Man Asks How to Introduce Wife to New Bedroom Activities


Dear Dr. Diana,


My wife and I have been together almost three years. As I’ve heard happens with most couples, a lot of the zing has disappeared from our sex life. We still make love—usually at least once a week—but it has gotten kinda boring. I’m interested in trying some new things to add some spice, but I’m hesitant about how to bring this up with her. She’s not a prude, but she is sensitive about other (non-sexual) things I suggest. Any ideas on how to break the ice?


—James



Dear James,


It’s great that you are open to exploring new things in the bedroom with your wife. I have counseled many couples where one of them wants to try something new in the bedroom but feels awkward about proposing it. A direct question (such as “Do you want to try anal intercourse?”) can easily put the other partner on the defensive.


Instead, start with this magic phrase: “I have an idea!” The wording is non-threatening and invites an open discussion in the spirit of curiosity. By not requiring a reactive yes or no answer, beginning with this phrase leads to better conversations … and hopefully some novel bedroom activities. Novelty stimulates the release of dopamine, which gives rise to more passion and intimacy. That’s a healthy sex life!


One new thing that you could ease into: dirty talk, which gets much of its power to arouse from the meanings we assign to taboo words. However, slang sexual terms often have different connotations for different people. (One person may love to be called a “slut” whereas another might feel disrespected by the same word.) The I-have-an-idea approach can help you discover which terms have the most turn-on potential.


You might also want to work with my Sex Menu Exercise (taken from my book Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine). It’s a laundry list of different sexual activities where you each indicate your willingness (or not) to try some new things. It’s a great way to learn more about each other and possibly find some new and adventuresome bedroom activities.


—Dr. Diana


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The Sex Menu exercise helps clarify what sexual activities you and your partner are interested in. Just write Yes, No or Maybe next to each item on the list. Then share it with your partner. You may uncover some fun new avenues to explore.

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