Complete honesty ahead: I've been with my live-in boyfriend for a year now, and while our sex life is certainly fulfilling, it's not necessarily...kinky. We know what we like, what we don't like, and, with our insane work schedules, sticking with the simple stuff comes easier than spending hours on, say, shibari rope bondage.
But I really don't want commitment to give way to sexual monotony. It's such a cliché! I want to keep our sexual escapades as exciting as they can be—plus, it's important to make room for your wild side, right?
Sure, I've experimented in other relationships, but I haven't in this relationship. And considering I'm in love with this partner, it's high time we raised the bar to see where we can go sexually as a couple. If we can see ourselves being simpatico with money and neuroses and hectic work schedules, then I also need to know if we can handle a butt plug with skill.
So, in an effort to up our sexual prowess, I declared a mission: We try something new in bed every week for eight weeks to incorporate more kink to our routine.
Follow along with our XXX-rated journey.
1. Week One: Anal
The day we first had full-on anal sex was the day we attended a Bernie Sanders rally in Queens. Because...sure. Why not?
It was, in all fairness, a great Saturday. We saw Bernie speak, went out for some of the best ramen in New York City, then we came home to our pre-marital bed and decided to try a whole new way to have sex. While we've both done anal before, it was our first time doing anal to completion together—and I was nervous about a successful run. In my own sexual history, anal attempts can sometimes dissolve into rather awkward "oow oow that hurts!" and then you're just. kind of. done. Pain, if not engineered, is not sexy.
I've heard from porn stars to be selective about what you eat before getting it on anally, but I can attest that we (surprisingly!) experienced no issues after consuming spicy miso ramen. We did, however, used plenty of lube before anything was inserted anywhere. Your butt can't lubricate itself, and forgoing lube is not only uncomfortable, but you're putting yourself more at risk for tearing. We started by lubing up a finger (which honestly felt great as I got used to the somewhat familiar sensation) and when I finally felt comfortable, we progressed to full-on penis. And for the first time—call it love or diligent prep work—anal sex went off without a hitch. I'm now proud to say my partner and I have exceptional anal chemistry.
I'll be adding this to our repertoire.
2. Week Two: Name Calling
Outside of the bedroom, if my boyfriend ever called me a "slut," I'd tell him to pack his stuff and get the fuck out. But in bed, being called a "slut" is apparently a big turn-on for me.
Our standard "dirty talk"—if you can even call it that—is predominantly just cooing things like "baby" to each other while we go at it. Hardly winning us any porn awards, I know. And since "slut" is not a word my partner would typically feel comfortable using with me, the way we worked it in was straightforward: I asked him to. During a slur of other filthy speech—in which we narrated all the sexual acts we were performing on one another—I asked him to tell me I'm a slut, and he did, and I came. That's that.
3. Week Three: Threesome
I also date women, and back when my boyfriend and I were just friends, we used to always talk about girls together. Even though we haven't slept with one together (yet!), it was still invigorating to swipe through Tinder as a team and check out women as a pair, not only for a turn-on, but because it reminded me of our friendship and the fun we have together.
Until that threesome comes to fruition, discussing and planning the fantasy itself is its own form of foreplay. During sex, I'll often whisper threesome fantasies in my boyfriend's ear—what another woman would be doing to him right now, what I'd want to do with her while he's watching—and that alone acts as a mega intense experience. But I still want the real thing. So uh...message me on Twitter if you're interested in going on a date with us?
4. Week Four: Slapping
In the right mood, slapping can be super hot. We've both tried this before with other partners, and when I'm in the mood, it's one of my favorites—but I've never tried this with him. So, before things got heated, I asked my boyfriend to slap me across the face—with very particular specifications. Without the proper communication (and now can be your time to finally create a safe word) slapping, spanking—really anything under the BDSM umbrella—can be potentially dangerous. But with the right communication, it can be awesome.While inside me, on my command, he slapped me semi-gently, just enough to sting. I *instantly* liked it. The intensity of the sting coupled with the taboo nature of the act and the aggressive power dynamic put me that much closer to orgasm. Because my partner is respectful in real life, it's hot to watch the dominant side of him emerge during sex.
