Vanessa Marin MA, MFT

Wedded and Bedded

How to Explore Your Sexual Boundaries With Your Partner

Bring some life into the bedroom by exploring new possibilities.

Posted Mar 23, 2015

Does it feel like your sexual relationship is in a rut? Does sex feel boring and stale?

Humans are creatures of habit, and we can fall into routines with sex quite easily. A lot of the newly married or about-to-be-married couples I see in my sex therapy practice express fear that their sex lives have become predictable so quickly. It’s frustrating to realize that you’re repeating the same behaviors in the same order, over and over again!

One of the best ways to prevent boredom and breathe new life into the bedroom is to explore your sexual boundaries together. Most couples don’t explicitly communicate their boundaries with each other, so a lot of couples don’t actually know where they stand on the behaviors and fantasies they feel comfortable experimenting with. Discussing your boundaries can give you new ideas to try in the bedroom, and it can also help you develop better communication skills, deeper trust, and greater intimacy.

U.S. Embassy New Delhi/Flickr
Source: U.S. Embassy New Delhi/Flickr

Below you’ll find a list of possible sexual behaviors. It’s not an exhaustive list; just a place to start. You may have already done plenty of the items on the list, or you may not have tried any of them!

Print out two copies, and give one to your partner. Sit in separate rooms and circle the acts that you’d be comfortable trying. Or you can rate them as green (“I would definitely try this”), yellow (“I might try this”), or red (“I would definitely not try this”).

Then come back together and go through each item, discussing your reactions to it. Keep an open mind, and don’t judge your partner for having different answers than your own. Some of the items might open up very interesting conversations between the two of you!

Watch porn together

Read erotic fiction together

Kiss a member of your same sex (if you’re straight), or of the opposite sex (if you’re gay)

Have sex in a public place

Or in a semi-public place, where no one can actually see you

Use a vibrator in front of your partner

Have your partner use a vibrator on you

Stimulate your partner’s anus with your fingers

Or mouth

Have your anus stimulated with fingers

Or mouth

Have anal sex

Have a threesome with someone of the same sex

Have a threesome with someone of the opposite sex

Have an orgy

Watch an orgy

Talk dirty with your partner

Perform oral sex

Receive oral sex

Allow your partner to dominate you

Dominate your partner

Spank your partner

Receive a spanking

Record yourself having sex

Have phone sex

Masturbate in front of your partner

Watch your partner masturbate

Visit a strip club

Perform a strip tease for your partner

Use restraints on your partner

Have your partner use restraints on you

Use a blindfold on your partner

Have your partner use a blindfold on you

Incorporate food into a sexual encounter

Wear provocative lingerie

Wear a costume during sex

Use a strap-on

Have your partner use a strap-on

Have sex with the lights on

Role-play a fantasy

Have sex outside of your bedroom

Come on your partner

Allow your partner to come on you

Once you’ve found some ideas that you’re both interested in, talk about how you might be able to incorporate them into your sex life. For the ones that you’re most interested in, tell your partner that you’ll take the lead with preparation (for example, you could buy the toy or book the hotel). Have your partner take the lead for the ideas he or she is most interested in. Or you can write your favorite ideas down on pieces of paper, then fold up the papers and put them in a jar. Pick one at random, and agree that you’ll do it that night.

Have fun exploring!

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