Cathy: We had someone write in to us and say that their partner is wanting them to try things in bed that they don’t really know they want to try. They’re not really sure and …
Reid: Like eating cookies in bed?
Cathy: Yeah. I’m sure that was it.
Reid: That’s crummy.
Cathy: Oh my god.
Reid: I’m Reid Mihalko from http://www.ReidAboutSex.com
Cathy: I am Cathy Vartuli from http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com and I am so sorry. We didn’t give him his meds this morning and now …
Reid: Mmhmm (affirmative)
Cathy: We’ll give you more coffee and Bailey’s soon.
Cathy: You can feel pressure when your partner wants … and it’s really important to be able to talk to each other about things you’d like to try and it’s also really important for people to be able to say, “No, I don’t want to try that.” or “I’m okay with not trying that for awhile.” Or “Let’s talk again later.” and when someone start … They can feel pressure if someone’s like, “How about now? How about now? You want to try it? Come on, it’ll be good. Try it.”
Reid: No. No, thank you.
Cathy: What would you recommend?
Reid: First thing is, if you’re going to … a couple things that people often don’t understand about relationships, you’re allowed to talk about stuff and never have to do it. So many people are confronted or think that if we talk about this or that then we’re somehow implicitly agreeing. It’s the Pandora’s box syndrome, like once we open the box we can’t shut the conversation down. We have to go through with it eventually.
Cathy: There’s a lot of things that are erotic that I like talking about that I never want to do.
Reid: Yeah, and that’s the next piece is understanding that there are things that are a turn-on that you may never actually have to try but that your partners just wanted to know that it’s okay that they’re into it. When you take those two things and combine them, there’s a lot more space in your relationship to talk about and consider things and leave your partners feeling loved for who they are.
I would say the third piece is just the curiosity. Once you have the conversation, once you realize this is a turn-on for your partner, maybe you’re curious about learning more to figure out if it’s a turn on for you. Learn how to do it safely if you’re ever going to do it, because you don’t have to ever do it and then just kind of … the consideration of there are things that my partner might be into that I’m not into, but I’m not a “no” to doing. If you don’t walk through it step by step, it’s really overwhelming all at once. When you go through it step by step you’re like, “Oh, well there’s this thing that my partner’s into and I’m not into it or turned on, but my goodness, my partner gets really turned on by it and I like it when my partner’s turned on so I’ll do this thing with them even though it’s not my thing,”
The other thing I would add into this is it’s okay to try stuff and not like it. It’s okay for your partner to be SO into this thing and for you to be like, “Okay, let’s learn a little bit more about it so we don’t hurt each other and then let’s try it.” and for you to be like, “Wow …
Cathy: That’s not for me.
Reid: … I didn’t like that …
Reid: … and it’s cool that you’re into it, but let’s not do that again or maybe I’ll try it two more times just to make sure, but I’m pretty sure I’m not into it.” Where this is really useful is also understanding your partner. We can handle disappointment. It may not be delicious in the moment, but we can handle it over time. What really your partner wants is to be loved for who they are so you can be like, “Honey, I love that we tried this thing. I’m sorry it’s not my thing, however when we do this other thing that you both like why don’t you tell me about the thing that we just tried and we’ll make a fantasy around it?” Some people don’t need to partake in the actual experience so much …
Cathy: If they can experience in their head
Reid: … if they can experience it in their head and share it with you. Then the other possibility too for those of you who are in open relationships or non-monogamous situations, your partner can go and have that experience with somebody who is into it, who does want it and then they come back to you all excited that they got to do their thing. For some of you, that’s called golf.
Cathy: It’s definitely called golf for me.
Reid: Yeah. Honey, I don’t like golf. Go do your golf thing and then come back.
Cathy: Yeah. You also can say, “No. I don’t ever want to talk … you know, I’ve tried that or we’ve talked about that. I don’t want to try it. I don’t want to talk about it. You’re allowed to have boundaries about certain…
Reid: Absolutely and I would say get clear about as to why you’re a no. Not to create pressure, but is it a no because it’s not erotic or a turn on to you? Is it a no because you think it’s gross or whatever that … Get clear on why you’re a no just so you can communicate that more.
Cathy: Yeah. One thing you can do to take off the pressure, a lot of people especially in my experience, a lot of women I’ve worked with, there’s a feeling like, “If I can’t meet all of his needs and we don’t have a perfect Venn diagram of our desires, it’s not true love. We’re not soul mates.” Human beings, there’s no one person that can meet all of our needs. There’s no one person that’s going to be exactly perfect for every sexual desire and fantasy and act. It’s okay to have things that are a no for both of you and it’s okay to have things that you kind of like and you’re willing to do because it pleases your partner and it’s great to have a bunch of things that you love to do together.
Reid: Mmhmm (affirmative) and focus on the things that you share that you both enjoy and get as much mileage out of those things as you can too.
Cathy: Yeah. Hope this helps.
Reid: Leave your comments below.
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