door on a specific experience.
It’s never easy trying to coax anyone into leaving their comfort zone. My husband has invested 26 years in slowly (and occasionally, quickly) helping me expand and explore my own limits. We’ve tried things I would have never imagined, and some that I never imagined would leave my imagination.
Getting me into this adventure started with a lot of small steps, all of which were great ways to gradually spice up our marriage. We didn’t take a huge leap right into many of the experiences we’ve had, but played them out in our mutual fantasies, often as post-sex conversation … sometimes mid-sex conversation. He was very encouraging for me to open up about my thoughts, and gradually let him in on some of the fantasies I never dreamed I could ever share.
He did a lot of simple things to set that stage – created fun little question and answer games, romantic dinners with a twist. For example, on one birthday, he created a sort of scavenger hunt for me: When I got to my car at work there was a set of envelopes on my seat, numbered. I had to follow each one, in order, before the final destination. He thought of everything to make it easy, a little challenging, but fun as hell. Starting at a lingerie shop for underwear, right through to an outfit and shoes; by the time I met him, I was completely made-up, dressed up and ready for a date.
At Christmas, he put together a “naughty list” stocking for me – which I would open on Christmas Eve after the kids went to bed. It was filled with fun adult gifts and naughty toys, all designed to add a little more sexual excitement to the end of a very stressful month (December is always a toughie).
Along the journey to helping me discover a new sexual side, he encouraged me to let go of the hang-ups I had. I can’t tell you how terrifying it was at first to admit to him about the flirtatious experiences I was enjoying online and at work. There were bumps along the way, more conversations, a bit of back and forth … and it was work. It took effort to not crawl back into my shell and plod along in life never testing the waters again.
Without question, it had to be a challenge for him too. It takes a certain kind of man to shed his own insecurities and let trust take over. I know he struggled at times as well … but he always told me how much more rewarding it was to see his wife developing into an exciting, confident and sexually-engaged woman than it was to remain in a relationship of mundane suburban cohabitation (his words).
My husband gradually introduced ‘new’ things to our relationship as my own comfort level and interest emerged from the depths of my mind. A touch stereotypical, it included lingerie for the bedroom, stiletto heels that would never been seen on me in public, sex toys. We played with the video camera and (pre-digital) the Polaroid camera. All that helped me see, in his eyes, how sexy he thought I was.
It’s amazing how much your sexual confidence grows when you see and hear constant reinforcement from someone you love dearly. Knowing I could be open and vulnerable allowed me to find more of that sexual confidence and my desire to blossom. Once the seal was broken, I wanted even more.
For me, it wasn’t so much about what we were doing from that point on, but more about no longer being afraid to try. I didn’t feel there would be some sort of humiliation or retribution. I had a sense of confidence and freedom to not only participate in some of his ideas for us as a couple, but introduce him to mine. What began as his efforts to get me to be more adventurous turned into a journey we shared.
There’s always that nagging little voice in the back of a lot of people’s heads that says “you probably shouldn’t…”
I first wrote about this very idea some five years ago … and at a time when it seems my imagination was much more on fire. Ah, how time and life conspire against us to quell the naughtiness. That and a house full of inquisitive teenage boys.
Actually, I don’t think that my opinion on sharing fantasies has changed – and I’m not even sure my own fantasies have changed…much. Maybe some have become tainted with a bit too much reality, but that isn’t to say I’ve given up on them.
More of what I think these days is around the opportunity to share those thoughts and ideas. For me, it’s easy to be more open minded and sexually astute when my libido is high. But when life turns and you struggle to even find brief moments of intimacy in a spinning schedule, it can be a challenge to “feel” the fantasy, never mind talk about it. When your days are murky with work stresses and the routine of raising a family, etc., it’s hard to get in the creative mood.
I think that’s also why things slowed down with this blog…it’s hard to keep the focus on those sexually intriguing aspects of life when your mind is bogged down with the mundane.
