There are many things I seldom change: restaurants, the way I dress, friends, the music on my iPod classic. Another thing I seldom change is sexual positions. I am a fan of “the classics”, as my partner will tell you. If we can get to Orgasmville with a route we already know, there is no need to detour on the way.
My partner is, fortunately for me, more into diversity. In the past few years they have brought up kink and tantra, while masterminding “the great shower escapades” of 2015-2017.
In all these instances a conversation was had about how the sex could “switch up”. The key to new things was consent and communication, so they did not simply sneak up on me.
Despite conversation being integral, it can be a difficult conversation to have because the inevitable question will always be: “Where the f*** did you hear about that?” The assumption is that if you know things we did not learn together then you must be learning them somewhere else. This insecurity comes because sex is a huge part of the collective relationship ego.
Often people shy away from the sex conversation to spare feelings, hide ourselves and not want to “cause trouble” in the relationship. But this sex journey is a two (or more) person journey, so conversation is a core part of happy and healthy sex.
Sex needs communication to ease any fears that lie dormant, waiting for the first moment to pop out and rear their ugly heads. Thus, to have the conversation one needs to:
Give affirmation: Kick the discussion off with “your sex is BOMB, do not doubt that”, “I still love your general moistness, I would just like to experience it in this way …”. One of the key elements in this conversation is convincing or persuading the person that they still rock your world. Knowing that you still find them desirable is important.
Assess how much of a change you’re asking for: Different things come with different levels of shock. Saying you want to engage in cunnilingus on the kitchen counter will be met with a different reaction to “I would like to watch the neighbours having sex”. These varying degrees mean that a partner should be cognisant of how well (or badly) something could be taken and, in light of this knowledge, proceed with the right level of caution. If you introduce an idea slowly and systematically it may influence the outcome.
Understand that it is an ongoing conversation: Patience is key when trying to make someone understand a new thing. Sometimes people are scared off by the fact that the conversation was not taken well initially, which may be an opportunity for another conversation, namely, why was there this adverse reaction?
This links back to the idea that there is a need for open and frank conversation about this sex thing and understanding your partner.
Examples help: Seeing or reading about it can sometimes ease a person’s distress and discomfort. Now this one can be tricky because it may mean unleashing a porn stash or some old sex tapes. If your preferred sexual act is not archived in any of these, a Google search might be your friend — but make sure the tab is on incognito to avoid browser history mishaps.
A wise friend introduced kink to potential partners through visual aids and research coupled with conversations with people who practice it. Research can be done before an act takes place and is not limited to the YouPorn platform. Friends and tutorials are valuable resources.
Try not to take offence: As the person on the receiving end of the suggestion, understand that this is not about passing judgment on your sex but about your partner wanting to explore something new with you. Think of it this way: simply because they want to try a new recipe does not mean they do not love your home cooking. New things do not mean that the old are trash.
It is all about being open and communicative, and knowing that it is about making the sex even sweeter than it already is. No matter how good it is, there will always be a point at which you will want to switch it up, even for a moment — especially if you are seeing the same genitalia day in and day out for days, months or decades. Having these open conversations is an important part of growing your sex life and finding it satisfying and fulfilling.
Kagure Mugo is the co-founder and full-time curator of HOLAAfrica!