I like to drive the speed limit. Okay, actually, I'll drive about 5 miles over. My husband? Let's just say he views speed limits as recommendations only. My husband--a sushi connesieur. Me? I tried sushi--this last year. And only the cooked kind!
What does this have to do with sex? Everything! You see, everyone has a sexual personality, and as Dr. Douglas Weiss points out in his book Intimacy, it's usually the same personality we exhibit every day. So what do you do when one of you likes to play it safe, and one of you likes to walk on the wild side?
First, it is important to realize that the bolder of the spouses is probably not going to be content with "plain vanilla" sex. (When my husband referred to the early days of our married sex as "good, but plain vanilla," I said, "but I like vanilla!" )
But like every aspect of a relationship, it is possible to grow in the area of sexuality and find a balance you both enjoy. Here's how my husband and I handled our differences.
First, open communication is key. You have to be willing to express your desires--or hesitations--to your mate and feel safe doing so. We talked about various things we thought we would like to try. Then we started with the ones I felt most comfortable with. For us, a good starting place was new locations; then we moved on to incorporating food. From there it was toys, and the list goes on! We still have ideas to try, but my husband lets me set the pace of introducing new elements to our sex life.
There were a few little snags along the way! There was a time I had admitted that making a video of ourselves was probably on the radar. Not long after we had a weekend away--no kids, no responsibilities! My husband--full of anticipation--proceded to pack every sexual gadget and accessory we had, along with our digital and video cameras. Seeing him pack, my plain vanilla self got a little overwhelmed. By the time we reached our destination, I was feeling on edge instead of feeling desire. Our lesson--don't overwhelm the more reserved spouse!
Don't assume that in every situation the husband is the adventurous one when it comes to sex. I recently attended a Passion Party with some friends. One of my friend's husband asked her, "You mean you are actually going to BUY something?" At the party, she made a point to choose items she thought would be in her husband's comfort zone. The result? Her bag of "goodies" was a big hit with hubby!
So if you, like me, are the "plain vanilla" type--look for something new to try. Something that stretches your boundaries just a bit without making you feel uncomfortable. And if you're the spouse who likes "the Works," talk with your mate about what you would like to try, then let THEM be the ones to let you know when they are ready.