October 8, 2009

Q&A: Boredom and Expressing Desire For More Variety In The Bedroom

Dr. Debby Herbenick answers a reader's question about how to get her fiance to understand her need for greater variety in how they have sex.

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Question: I have been with my fiance for four years and we have sex 2 to 3 times a week – however, he has no interest in anything but quick foreplay and vaginal intercourse. He’s made it clear that everything I enjoy – oral sex, using toys, foreplay, talking dirty, using restraints – is off limits. How do I get him to understand that it’s not that he’s inadequate, but just who I am and that sex can be even more fun for us?

It can be challenging enough to find someone to date or marry who has enough of the qualities that a person wants in a partner. Even more difficult is to find someone who has these qualities, who you like or love, who likes or loves you back and who just happens to have the same sexual preferences or desires as you do.

Different Likes and Dislikes

Given the complexities of love and attraction, then, it’s actually quite common to have different likes or dislikes in regard to sex. It is how couples work out those differences that matters.

In your situation, you and your fiancé appear to be at a standstill in regard to sexual intimacy. You participate in the sexual activities that appear to bring him enjoyment and/or orgasm – specifically, vaginal intercourse that follows a little bit of foreplay.

However, he has made it clear to you that he does not want to participate in any of the sexual activities that you crave. Further, you seem to feel as though he is unfairly comparing you to other women he has had sex with or that he is suggesting something may be wrong with you because your body responds in a different way than other women he has had sex with.

Power Dynamics and Frustration

This is problematic for several reasons. You seem to feel misunderstood and maybe unheard in your relationship. This is important to pay attention to because if you feel as though you don’t have power or a voice in your romantic and sexual relationship, then those types of power dynamics can lead to feelings of helplessness or frustration.

Because you’ve expressed significant concern about the future of your sex life together, I would recommend that you consider meeting together with a sex therapist.

Find A Sex Therapist

Consider approaching him about your need to find some way to have a more mutually pleasurable sex life and your hope that a trained sex therapist might be able to help you two with your concerns and frustrations.

You can find a sex therapist in your area through the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists’ web site or through the web site of the Society for Sex Therapy and Research.