DEAR DR. NERDLOVE:
My partner (he/him) has a lot more sexual experience than I (they/them) have – I haven’t dated much, and don’t like one night stands. Regardless of what I do, I always feel perpetually behind – the things that are perfectly adequate for me are not necessarily adequate for him.
It’s not that I’m not willing to try thing xyz, but I’m not even sure where to begin – the extent of me getting frisky is cowgirl vs. missionary.
How do I expand my horizons such that he won’t get bored and leave?
Bed Springs Playbook
DEAR BED SPRINGS PLAYBOOK: Alright, BSP, let’s start with my standard first question for situations like this: have you actually talked to your partner about this? It sounds like you’re making a lot of assumptions based out of insecurity; “not necessarily adequate” are not words that make me feel like you’re dealing with a lot of certainty here. If he hasn’t told you “hey, I think we need to spice things up a little in the bedroom”, then it sounds to me like we’re talking about guesswork and assumptions, not actual knowledge.
As you take a moment on that, allow me to dispel a common misconception for you. When it comes to sex, numbers are just that: numbers. They don’t inherently convey skill, nor do they convey a continuous need for adventure and experimentation. Just as somebody could have enough partners to make Wilt Chamberlain look like a celibate monk and still suck in bed, having lots of partners or exes doesn’t automatically mean that they’ve gone through the Kama Sutra twice and wrote some extra chapters for funsies. People can have body counts in triple or quadruple digits but still be incredibly vanilla in their tastes and interests. For many folks, standard issue sex works great. They don’t need to be swinging from the chandeliers, dousing one another with hot wax or having threesomes, foursomes and moresomes in order to avoid getting bored.
Boredom tends to come when you’re in a rut, doing the exact same thing the exact same way every time. Not just missionary or cowgirl, but the same make out-oral-sex-oral-sex-PIV routine, only ever in the bedroom, every Friday night at 10:30, before turning out the lights and going to sleep. Different times and occasions, different rooms of the house and, yes, different positions can all bring novelty into the mix, without having to break out the Seymour Butts DVDs for inspiration.
But let’s go back to the “did you talk to your partner about this” question. If you haven’t, if you’ve been quietly sitting there, stewing in your worry that you’re not enough for him… well, that’s your problem, not your lack of experience. See, talking to your partner is the real solution here… on pretty much every level.
To start with, telling him that you’re a little worried that he’s bored or that the things that’re working for you aren’t working for him gets it all out in the open. He can’t reassure you that everything’s fine if he doesn’t know that you’re afraid that everything isn’t fine. Just as importantly, though, talking to him is how you two start trying thing XYZ or XXY or even YZZ.
Not YYZ though; Neil Peart’s the only person who could pull that off. The man’s not HUMAN.
Nobody is expecting you to manifest sexual experience out of nowhere, especially if you aren’t sure where and how to start. If it turns out that your partner does have things that he wants and/or needs in bed that you haven’t been doing, talking it through with him is the start of how you get that experience. Just as importantly though, you can turn that lack of experience into a bonus for the both of you. Telling your partner “hey, I want to expand my sexual repertoire, want to help?” is an invitation for the two of you to start doing some exploring together. Trading fantasies back and forth, reading smut out loud to each other for – ahem – “inspiration”, watching porn and seeing what tickles your mutual fancies, even getting wild and going to play parties as spectators can bring all kinds of spice to the relationship.
(Incidentally, watch porn for the fantasy, not to find specific things to try. Do not try the things you see in porn at home, those are trained professionals and editing is covering up a lot of sins)
It’s the “together” part that’s most important. One of the things that helps couples stay together is to realize that a relationship is a shared adventure. This includes sexual adventures, which often get cast aside as life and responsibilities pile up. Couples get to a certain point – marriage, kids, etc. – and assume that this is the end of exploration and adventure; the wild crazy sex days are over and they need to settle into plain ol’ vanilla… and that’s bulls--t. Keeping it hot, keeping it wild, even a little freak-nasty if you please, is part of how you keep a marriage going, no matter how old you are or where you are in life. Get a little Gomez and Morticia in your life and you and your partner will be very happy and very satisfied.
Please send your questions to Dr. NerdLove at his website (www.doctornerdlove.com/contact); or to his email, email@example.com