But the dynamic didn't quite work in the other direction. Later, when I got on top and (with his permission) slapped him, he winced. My heart melted like I had just kicked a puppy, so I had to stop. Submission in bed comes naturally for me, but I'm still working on becoming a better dominant.
5. Week Five: Butt Plug
I'm an advocate of butt plugs, or perhaps more accurately, proper warm-up before diving into full anal. But think of butt plugs like engagement rings: If you bring one home to your partner and it's the wrong size, it can be a bit of a snafu. As with weight lifting, when using a butt plug, you need to start small and work your way up. There is a time and place for the extra large butt plug (as you may have seen in certain porn videos). But since I hadn't used one in a very long time, I should have elected for the size small Fun Toy rather than the large. I didn't. Call it carelessness.
I had my boyfriend lube up a too-large butt plug and use it on me to responsibly prepare for anal sex, and the toy hurt so badly I cried. Anal sex with his penis was much more comfortable. We shoved the too-big butt plug back in the far reaches of my underwear drawer and away from my booty, and stuck with fingers instead.
6. Week Six: Dead Fish
We've already done about every sexual position I can think of, sans the weird ones you read about for the shower. At 28 I already have lower back problems—I don't need to slip on conditioner that may have doubled as lube. As I scanned my brain for new sexual positions, it dawned on me—dead fish! On Reddit and Urban Dictionary I had heard this term mysoginistically used to describe when women are lifeless during missionary. But what if just relaxing while the man does all the work is actually kind of awesome? Only one way to find out!
One night as we were having sex before bed, he was on top, and I unwrapped my legs from his waist and went completely limp. It put a delay in the orgasm train, as the position was far too passive for me. I like being *active* during sex, wrapping legs around my partner, touching, pulling, hugging, and holding, so this is not something I would be interested in trying again, but we laughed our asses off.
7. Week Seven: Fisting
My biggest sex mantra for straight sex is always: more foreplay, more foreplay, more foreplay. Too often men just stick their penises inside women and think that sex begins at penetration and ends at their climax. Sure, everyone loves a quickie sometimes, but sex should also include fingers, mouths, toys, and sometimes—gasp—fists! Or at least as many fingers as you can or want to get inside there. Don't believe the old wives' tales. If a vagina can birth a baby, it can take more than a few fingers in foreplay without becoming "stretched out."
I had my partner start with one finger, then two, then three, then four, then five. He couldn't get his entire fist inside of me, but the intensity of being thoroughly penetrated by something that's not a penis felt sexy because it was transgressive (a recurring turn-on for me, I've noticed on this mission). Fisting is still pretty taboo. It's fun for the same reason it can be hot to have your boyfriend use a dildo on you. Give both a shot!
8. Week Eight: Role Play
We have a Sunday night tradition. Dinner, sex, then Game of Thrones. It's important to have the sex before the show starts because I tend to get super sleepy after watching TV, Game of Thrones is notoriously rape-heavy (not a turn-on for me), and lying on the couch after we've both come creates an extraordinarily relaxing viewing experience.
Jaime and Cersei, the incestuous twins, often get painted in an evil light, but I find Cersei's cold ambition and strong family values endearing, and Jaime is just a big goof. So, to spice up one Sunday, I pretended that I was Cersei and my boyfriend was Jaime during pre-Game of Thrones sex. (We do look a little bit similar, so: bonus.)
Since I'm a role-playing novice, it felt best to start small. So it was all mental role play, meaning we didn't quite recite dialogue from the show or call each other Cersei or Jaime (next time?), but even just imagining that we were these characters kicked up the sexual stakes and brought yet another hot dynamic into our bedroom. I heard once that the biggest sexual organ is the brain, and role-playing, even in its smallest, most pedestrian form, confirmed this for me. Imagination is not overrated.
After a long day of work, ordering nachos and binge-watching Veep can seem much more appealing than the physical exertion required to get it on with showmanship—but it's worth it. Devoting the energy to an exciting, sometimes unpredictable, and constantly evolving sex life is satisfying in a way that Game of Thrones will never be.
And for my part, trying all these erotic but slightly-outside-my-comfort-zone activities gave me a whole new perspective on what really gets me going. That and a renewed appreciation for Bernie Sanders.