Dear Sex Counselor,
I am only recently beginning to explore my own sexuality, in terms of my REAL needs and desires, not the things I used to believe I should want. I am in a relationship with a man who has a great deal more experience than I, which I have found intimidating in the past. He has always given me the impression that he is very open to trying new things sexually, but that he does not really wish to speak about it at length. He takes the, "If you want it, just do it" approach. Between this and my awkwardness and self-consciousness, we have fallen into a "routine" of sorts, one which does not include the fun and frolic that I would like. Any suggestions on how I can introduce a bit more play into our intimacy - slowly at first, to kind of ease us into this new way of looking at our erotic involvement?
Great question! One thing I want to validate for you is that it is a fine thing to want to be able to talk about things before venturing out and doing them. Otherwise, how would you know what he enjoys, and how will he know what you want? I recognize that many people just want to do things (sexually) without talking about it. Unfortunately, this often results in misunderstandings and a lack of satisfaction.
There are actually several things I can recommend to allow you to introduce the idea of sexual playfulness and experimentation into your relationship. One is to purchase one of the many sexually focused games that are available - maybe one that would help you express your wishes and fantasies within the context of a playful activity like a board game. Try the Sensations game or the Fan the Flames game.
You could also look at a book like 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex as a way to get some more playfulness into your sex life, though in that situation the books suggests your activities, rather than you suggesting them.
Another book I often recommend for exploring sexual wants and desires on your own part is The New Good Vibrations Guide to Sex, which discusses a wide range of sexual activities and practices, gives you lots of info on how to do these things, and encourages communication and exploration.
You might watch a sexually explicit instructional DVD together like, The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Pleasure Vol. 1 or Vol. 2, and use scenes you find sexually appealing to spark a conversation...."maybe we could try that"?
I do want to encourage you to find ways to talk about what you want and ask for what it is that you wish to explore. I have personally found that I get much more pleasure and satisfaction from my lover when I am able to clearly say "Oh, I'd love to try ..." or, "Please touch me there ..." and it can be quite a turn-on to both of you to hear, "Oh, I really like it when you ..."
The Sex Counselor