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I've been dating this girl for a few months and the sex is alright, but it's very vanilla. My concern is that I don't think that I will be able to continue being happy in bed if this is how it is forever. We switch between a few positions and occasionally we'll give/receive oral to each other. Initially she didn't like giving oral to me, but has become slightly more open to it.

Personally, I like sex to be a bit more adventurous. I'm willing to go fairly deep into kinky activities, but I'd be fine with light fun like handcuffs. Now my girlfriend has indicated that she wants me to act like I "own" her, but to her that just means spontaneously having sex with some roughness thrown in. When I brought up all of the following she said she has no fantasies about them and didn't want to try it: handcuffs (or other restraints), roleplaying (teacher/student, stranger in bar, etc), spanking.

Everything else about this girl is great, but the sex is very boring in my opinion. It's difficult to get turned on enough to do it as much as she wants. How can I bring this up to her without giving her an ultimatum of "be more kinky or we're breaking up?"

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    Are you (one of) her first partner(s) in bed? Sexual tastes evolve a lot with time, and it is fairly common for "newbies" to need some time to get ready to consider trying things they never did before. – avazula Jan 4 at 22:30
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You can focus on letting her know what you would ideally want out of your love life, finding out what she would ideally want and finding a way to meet somewhere in between.

When talking about intimacy, it helps to make the conversation 'intimate' in an emotional sense, but low pressure. Don't start the talk when either of you is upset, in the bedroom, right before or after sex, or in public. Maybe talk over some wine/beer/vanilla ice cream. (Haha.) Let her know up front that you would like to talk about your sex life. Offer reassurance if she seems nervous-- Remember that in many cultures, even being open to the idea of creative bedroom fun is seen as somewhat embarrassing or shameful, particularly for women. Even if she is interested she might hesitate to admit to it, especially if she is somewhat conflicted about some aspects of sexuality, inexperienced, or from a somewhat repressed background.

Remember that for many people it takes time, quite a bit more than a few months, to be willing to get as vulnerable with a partner as is required to be entirely comfortable with this line of conversation. I have heard the phrase "talking about sex is more intimate than having sex," and I think there is a little truth to that for many people.

If she responds somewhat positively and expresses a couple things that she would like to do in the bedroom, no matter how simple or 'vanilla', ask her if she would be willing to try to incorporate a few of her wants (that you are most interested/least uncomfortable with) and a few of your wants (that she is most interested/least uncomfortable with) in the coming weeks.

This is probably the kind of thing that you can build on over time, and is unlikely to be 'solved' in one conversation, but a single good talk could potentially tell you if she is open to experimenting with new things or pushing her comfort zone gradually, or if you two are simply incompatible in your tastes.

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Disclaimer: the links provided in this post may contain material not suited for minors. Proceed at your own risk.

She may fantasize about the feeling of "being owned", but feel nervous at the thought of what would actually make her feel that way.

Horror stories of women abused, tortured and killed by men with unusual tastes in sex are all around us. She may even have gotten the advice to never let anyone tie her up from her mother or friends to protect her from abusive lovers or rapists. She may trust you in bed, but these warnings and prejudices are hard to ignore.

You could try taking this fear from her by introducing her to the concepts of safe, sane and consensual and safewords. (Do research them if you haven't yet!)

The knowledge about SSC should give her the feeling that your kinky ideas are not abnormal or illegal and it should clarify the difference between kinky sex and an abusive relationship. Having a safeword gives her control in a situation where she otherwise would be completely vulnerable and at your mercy.

Above all, you need to communicate. Tell each other about your tastes, needs and fantasies, what works for you and what doesn't and why it doesn't work. Take tiny steps when trying out new things and often check in with your partner. Not only "How was I" after everything is over, but also during the act.

But you have to always keep in mind that people have different tastes. You may like the idea of tying her up, but she may not like being forced into an inactive role during sex. You may find the idea of spanking her arousing, but she might hate pain during sex. You could always try alternatives and variations, but you cannot change the tastes of a person against their will.

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I don't think that I will be able to continue being happy in bed if this is how it is forever.

This is an ultimatum, albeit phrased more politely. And that's the problem: it's still an ultimatum because it communicates "change or I leave (eventually)".

Think of it this way: whenever your boss asks you to do something, he adds "or else you're fired". He's not incorrect, refusing to do your work is grounds for firing, but the fact he has to say it every time makes you feel like you're being strong-armed into it.

As a boss, it would be better to simply ask to do a task, without any threats. And only if it gets too far will the boss bring up the alternative options of being fired. Now, a kind boss should still provide a warning, but that's not the same as always reminding them that they could be fired whenever anything is asked of them.

In your case, this means you should try to spice up your sex life without discussing the inability to be happy with the current state of affairs, or breaking up.

Consider the difference between:

  • I want us to go eat at the Italian place.
  • How about that Italian place?

The latter sounds much more open and inviting, you're discovering a new place together. The former sounds much more like you (singular) already decided where you (plural) should eat.

Now let me use similar words to yours:

I don't think that I can be happy tonight if we eat at the Thai place.

Do you now see how this comes across? Even if you wouldn't particularly have used this phrasing in a conversation with her, it is how you think about it and thus how you subconsciously will approach it. And that will leak through to her, even if only subtly.

Especially regarding sex, you need to stress the togetherness, rather than getting someone to keep up with you. Because they won't.

Don't push the wagon. Simply float an idea and see if she takes to it. Even if you have to float many ideas and she's caught on that you're looking for something, you should still avoid expressing anything regarding unhappiness. For example:

I've just been feeling interested in exploring new things with you.

Compare this to:

I don't think that I will be able to continue being happy in bed if this is how it is forever.

While both are equally accurate (and I'll admit that I've painted your words ruder than they were intended) there is a vast difference in tone and focus.

If she always abjectly refuses, or simply is unable to enjoy a spicier sex life, then you will have to consider your options. I would suggest you first have an open discussion about how you feel, rather than breaking up out of nowhere or talking about how she's not meeting your needs.

If nothing ever changes, and you've tried everything, then maybe it is time to consider breaking up. But the core of the answer here is that there's nothing to gain from prematurely warning someone about the eventual possibility of being unhappy or breaking up at the first sign of possibly not getting your way. It only leads to a feeling of being strongarmed or (politely) pushed into something.

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