Struggles Couples Have Trying New Things in the Bedroom

We get a lot of questions from couples that have one person who wants to try something new sexually in bed, and the other is reluctant.

Transcription

Keelie

Welcome to the love with adventure podcast where we talk about the marriage relationship, intimacy and marriage and how you can go deeper with your spouse. And today we’re talking about a topic that I get a lot of reader questions about in one form or another. And that is trying new things in the bedroom. There’s so much struggle around this, like, Oh, my goodness, so much struggle. And I’m not saying that it’s not hard because it is. But I get any number of forms of questions like how do I talk to my spouse about trying this thing or that thing, how to why my spouse wants to try this thing or that thing? And I don’t know what to do, or I don’t know if I feel comfortable or, you know, just any level of questions. And today, I kind of just want to talk about that, like a Why is this so bothersome in marriage with couples and things and just kind of like how to work through some of those difficulties? And I think we’ll probably address a couple different angles, because I get so many different forms of this question. Yeah, I think there has to be a lot of different answers.

Austin

It’s a perfect time to mention that we do have our anonymous questions section on the website. Where do you find that I’m trying to remember, it’s on our homepage is on love, hope adventure. Yeah. And I’m sure there’s probably a short URL that I can put in the show notes, but I don’t remember what it is. I just love adventure.com and scroll down towards the bottom. And there’s an anonymous questions, field there. So if you want to reach out to us through responding to the newsletter, you can do that or sending us an email, we’ll get that. But if you want to do it, and like be completely anonymous, like we won’t even see your email address, you can send it through there. The only trick is you got to be subscribed to the newsletter, because that’s where we usually answer those questions. So subscribe to the newsletter, submit your anonymous question. And, and don’t worry about us connecting the dots there, because we get several submission submissions and subscriptions every week. So we’re not going to go Oh, the new subscriber must be that person, you know. But yeah, so what kind of what kind of questions have you been getting? Then? Where do you want to start?

Keelie

Um, I think first of all, I just kind of want to start with why this is such a source of contention with marriages and in marriage with relationships, because this same principle can hold true with any other area, you definitely see this spouse that is a runner, and they want their spouse to be a runner with them, right? Okay. And they’ll say, Well, I’ve tried to get my spouse to be a runner, but it’s a way easier for them to accept that their spouse doesn’t want to be a runner with them. And maybe they’ve tried it, but they don’t stick with it, or whatever the case may be. They’re like, there’s no way in the world I’m ever gonna do this. There is no personal offense to the person who certainly not as much, definitely not as if it is people aren’t complaining about it. Now, I do hear people tell me, like in general conversation, Oh, yeah. I’ve tried to get my husband or my wife to do this thing that I do. Whatever that activity thing is, yeah. Yeah. I’ve tried to get them to join my diet with me or whatever. Workout More. I don’t know. Go to book club. I’m not sure. I’m making up stuff now. But I’ve definitely heard this over the years. They say it, obviously, they feel like they can say that out in public, because it’s not that private, but it’s also not like personal. And I’m having a hard time. Like I think maybe you can speak to this a little bit better. But I don’t really understand like the personal offense when one spouse wants to do or try something in the bedroom. But I definitely know that it’s like this loaded thing. I’m trying to think so basically, you’re saying like why is it such a big deal? Why is it so yeah, to the point where I have people email me and say I just dream of the day that my spouse will be willing to do this with me.

