Dear Dr Jane,
I've been married to my wife for over 10 years. In many ways, we have a healthy sex life. We do it twice a week and she's pretty open when I ask. Even though we do a lot, I'm bored. It's the New Year and I want to make changes. We only use one or two positions. I want to try sex toys. I want to experiment with some kinky stuff like spanking or bondage. My biggest fantasy is having a threesome, but I'm worried she'll freak out if I suggest it. I love her but things are stale in the bedroom at our house. What should I do?
Feeling Kinky in 2023
I'm so glad that you decided to write to me. I often hear this concern from clients. Life gets routine and the sex that was satisfying when you first met feels stale. I love it that your wife is open to fairly frequent sex. A lot of busy couples have trouble making love twice a week. It's great that you've got ideas about what you'd like to try. Your sexual bucket list is creative. Good for you! The word "kink" is interesting. One of the definitions of "kink" is "bizarre or unconventional sexual preferences or behavior." In my mind, the things you're imagining aren't particularly bizarre or unconventional. You nailed the #1 fantasy for American couples, which is having a threesome. It's a great fantasy (and some couples make that fantasy a reality), but bringing another person into your bed is a lot more challenging than using sex toys or trying new positions. Start with something easy and make progress.
Here's my advice:
Step #1 Think about it
Think about how your wife might feel about the things you're interested in. Be as compassionate as possible as you think about her. How was she raised? What have her experiences been like as a sexual person over the years? Has she struggled to be open talking about sex in general? Has she experienced sexual trauma or assault during her life? What kinds of attitudes, values and beliefs does she have about sex and physical intimacy? Does she seem to enjoy the sex you have together? Your sensitivity about her feelings and past experiences will help you have a conversation where she doesn't feel ambushed or criticized. It's completely OK to have desires and fantasies, but before you present them to her, think about it.
Step #2 Talk about it
Set up a time to talk with your wife about your sex life when you're both relaxed. Make sure that you have plenty of privacy so that you can speak freely. Tell her how much you love her and that you want to talk about how things have been going. Ask her how she's been feeling about your sex life. Who knows — she might be feeling the same way you've been feeling. Make sure she knows you want to talk about it because you want things to be even better than they are now. Ask if she has pleasure during your love making sessions. Do the sessions usually last long enough for her to relax and let go of the day's stresses? Are there things that she'd like to add into your sex life, too?
Step #3 Start with something easy
Hopefully, your conversation will go well and you'll both be open to making some fun changes. Talk with her about how she might feel on top or with you behind her if these aren't things you usually do together. If she's open to it, maybe include the threesome idea as a fantasy without implementing it. Sexy shopping can be a great field trip or virtual activity for a special date night. You might want to skip the sex toys for now and do some sensual touch or a sexy bath instead. It can be fun to start by exchanging massages or reading erotic stories out loud. Whatever you do, be compassionate and understanding. Your intimate relationship is worth it. You can always reach out to me or to another sex positive professional if you need support.
You got this.
—Dr. Jane Guyn (she/her) is a well-known relationship coach who received her Ph.D. in Human Sexuality and is trained as a Professional Sex Coach and Core Energy Coach.