Trying new things in your sex life can keep things exciting between you and your partner.
But constantly asking can feel like a chore, or be anxiety-provoking.
A therapist shared creative ways to suggest new sexual exploits, outside of a foundational conversation with your partner.
If you feel like your sex life is becoming stale, switching things up could make all of the difference. It's just bringing it up with your partner that can be the hard part.
Getting there requires communicating and working with your partner. It's something that, for many, is easier said than done.
Often, partners can feel anxious about sharing the things they want to change about their sex life because they worry about offending each other or feeling unheard once they share, Michele Leno, a psychologist who specializes in performance anxiety, told Insider.
Leno, who goes by "Dr. Michele," said that thinking about what you want to convey beforehand can prevent your partner from feeling like they're falling short.
"Let them know that this is not about them not being good enough. It's about the two of you exploring within a safe space," Leno said, adding that it's normal to want to add novelty back into a relationship after partners learn how to be comfortable with each other.
According to Leno, partners should always have direct conversations about their sexual desires throughout their relationship, since it creates a foundation for trust and exploration. But sex should also feel fun and exciting, not like a chore, she said.
Leno shared four ways partners can work towards creating sexual novelty that could feel more fun and less structured than a foundational conversation.
Slide into your partner's Instagram DMs with some inspiration
On Instagram, sex therapists, sex educators, and brands that sell sex toys and other sensual products often share informational posts with ideas to spice up partnered intimacy.
If you follow these pages and find a post that piques your interest, it could be worth sending to your partner as a conversation-starter, Leno said.
She said that this method is a low-pressure and lighthearted way to tell your partner what you're interested in trying. "You don't even have to ask the question, 'What do you think of this?'" Leno said, since it's naturally implied when you're sharing it through a direct message.
Send a suggestive text message
If you know your partner to be the type of person who prefers time to think before responding to your ideas or desires, sending them a brief text could be a helpful option, according to Leno.
She said that an initial conversation — where you explain how you feel about your sex life, and your interest in trying new things, generally — should happen in person. But after that, sending a note with a specific idea — like a roleplay scenario you want to explore, or sex toy you want to buy — could take some of the stress out of initiating a change, said Leno.
It could also create anticipation for both partners, a feeling that can often help couples get out of a sexual rut, she said.
If, after you send a spicy suggestion over text, your partner tells you that they don't want to message about these things, and would prefer to talk in person, you can tweak your method, Leno said.
Point out what you like in pornography — or while watching mainstream television and film
Experimenting with different types of sensations — like slow and passionate kissing or whispering dirty things to each other — is a simple yet effective way to make sex with a long-term partner feel new again, sex therapist Ian Kerner previously told Insider.
If you aren't exactly sure which types of sensations you'd like to explore with your partner, Leno suggested watching pornography together. When you come across a type of touch, a sex position, or a way of talking that intrigues you, ask your partner what they think about it, Leno said.
She added that watching television and movies with passionate or erotic moments, even if they don't include actual sex, can also provide inspiration for sensations you may want to explore.
Just go for it
Often, partners avoid switching things up because they get too worried about their partner's potential reactions, Leno said.
"You want to get to the point where you can talk about these things without it being a big deal. But you don't want it to feel like a constant debate or discussion because that removes the fun and the real intimacy that you gain from exploring sex together," Leno told Insider.
If, because of this worry, you think you might convince yourself out of trying something new, ask for it in the moment while you're already intimate, according to Leno. It can be something small, like asking your partner to get into a different sex position or to ravish you in another room of your house.
She said that often, the receiving partner will approve of this method because they notice how great it feels to switch things up, even though they didn't think they wanted or needed a change prior to it happening.
And, if your partner says they don't want to try your request, you can respect that boundary and talk about it later, Leno said.
Read the original article on Insider