Autin

Hmm. Like and why is that as what yeah, like what why is that? Folks? I don’t know. I mean, I guess you know, everything about sex is so very deeply personal and intimate. That any sort of, you know, rejection or that or even sometimes just a lack of wholehearted, enthusiastic embrace is hard to take for certain people. I’m one of those people. I’m one of those people where it took me a long time to not just be like devastated anytime there was any sort of a hint that you weren’t 1,000% enthusiastic about whatever it was, you know, I still, like by nature feel that I just have learned to compartmentalize that and process it better. But it’s it’s so tightly connected with that intimate part of your relationship. And there’s also, maybe there’s just something to be said about, like, the power of fantasy. Because I’ve known I’ve known folks that have had that thing, right? That’s like you just said, you know, like, a dream of the day. And then it happens. And then it’s like, well, like, it didn’t live up to the, the, the hype, or the fantasy, or the dream, or the, you know, or the whatever. I’ve seen it go completely the other direction. And it was oh my gosh, like, why haven’t we been doing this all our lives or whatever, all of our marriage? But yeah, it’s the power of fantasy can be a big, big part of that. And sometimes you are. Because it’s all in your head in that. It’s it’s a hypothetical, it’s a fantasy, it’s a dream, it’s a whatever, and it’s unrealized. It can be perfect. Right? It would be perfect. If we just fill in the blank. Yeah. And that, by the way, that’s not just with sexual intimacy that can be with anything. Oh, man, if only we could get to where we were going out every Friday night, you know? And then you do and you go, well, this isn’t quite what I thought it was gonna be. Or maybe it is. But when it’s when it’s unrealized, and it hasn’t been acted on, it’s perfect. And it’s perfect. It doesn’t, you know, there’s no problems, it doesn’t cause any issues, you know, because because, again, this is all internal, this is the fantasy, this is the dream. And so why wouldn’t my spouse want to be part of this, and they’ll probably enjoy it too, you know, and all these kinds of things. And and the more you keep it in the purely fantasy fantasy realm, the more perfect it becomes, right, and the more powerful therefore, it becomes. And so each time there’s, there’s the rejection, or the just not non fulfillment, and whatever way that is, it adds to that snowballs.

Keelie

So that probably speaks to the people who reached out to me and they say, like, we do all this stuff. But there’s this thing, and my spouse really wants me to do this thing. And like, if we don’t ever do this thing, it’s like, their life isn’t complete. And that person is confused, because they’re like, I don’t know how to do this thing. I don’t even know how to begin to do this thing. I’m very concerned or scared to do this. Yeah, where there might be some kind of a hang-up, you know, who knows a number of things that that thing is viewed as wrong, dirty, we’re not those kind of people, whatever it is, or there’s there can be trauma associated, you know, things like that, that that bring all kinds of other baggage with it. In it, it becomes a source of contention and that type of situation, because you have one spouse who is really pressuring to do that thing is probably because it’s become such a fantasy, that it actually scares the other person who is having a hard time saying yes to whatever that is, because now they’ll be like, what if it’s not what you thought it would be? No, what if this is what they want to do all the time? I’m already feeling hesitant about this. So what if every single time we’re intimate, they want to do the same thing that I’ve been telling them know, about for a year or two or our whole marriage? I don’t know. Yeah. Right. And a lot of times, maybe this does continue on, but I’ll head times that fantasy is fulfilled, and yeah, it maybe isn’t always great as they thought it was gonna be. So there’s a lot of pressure that comes off with it.

Austin

I mean, I would say that, that we’ve probably experienced every every absolutely every spot on the spectrum, right. Wow. That was a complete waste of time. Yeah, that’s suck. Hey, hey, thanks for being willing to step out. But that was awful. And let’s never even speak of this again. To to the third side of the person who was not enthused about it, and it wasn’t their dream, all of a sudden, it’s their favorite thing. Oh, yeah. We’ve experienced that we’ve experienced we’ve we’ve had we’ve known people that have experienced that. And that have said, You know what, yeah, this this thing that I used to constantly say no, and turned down is now my favorite thing. So that it can be it’s really weird because in the same way that the person who desires the thing is building it up to be perfect. The longer it goes, as I said that The more perfect it becomes for that person. The flip side is it can become the opposite. For the person who’s saying no, it can be. This is just faster waiting to happen. Yeah, they can, because they’re building up defenses as to why this is a terrible idea, or maybe not even building up defenses, but just the more they think about it, the more they think this is gonna be awful. Or, or again, it’s wrong, or it’s dirty, or, you know, like, Whatever, whatever the thought process is there.

