What about us? 5 tips to connect sexually when you’re a monogamous, mostly vanilla, couple.
There’s been a lot written lately on Kink, ethical non-monogamy, and various other sexual interests. If you’re pretty vanilla in your interests and in a committed relationship, you might wonder “What about us?” How can we keep things interesting, fun, and spicy when we’re committed and exclusive, “until death do us part”? Well, there’s good news! You can continue to have sexy fun with your partner while also connecting on a deeper level. And if you remain healthy, you can be sexual for the rest of your life. Below, see 5 tips to good sexy times, even when you’re vanilla.
1. Offer positivity to your partner.
Positive statements directed to your partner are essential for goodwill. John Gottman’s research states that for every negative statement, 5 positive statements are needed to counter act the resulting negative feelings. Sex is always better when there’s positivity between partners. Offer appreciations as suggested in Imago Relationship Therapy - “I appreciate how confident you are. I feel really attracted to you when I notice your confidence,” for example.
2. Schedule time for sex.
Scheduling time for sex, although controversial, is essential for regular sexual connection. Our busy lives offer many opportunities to put sex on the backburner, while we manage the kids, jobs, parents, and other commitments. I say scheduling is controversial because many of my clients yearn to have spontaneous sex again and may reject the idea of scheduling. Some say, “planning sex ruins it,” or “if we have to plan it, I’d rather not do it.” Really? You’ll give up sex entirely, even when you see that the frequency is dwindling due to your busy lives? Things are different now and will not return to the way they were when you first started having sex. Your libidos were high, and your hormones supported the rush, “I have to have you now!” But, with planning when you’ll have sex, you can open your mind and body to this exciting way to connect, have fun, and feel amazing!
Look at this scheduling strategy as an opportunity to disconnect from your busy life and concentrate on just one thing - sexual connection with your love! Scheduling gives you a chance to clear your calendar for 1 or 2 hours, clear your mind of all the things you must do, take time and prioritize yourself and your relationship. Think, this is going to be fun, good for me, and good for us.
3. Flirt throughout the day.
Flirting with your partner is a way to keep your energy hot, especially on your sex day. But don’t limit flirting to only your sex days, it will keep you and your partner interested and energized for sex, and fantasizing about the upcoming day. Some people say they don’t know how to flirt. OK, here’s some suggestions:
Leave off the underwear and make sure you tell your partner you did.
Send a sexy text.
Ask for them to think of something sexual that’s new, that they’d like to try.
Tell them something sexual you’d like to try.
Tickle their butt (after asking for consent to touch them).
Remind them of “that time when we…”
Talk dirty even when sex is not imminent.
4. Change things up.
One of the nice things for Kink Practitioners is that they have a big tool box. But just because you consider yourselves “vanilla” doesn’t mean you can’t try new things. “Variety is the spice of life,” they say.
Here’s an exercise:
Both partners make a list of sexual things they might like to do. Then each partner takes a turn to share one item on their list, then go back and forth. After sharing your lists, decide together on one item from each list that you’ll try next time you have sex. Your lists may look something like this (or it may look completely different…it’s your list):
New positions - there are several books to choose from on this topic from “The Kama Sutra” to “365 Sex Positions.”
“I’d like to be lightly tied to the bedposts, while you give me oral sex.”
Do our favorite sex acts in a different order.
Take more time.
Take less time.
Take turns having an orgasm.
Let’s take a shower together. After that, I’ll lick you all over.
Laugh and have fun while we’re having sex.
5. Talk about sex.
Talking about sex is essential to being close and connected, but one of the hardest things to do. Why is this so? Most families didn’t talk openly about sex, so you may have learned that it’s taboo to talk about sex, and hence, you really haven’t had much practice talking about it. When we reveal our sexual interests, we are probably the most vulnerable. What will my partner say? Will she laugh? Or be disgusted? Sexual communication is one of the most requested services in sex therapy.
In Imago Relationship Therapy, clients learn to listen and hear each other without judgement, validate what makes sense about what they’ve heard, and empathize with their partners. If sexual thoughts and interests can be shared in this environment, partners are more likely to open up to sharing and vulnerability. Remember, just because your partner shares a sexual interest, does not mean you need to provide for that interest. You might or you might not, but the important thing is that you’re talking about it and you have been non-judgmental and accepting.
Other ways to talk about sex are to debrief after a sexual experience and share what you liked doing and receiving, and what you might like to try next time. Keep this positive and be open.
So, by reading this article, you’ve heard 5 tips that lead to sexual connection: communicate positively, schedule sex, flirt, implement variety, and talk about sex. If you’d like help exploring these or anything else in your sexual or relational life, please contact Enhancing Intimacy Austin to schedule in-person or online therapy with one of our therapists. We specialize in Relationship and Sex Therapy.
Claudia Thompson is licensed in the State of Texas as a Marriage & Family Therapist and a Professional Counselor. Also certified by The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), she supervises post-graduate Associates working toward their full licensure and those working toward their AASECT Certification. Certified in Imago Relationship Therapy, Claudia specializes in working with couples and individuals seeking more fulfilling lives through their expression of their sexuality and in their relationships.