What To Do If You Think You're Boring In Bed

Photographed by Winnie Au.
I'm newly divorced after an almost decade-long relationship, and I'm getting back to dating casually. It has been a lot of fun, but I worry I might become boring as a sex partner after a few hookups. I'm very open and relaxed in bed, so getting what I want (and a few pleasant surprises) has not been an issue so far. But, I worry that moving down the line, things might become monotonous. I do the "basic" thing with my partners; using hands, oral and then vaginal sex, sometimes a few times a night. What I'd really like is to have an imagination. (Like, is having sex in an elevator so passé these days? I don't know!) And, I'd like to feel safe and confident enough to ask for more advanced pleasures, like butt play, or light S&M. Please give me some tips on how to create a more imaginative and wild sex life for me and my partners. -M

Partnered sex takes place between two or more people, making it a collaborative sort of activity. This means that the highly subjective desires of your partners and their definitions of “imaginative” and “passé” are the only desires and definitions other than your own to concern yourself with. What I’m saying here is that it doesn’t matter what is en vogue with the fresh-out-of-college kids these days, unless you’re having sex with one of them.

Furthermore, differing opinions on what’s new and inventive aren’t necessarily a mood-killer. There’s something wonderful about being part of a lover experiencing something for the first time — helping them explore a desire, or watching them stumble onto something that both feels good and surprises them. That vicarious newness is still a kind of newness.

It sounds like you’ve already got a sexual imagination — mentioning sex in an elevator, butt sex, and light S&M over the course of a single paragraph. So, how do you bring these things up with your partners? Assuming you have a partner who is okay with public affection and medium levels of risk, arrange to find yourself in an elevator with them at an appropriate time (meaning, not midday when you’re likely to see other people) and throw yourself on them when the doors close, disclosing your desire into their ear. [Note: Many elevators have cameras in them, and depending on the laws where you live, any amount of nudity could land you in some major legal trouble. So, it's probably best not to have actual exposed-genitals types of sex in one.] The next time someone is going down on you, ask them how they feel about licking your butt crack, or tell them you’d love to have your ass eaten. Put the basic sentiment in your own words. 

As for light S&M, not only is that a broad category itself, S&M is frequently conflated with bondage and power exchange in superficial discussions. Also, "light" is a highly subjective word. I suggest you zero in on some of the specifics of what turns you on, and also what specific acts are interesting to you. Then, broach the subject in the same ways described above. 

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Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
I am a late 20's woman who has been in a committed and loving relationship for nine years. My boyfriend and I own a home and have lived our lives pretty much as a married couple. I recently met a male friend whom I really enjoyed getting to know. Over the course of our short friendship, he slowly revealed his feelings for me — and how he wishes he could spend the rest of his life with me. The catch: He professed his love right before he left for a job overseas. One night, things got a little out of hand, and I slept with him. I really enjoyed it. I realized much too late that I also had feelings for him. I don’t know how long he’ll be away, but I am not the type of woman who waits around. I do love my boyfriend and my “friend” — I don’t know who to choose or what to do next. -S

I’d really like to assume that you’re in a committed, OPEN, and loving relationship with your boyfriend. If that were the case, though, you wouldn’t have to choose. So, I’m assuming your relationship with your boyfriend is closed, and that he is under the impression the two of you are monogamous. If you’re in a relationship where exclusivity and monoamory is the agreement, you crossed the line when you slept with this male friend. That was unfair to your boyfriend, and also unfair to the male friend. It might feel nice to be in a position where you’re asking for advice about choosing between two presumably great guys, but if you’re doing this disingenuously and at the expense of other peoples’ feelings, it is unacceptable and possibly cruel.

So, what you should do next is figure out what you want, come clean and apologize to both parties, and be prepared to accept the potential ramifications of your actions, including the possibility that neither one wants to be with you.

Identifying details have been changed.


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