Keelie

So, yeah, a lot of people write into me, and they’re obviously deeply hurt and devastated that their spouse isn’t saying yes to things they want to try. And I we’re, by the way, not talking about sexless marriages or marriages where the couple isn’t really having sex we’re talking about I situationally healthy sex life. Yeah, you have a healthy sex life, you both are fairly satisfied in that sex life, but there’s just like, you want to step it up, and maybe they’re hesitant about it. And I’d really like to point out that this is not gender-specific, I have just as many females tell me that their husbands are having a hard time with whatever, as I do, males, so don’t think is just well, if you know, the husband didn’t pressure the wife all the time, both sides have things they want to do. The other thing that I often get in the way of questions, is my spouse wants to do this thing, fill in the blank what the thing is, but I don’t know how I don’t know where to start. I and so this is a big hang up for them. Okay, cuz you’re saying when you talk about being sexual and intimate. Now you’re just like, opening yourself up to look like an idiot with your house, in the bedroom. And there are a lot of people who do not want to do anything that is unsexy and unattractive in their minds in the bedroom. I think we can all agree with that. Oh, yeah. I don’t want to be unattractive and unsexy. For sure. For sure. And it’s not gonna be sexy. If I’m like, what? I you know, you want me to do what? Yeah,

Austin

I don’t know how you’ve responded to those folks in the past, but my first thought would be to, you know, ask to tell the other person that just be upfront and honest and be like, hey, you know Mattis with you? I don’t know what you’re talking about, or I know what you’re talking about. But I don’t know where to start, like he’s in.

Keelie

Yes. Sometimes people write in and say, my spouse wants to do XYZ. I don’t even know what that means. Oh, like Never mind. Techniques. Like, can you just tell me what that is? I don’t want to Google it. I’m like, Oh, my goodness, your spouse? I mean, does your spouse even know? Yeah, definitely don’t? Don’t don’t go down the Google path. But yeah, just ask, Oh, first of all, you know, like, if you’ve got resources like love adventures website, you know, we’ve we’ve got stuff on there. We’ve got other bloggers that that we are connected to other podcasts that we’ve both been on and or listened to, that we can recommend. But I would say step one, just just be upfront with the spouse and tell them tell them, I’m not sure what you’re talking about, or whatever level it says you’re at. I don’t know what that means. Or I don’t know how to do that. I don’t know where to start. What is that? What, what are your expectations? I mean, that that could be part of it, too. It’s like, well, I know what it is and how to do that. But I don’t know what he’s, you know, I don’t know what he’s looking to get out of it, or I don’t know what she wants from this, or whatever it is. And so just be upfront with them and have that conversation, because I want to tell you what, that right there is a beacon of hope for the person that’s asking, because it’s like, oh, well, if they’re asking questions, they might be thinking about, yeah, they’re interested or open or something. And so be willing to, you know, be that open and vulnerable with your spouse. And by the way, you know, we’re talking about sexual intimacy. But this is a communications thing that can deepen your communication with your spouse, just in general. Then, the first, you know, first time you bury yourself that way, to your spouse in a conversation, whatever the topic is, whatever area of life you’re talking about, where you just say something like, I don’t know, or can you help me? That is huge for a relationship, it takes you to a place you’ve never been in a place of trust and love and comfort. And and you and I have been doing that for years, where we just, you know, even still all these years together, we have these moments where I go, Listen, I gotta tell you, I’m doubtful about this thing, like whatever it is, and being able to tell you that being able to tell another human being that is just so helpful. And to both people, it’s helpful on both sides.

