tagHow ToYou CAN Teach Old Dogs New Tricks

You CAN Teach Old Dogs New Tricks


How to Keep (or Increase) the Spice in a Long-term Relationship

"What part of another male's anatomy do you find most sexually attractive, and why?" I innocently ask my husband as we drive own the country road.

"WWHHAAAAT?" he responds, instantly flustered. "What kind of question is that? I'm not attracted to guys!"

I laugh, because my husband has always strenuously denied any bisexual interests. I wave the card at him, "That's what it says. Either answer the question or use your PASS." I encourage him further. "Come on; don't tell me you've never looked at another guy's body."

"Hmmppff. Not fair." He thinks a moment. "OK, I guess I'd have to say well-defined legs; you know - strong calves and thighs."

"Why?" I prompt for more.

"Because I respect someone who takes the time to keep fit and a guy with legs like that obviously does" he says defensively.

"Hmmm. Pretty lame answer, but I guess it will do" I say grudgingly, realizing I'm not likely to get any more out of him on this one.

"OK, your turn. What part of another female's anatomy do you find most sexually attractive, and why?" he turns the question back at me.

"That's easy! Breasts...and especially nipples."

He raises his eyebrows with a grin, but keeps his eyes on the road. "Oh really? And why is that?"

"They look so soft...so sensuous. I'd love to be able to reach out and stroke one...to feel the weight in my palm. Or to kiss one and feel the nipple harden under my lips." I squirm a bit in my seat at the image I've painted myself, and I feel the seatbelt press between my breasts. "You guys get all the fun that way."

"Well they ARE fun to play with, I'll admit" my husband responds. "But the fun isn't just restricted to us guys, you know."

"What do you mean?" I ask, knowing full well what he means but wanting to hear him say it.

"Come on. Haven't you ever thought of being with another woman?" he grins. "I know I've thought about you with another woman...that would be so hot to watch."

"Oh no you don't! That's another question...and it's not on the card." I refuse to answer, but squirm a bit more as I imagine what he's thinking about.

My husband lets out a deep fake sigh of exasperation; while I consult the map, and point out that we have to turn right at the next gravel road.

I pull another card from the deck. "OK. Describe an actual experience or fantasy about outdoor sex."

* * * * *

And so goes our game of learning more about each other, what turns each other on, and how to please each other. But first, a bit of background.

My husband and I have been together for 26 years this month, since I was eighteen years old. I'd had no previous sexual experience when we met at university, and his was very limited, so pretty much everything we learned about sex, we learned together over the years. We have both always had healthy sex drives and were eager to please each other, but like most other couples, our sex lives would wax and wane with the realities of adult life: jobs, shift work (ugggh!), mortgages, kids, house maintenance, volunteer work...you get the picture.

After 23 years, our sex life was still better than most of the people that we knew; we could still turn each other on and have long enthusiastic romps in bed, but it was also fairly predictable. Shift work schedules, school schedules, and teenagers who never seemed to sleep when we wanted privacy, meant that even sex sort of became scheduled' it was definitely less spontaneous and imaginative.

When the kids were finally old enough to be left alone, we decided it was time for an "us" weekend. Looking back, we probably should have started these earlier in our marriage, but it always seemed too difficult or too expensive. Now we realize how valuable these weekends are -- they are truly an investment in our relationship. But I digress.

I did some research and found a secluded cabin in the middle of rolling farmland, far away from anything or anybody. In the weeks leading up to this getaway, we both did some scheming and planning, intending to make the most of our private time away. I was perusing our favorite online sex shop for ideas, when I saw a deck of cards meant to provoke erotic discussions, and on impulse, I ordered it.

When the cards first arrived, I was kind of disappointed, thinking I didn't get much for my $22. The cards were obviously homemade, printed on an inkjet printer on beige card stock, with a tacky pair of red lips on one side and a question printed on the other. The questions ranged from fairly innocent to graphically explicit. There were about 60 cards in the deck, and the rules were simple. Draw a card from the deck, and both of you have to answer the same question. If you are worried that one of you might get too uncomfortable, you can issue one or more free "PASSES" per game.

Feeling a bit ripped off, I thought "what the heck" and threw them in my purse, intending to tell my husband about my foolish purchase on our drive to the cabin. Well, as you may have guessed by now, they were well worth the money. They prompted open, honest communication that has turned up the heat on an already great sex life.

* * * * *

And that is the point of this "How To" article....TALK to your partner about your sex life!

Cards like the ones I bought are a great way to get the discussion going. I'd love to be able to point you to the set I bought, but the shop that I bought them from no longer seems to carry them. But you could always make up your own. If you do so, both of you should come up with questions, and remember, you BOTH have to answer each question. Better yet, get some friends to contribute questions (maybe even anonymously), because they may think of things you wouldn't have thought of, or are too shy to bring up with your partner.

Ideally, the questions should push your boundaries a bit, but remember there is no right or wrong answers, and you should never pressure your partner into accepting your view. Feel free to disagree, but do so in a way that is not judgmental.

Here are some of the questions that I remember:

• Describe your earliest sexual thought.

• What do you think about when you masturbate?

• Describe your wildest sexual experience or fantasy.

• What is one thing that a person can do that really flips your switch, that turns you on instantly?

• Do you enjoy watching porn, and if so, what types and why?

• Describe a sexual situation where you felt you were giving up control. What did you enjoy or dislike about it?

• Describe an experience or fantasy involving someone of the same sex.

• Have you ever had, or wanted to have, sex in your workplace (or airplane, or park, etc.)

• What do you think is your sexiest asset, and why?

• Does it excite you to watch your partner masturbate, or to have your partner watch you? Why or why not?

• Describe an experience or fantasy involving more than one other person.

• Which part of your body is most easily aroused? How do you like to be touched?

• Describe what feels best when you receive oral sex.

If you or your partner aren't used to discussing such things so openly, set up a non-threatening environment. Maybe have a glass of wine to relax, or take the cards out while you are walking in the woods. We find the car on the way to our getaway place ideal because we are already in the right frame of mind, and we aren't looking eye-to-eye. Somehow, that makes things easier when questions stray into new territory, but you can also miss the arousal in your partner's eyes this way.

Not only will these discussions help you learn about your partner, I'm willing to bet that the discussions themselves will be highly arousing. I know by the time we reach our destination, we're both ready to bolt from the car and into the bedroom...or the kitchen...or the barn...you get the picture.

And once you become more accustomed to sharing these thoughts, you'll find them easier to share on a more spontaneous basis. Wouldn't you love it if your partner came up behind you while you're making dinner and whispered in your ear "I was thinking about bending you over my desk and taking you from behind while I was at work today"? I know it would make me shiver!

* * * * *

Hmmm...six weeks until our next trip to the cabin. Now where did I put those cards?

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