So, in a way, it becomes even more important to make the most of the opportunities when they do arise – and keeping the commitment to “life-long, marriage-strong” communication.
Communication is what will keep things on track for when those doors open again. And, by understanding what continues to inspire each others’ imagination is key to keeping the marriage alive during these busy, mind-numbing real-life slumps.
The caution, of course, is in how those fantasies may be interpreted. If life is so busy you can’t connect as a couple, will the other person see you sexual distractions as a sign of infidelity/boredom/need to break away? How do you achieve that balance? That’s a really good question – and I’d love to hear your ideas.
Of course, I’m not the most perfect example of following my own advice. I think if you asked my husband today about my sexual fantasies he would, at least, be able to give Version 1.0. The updates, maybe not so much at the moment.
Consider this for a moment, you’re on the brink of your sexual peak and there’s an incredible world of orgasmic opportunity awaiting you; what’s the best advice you’ve received?
It’s an interesting question, because most of us may not truly recognize that the best advice is the best advice. Our friends tell us to “experiment” … which isn’t a bad thing. Our mothers tell us to “wait until you’re married” … which may not be a bad thing for some people. If you’re Catholic, the church tells us “you’ll go to hell” … which some of us (OK, maybe just me) already have reserved seating anyway.
The reality is, for as many of us participating in a healthy sexual lifestyle, there are just as many tidbits of good advice to be heeded.
The whole idea of best sex advice came about during a radio program I was recently listening to, where the hosts invited people to call in and share (within broadcastable reason) the things they had been told. Pretty much all of the above was covered, along with a few other funny ones – but I didn’t hear the one thing that I wished someone would have told me way back when:
Don’t be surprised if your sexual tastes change.
It’s really a simple idea, when you get right down to it. Much like our appetite for food, drink and music (among many other things) our sexual interests are going to evolve as we get older and gain more experience. But very few people seem to be open about the idea of “what you like now may not be what you like later.”
As girls, we certainly hear the “it gets better” about traditional intercourse; mostly because the experience of losing our virginity is: a) somewhat painful/uncomfortable and b) often very, very bad sex with a teenage boy way too anxious to notch his bedpost and tell his friends.
For me, as I have mentioned in my blog before, I spent the first decade of my sexual maturity (I’m pegging 16 as the start date for that, just sayin’) repressing certain desires/interests/thoughts. As a young adult, even moving into my early 20s, I would have never admitted that I was curious about women. And the same goes for exploring outside the bounds of conventional monogamy.
The surprise for me was the meeting and marriage to a man who would stand behind me to allow all of that to come out freely. I have also said before that had it not been for meeting my husband, there is a whole world of sexual exploration that would have never happened.
And no one tells you that is the way it’s supposed to be. No one seems to tell you that you are allowed to have desires/interests/thoughts of your own – and there is nothing wrong with them. Too many people seem to fall into the trap of “this is the way it is, and the way it’s supposed to be.” Thankfully I escaped that fate.
Because of the openness and support, I have been allowed to discover what I like and I what I don’t. My sexual tastes have been allowed to evolve as they should – and pave the path to many more yet to come. At 40, my sexual tastes are far more wonderful than they were at 20.
So, don’t be surprised if your sexual tastes change – and don’t let someone else prevent them from doing so.
Hookups — brief uncommitted sexual encounters between individuals who are not romantic partners or dating each other.
“Hookups have emerged from more general social shifts taking place during the last century. Hookups began to become more frequent in the 1920s, with the upsurge of automobiles and novel entertainment, such as movie theaters. Instead of courting at home under a parent’s watchful eye, young adults left the home and were able to explore their sexuality more freely.
By the 1960s, young adults became even more sexually liberated, with the rise of feminism, widespread availability of birth control and growth of sex-integrated college party events. Today, sexual behavior outside of traditional committed romantic pair-bonds has become increasingly typical and socially acceptable (Bogle, 2007, 2008).” — Source
This is, quite easily, one of the more difficult TMI Tuesdays for me. Having been in a committed relationship now for almost 25 years, there isn’t a vast amount of “hook-up” dishing to be had. However, the idea captivates my attention because of the very nature of it – the pure sexual freedom and no emotional attachment. There’s a lot of potential in that.