Austin

And it’s important to know that your spouse is probably not going to think less of you. Because you don’t already know I think there is some thought here that whenever you try something new in the bedroom, that it’s supposed to be amazing romantic, and like everybody moves in sync with the other person will it’s not staged, like on television. But not only that, there is going to be no matter what tips I give you. Because I will always tell people, here’s a few things you can try. Here’s some things you can do to start that barrier. But you guys have to have a conversation in the beginning about expectations. So it’s always important that whenever you’re trying something new in the bedroom, that you both agree that you might not like it, that it might not be something you continue to do. And that’s fine. Just go into it with those expectations and have a conversation in advance. The other kind of question that I’ll often get, and this one’s so much more difficult for me because the spouse will say my wife or husband says they want to try this new thing. But they aren’t for whatever reason. Okay, yeah. Okay, MIT, and they say that they will they say that they want to, but they can’t get over this part of it. They aren’t showing any initiative. It sounds like they want to, but they’re not. And they’re confused. They’re confused, because there’s basses telling them Yes, I will try, yes, I will do it, but then they’re making no movement and that movement in that direction. And I always try to just help people understand that, it doesn’t mean that your spouse doesn’t want to do these things, but they’re gonna have a sheet like a whole lot of stuff. Yeah, that’s keeping them from doing it, doing it. And so a lot of times, I will try to give resources, you know, Hey, have your spouse read this, that or the other, but you can’t make your spouse be okay to do some things, or to try something, you can encourage them. You can give them resources, you can, you know, talk with them. But I think the most important thing is not to get so hung up on that one thing, that thing, they’re saying no about that, you end up damaging other parts of the relationship, right? Because it can be so off putting, if, if one person is feeling really pressured about stuff, and I have people writing in to me, they’ve obviously feel very pressured, and guilty unless them because they can’t do the thing, right? Whatever the thing is, they can’t do it, they don’t know why they can’t, they don’t know. This is why they’re writing into us. If you are going to try something new in the bedroom, and you have a spouse that isn’t super duper excited about it, encourage them, talk to them about it, I’m not saying give up all hope, right? But I’m saying it could take years before they’re okay with it. Your sexual relationship is going to grow. And it has to be treated as though almost as like it’s a child in a developmental phase, you’re not going to expect that much out of a one year old, right? But you’re gonna expect a whole lot more out of it 18 or 19 year old, and with your sex life with your relationship with your marriage, whatever, don’t think that the first thing out the gate you’re going to have the the sex life that you’re going to have 20 years from now.

Keelie

And you know that that’s so opposite to what we see portrayed absolutely in TV and movies where it’s the other way around. It’s the people that have been together the longest that has no sex or it’s boring, or blah, blah, blah, when every study that has ever been done, has said that people that are having the best sex of their lives are older and had been married the longest. Like, you know, senior citizens are having the best sex of their lives. And that kind of thing. And everybody’s on and you know, that in itself is like taboo, like, Oh, that’s great. No, shut up, like we’re gonna be one day. And hopefully, that’s where you’re at. Right? You know, and and so because we have that mindset, we think that just like, you know, the clothes all immediately come off in the love scene. And, you know, in the music swells, everything’s perfect and blah, blah, blah. And you know, we’ve we’ve joked about that before, that the same way that we have that mindset, we also have the mindset that when you’re young, and the relationship is new, is when everything is going to be at its best. And that’s so backwards.

Austin

It’s part of it. Some parts of it are going to be really amazing and you won’t experience that again. Like you will not experience the newness but it doesn’t mean that You can experience a much deeper Yes. connection and love and enjoyment as you age. Yeah. Even if and this is like hope to any couples isn’t sexual, right? Even if you’ve been together for 15 years, and your sex life has been next to nothing, that doesn’t mean it can’t change, right, because I have people that are bloggers that I know that were in sexless, you know, just about sexless marriages for a very long time and their marriages. And one day things changed. But they kept working towards that, yeah, that that is not hurtful or painful. But it’s not, it can get better, it can get better. And it’s not something to give up on. But it is something to back up off of on occasion. If you find that every time you go to talk to your spouse about this thing that you really want to try, and they are shutting you down, it’s time to give it a rest. And that can mean that it might take a year or two before you’re, you know, ready to dry talking to them again. But in the meantime, work on building adventure and trying new things with your spouse outside of the bedroom. Because just general adventure and connection and building intimacy and trying new things is going to relate to what you’re doing in the bedroom. If you become a couple that’s adventurous, you will be more adventurous in the bedroom. So focus on that focus on trying new things together, what what have you and focus on being closer to each other. So those are some of our thoughts about trying new things, the struggles behind it, some ways to overcome those challenges. But for specific tips, do go to love adventure.com Fill out the anonymous questions form. I’ll be happy to answer all of that for you in our newsletter, and send you any resources for things we have talked about before. also sign up for our newsletter love of adventure.com/newsletter I’ll send you a copy of our free 60 Truth or Dare game and as a great way to keep up with all of our recent podcasts, blogs, anonymous questions and anything else on my mind. Thanks so much for joining us and we look forward to hearing from you later.

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