Category Archives: Uncategorized
The other day I wrote about how to establish boundaries when it comes to sexual exploration. Of course, the answer is pretty simple – communication.
But it doesn’t always mean they don’t bend, flex, expand or contract. Boundaries – or at least what we’re willing to do, or not do – change with experience and maturity. They also change when you decide to step outside your comfort zone and explore something that has lived in the deep recesses of your sexual imagination. Bringing those forward is the first step of testing the boundaries, before making a commitment to actually breaking out of your routine.
If we don’t constantly challenge the notion of what we’re comfortable with, then we become pretty boring people. I can’t imagine a life when things are boiled down to “it’s Tuesday, time to pleasure the hubby for the week.”
Unfortunately, I also know that this is a reality for a lot of couples – including people I know.
Challenging your sexual boundaries doesn’t have to be something dramatic. It can be as simple as trying something new: a location, a position … different day of the week. What it does require – as does everything sexual – is communication.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 15 years talking and sharing what goes on in my sexual mind. My husband hasn’t always been the primary listener in that; I’ve confided in girlfriends, family and even on here. But the important part of it for me has been the “sharing.” It’s allowed me to wrap my brain around … my brain. It’s allowed me to come to terms with ideas that will forever remain fantasy, and begin the adventure of turning some others into reality.
Taking the leap to push just one boundary out a little further begins with really internalizing what it is you want from the experience. For example, on a simplistic level, if you want to energize your sex life, breaking routine by taking the initiative when it’s unexpected can really change the game. You have to ask yourself how you are going to approach that challenge. Does it mean a big risk? Nothing really exciting comes without risk, of course …
What are you willing to risk? As adults our tolerance for risk decreases; that is what holds us back more than anything else. We shed the fears of childhood, but take on new fears – fear of rejection, humiliation, even harm and injury (whether emotional or physical). We forget how to be vulnerable.
Expanding your sexual boundaries requires you to embrace that vulnerability.
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.
A few weeks ago I had lunch with a not-so-newly single friend. She was telling me that after being “back on the market” for some time, since the demise of her marriage, that she was beginning to feel like she didn’t really want a relationship anymore.
It’s work, she explained; work to find dates, to get ready for dates, to deal with the expectations of dating in an age of Tinder and swiping left or right. It was work to go through the motions with no clue as to how it was all going to work out. It was work to deal with the reality of failing to find chemistry with a potential mate … not to mention the ones who are only looking for a hook-up (and lie about their intentions).
Of course it’s hard work to establish a new relationship – it’s even more hard work to keep one going and healthy – I offered in rebuttal. But that’s often a very stubborn conversation, I find, with someone who looks upon their last significant relationship as a big lie.
In my supportive-friend role, I was trying to minimize the downside to being single in your 40s (of course, I totally know what that’s all about…not) and how there is someone out there for everyone. The end goal is what should make all that ‘work’ fun.
As the conversation deepened, my friend said it wasn’t so much about the male friendship – something we both have lots of – it was the sex … and how she felt like it wasn’t worth the effort anymore. The too many moments of awkward, uncomfortable – downright, bad – sex was overwhelming.
“I know what I get with my vibrator.”
Once I picked myself up off the floor ….
She said, “Andee, your sex life is with someone who knows you. Your husband knows what you want, how you want it … and you know how to add the right amount of spice.” Hard to disagree with that.
“Imagine life if you didn’t find that guy who you wanted to spend the rest of your life with … and every time you had sex with a guy it was like the first time?”
Hmm, like a sexual ‘Groundhog Day’.
I told my friend that it didn’t sound so bad … but I had forgotten about the truth of first time sex with a new partner.
“You haven’t figured out how to really kiss each other, the sex is awkward … the conversation after sex is awkward. Nobody really knows what the hell they’re doing. It’s not like being young and discovering sex all over again. It’s like you know what good sex is, but your own version of good sex and his version of good sex don’t even come close.”
“And maybe that’s what you think is never going to happen.”
“Retiring from sex is just easier.”
Oh dear lord, don’t say that!
All this talk about Pokemon Go! got me thinking a bit. Now, I’m not much of a tech geek. In fact, outside of the computer I use for work and my cell phone, I am usually the one asking “how do you do this … how can I make it do that…”
If you haven’t been hiding under a rock these past couple weeks, you’ll know the Pokemon game is all the rage – and not just with kids. Adults of all ages are jumping into this trend – and judge however you wish, it’s the hottest idea this summer. And what a huge change from my youthful summers when we had pet rocks …
The idea of augmented reality is pretty cool. From what I understand, it’s not new. Ikea launched an app for interior decorating, allowing you to see how certain pieces of furniture would fit into a room. Cool, but not quite like the current situation where hundreds of people are congregating in public parks trying to “capture” imaginary monsters on their phones.
But what if you took this idea and turned into some to get more adults playing? Something like Pornemon Go! You could swap out the Japanese monsters for popular porn stars, and the Poke balls for something … well, use your imagination. And instead of shooting them with these Poke balls, you could shoot them with … well, use your imagination.
My teenage son introduced me to a new term recently – “pork roasting”. Now, I like to think that I’m fairly up-to-date on sexual language, particularly the descriptive slang, but this was a new one to me. Of course, I pretty much had the idea in mind of what he meant, but in good mom mode, I played dumb and had him explain it to me.
In a threesome including one woman and two men, the act of having the girl perform fellatio on one man, and being penetrated doggy style by the other man. Seems like a relatively common threesome-type sexual position.
In my world, this is more often referred to as an Eiffel Tower (oh, those French!). And I don’t mind admitting (for the umpteenth time), it’s one of my biggest personal fantasies.
The catch with the “pork roast” though, as I discovered later, was that this term is actually less about sexual conquest and experimentation and more about a description of the woman involved. It’s really kind of derogatory. But it gave me a little insight into the sexual mindset of teenagers today. They’re far more sexually open that I ever was (cue the “why, when I was a kid” soundtrack), and far more willing to share among their peer group without the prerequisite commitment to a relationship … or their parents’ idea of sexual exclusivity.
Of course, that’s an assumption based on my own exposure to the culture my own children exist within. I have no doubt somewhere out there, statistics exist to prove me wrong.
What was truly intriguing about the conversation was that, although I have no fondness for the young female in the alleged “pork roast” my son was telling me about – I couldn’t help think back to my days in high school. How many girls had a reputation based on rumour as opposed to fact…