There is a great debate somewhere in all of this – people of my generation and older may see these encounters as the old “one-night stand.” Whereas, as mentioned above, today’s youth may very well see these “sex for sex sake” encounters as normal behaviour.
1. When was your last hook-up?
So, here is where we will begin with my own twist on the concept. I can’t say that my encounter is a hook-up in the truest of senses, mainly because it was carefully planned, my husband was present for the entire encounter … and the only outcome was the exchange of oral sex.
But that wonderful encounter took place in March 2012
2. Briefly describe the hook-up?
I had invested about three years of really committed flirting and teasing of the guy before making the leap. It’s described in great detail in another blog entry.
3. How did you feel physically and emotionally after your last hook-up?
Physically, it was an incredible moment in my adult life. The orgasm I experienced left me weak in the knees for hours. Emotionally was more of a challenge. There was no guilt on my behalf, I had the unbelievable support and encouragement from my husband to go ahead with the encounter, so my conscience was clear. But in the days after, I still felt confused. I had an intense desire (and still do) to take the next step and push the sexual envelope a bit more, but I also had to accept that the freedom I enjoyed was not shared for my partner. For him it was very much an “affair” and he had to make some tough decisions based on reality as opposed to sexual fantasy.
4. Are you still acquainted with the person from your hook-up?
We are still friends, although I don’t hear from him as much as I would like. We no longer work together and have since taken different paths in life.
5. How often do you engage in hook-ups?
This was the one and only time … so far.
6. What do you like most about engaging in hook-ups?
Well, outside of the previously stated lack of experience, I like the idea of being able to sexually explore without an emotional commitment. There’s something to be said for the sense of freedom.
Bonus: Are you married and having hook-ups?
Um … see above. But yes, I am married – happily, lovingly married.
The discussion has definitely been about sharing fantasies of late. But someone asked if there was ever a time when a certain fantasy is best kept a secret.
Ok … so why would it work that way, you might ask, when you’ve been trying to encourage people to open up and communicate?
Well, the reality is that sometimes your partner may not be ready to wrap their brain about a certain desire you may have. Maybe they have trust issues (hopefully not). Maybe they’re struggling with issues of jealousy (it happens). Maybe they’re not at the same place sexually as you (it happens, a lot). Maybe there are 100 other reasons why you might want to wait it out a bit and test the waters. No matter what the reasoning may be, when it comes to fantasies, the downfall always seems to be the “devil in the details” part.
Even after 24 years of being together, there are still things that my husband and I are learning about each other. Life experience changes your perspective on your reality and with that, your sexual imagination. I couldn’t tell you what my ideal fantasy was when I was a first-married bride, but it probably had something to do with a very romantic notion that only involved my new husband. Since that time, I have discovered and explored a bisexual side to my personality, dabbled with swinging and shared a highly erotic encounter with a male co-worker while my husband looked on. I would have NEVER told my husband 20 years ago that I wanted to experience something like I did that afternoon.
And don’t kid yourself; there are still fantasies I have that I have not told him.
Fantasies are healthy, and your first challenge is to accept that. And accepting means accepting they are also healthy for the person you are with, no matter the context of their fantasies might be. Having fantasies doesn’t mean you want to break up your marriage and run away with who you are fantasizing about. They simply mean that your libido is working in tune with your imagination. Sharing fantasies in an open-minded and non-judgemental atmosphere helps the whole sexual orchestra play along.
But, without question, it takes time to build up to that level of performance. You can’t just start out on that level – unless you’re one hell of a sexually confident individual dating another hell of a sexually confident individual. Fantasies require trust, just as anything in a close relationship does. And trust takes time. If you don’t have that trust, don’t tempt its boundaries too soon.