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I have read a lot about rendering sex more interesting by trying to avoid falling into an always-the-same-procedure routine. Likewise, I have read a lot about having conversations with one's partner about each other's wishes, desires, and what one would feel comfortable with (i.e. what one would consent to). Both seem reasonable and desirable to me.

Now, I am a bit clueless about how to apply this in practice with my partner (I am male, she is female in case it plays any role). I do not consider myself very sexually experienced. However, one thing I have (unfortunately?) learned in the course of our relationship is that talking or asking about whether she feels comfortable trying this or that does not do any good (neither during physically intimate moments, nor at any other time). The answer is always "No, I don't want that.", "No, that's not possible.", "No, it's not necessary, don't do it.", "No, it won't be pleasurable for me.", etc. All right, so put these actions mentally on my no-go list and look for other things to try.

In the heat of the moment, I also sometimes did a few things that I had never asked her about beforehand. I feel somewhat sorry for that because I know it's not the "proper procedure". Yet, without any exception, she not only seemed to enjoy them, but occasionally asks me to repeat them for her. (Note that I'm not talking about "advanced" actions like oral sex or inserting fingers or anything - no-go list, see above -, more on the level of massaging her breasts and similar.)

Now, I would like to find some "advanced" actions that she does like, but I have become downright wary of both asking (because I am pretty certain it will be shut down) and just doing without asking (for obvious reasons, don't want to do stuff without knowing she feels comfortable about it). She blocks any attempt to talk about it, having repeatedly expressed a stance along the lines of: "Let's just do it, why do we have to talk about it? That's a huge turn-off for me."

How can I handle this communication issue?

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    What do you tell her when she asks you 'Why do we have to talk about it'? What's stopping you from 'just doing it' like she requests, is there a particular reason you want to keep having conversations about this? What would 'handled' look like, when you ask about how to 'handle' this communication issue?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 8:04
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    @Tinkeringbell: "What do you tell her when ..." - that I'd like to make sure she feels comfortable and safe and is not negatively surprised if she happens to dislike something I try. "What's stopping you from 'just doing it' like she requests ..." - what's stopping me from just having my way without asking for consent, you mean? I hope that question answers itself. With all the abuse and exploitation of women happening around the world, I have realized how easy it is to - even inadvertently, by just doing what "seems normal, 'everyone' does it" - cause distress in others. I would hate to ...
    – Tom Tim
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 11:28
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    I understand you're trying to avoid distressing her, that's usually the point of having consent talks. But her reaction of "Let's just do it" could be interpreted as a form of consent in itself, so let me rephrase the question. What's stopping you from interpreting her reaction ("Let's just do it") as some form of consent for just trying things without discussing them first? Still just the worry of eventually distressing her? Do you have reason to believe she won't speak up when you do something undesirable?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Commented Mar 28, 2023 at 12:07
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    @Tinkeringbell: the problem (I guess) is that OP has to explore blindfolded. If he gets a "Yes, again!" that is great. But what will happen when he will get a "WTF did you just do?" - which is definitely not desirable for anyone.
    – virolino
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 13:39
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    @virolino It's usually not that useful to go guessing for someone else... I'd really like to see the OP give answers my questions, not you guessing at them. If you're right though, that's where sex-ed taught me that safewords should be used, and that's also why I asked if there's a reason to believe the girlfriend won't speak up. Because if she doesn't speak up (in the moment using a safeword or after) these conversations are basically doomed. And now that I'm thinking about it, I'm also wondering: How does she get your consent Tom Tim?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 17:19

2 Answers 2

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With time, I learnt that, when it comes to feelings, love, sex (non-exhaustive list), the truth of the moment might be different from the one of yesterday or tomorrow.

Now, if I reorganize your sentences, this is how I read things:

Now, I would like to find some "advanced" actions that she does like.

In the heat of the moment, I also sometimes did a few things that I had never asked her about beforehand.

She not only seemed to enjoy them, but occasionally asks me to repeat them for her

As is, it seems to me that you already have a communication channel open.

She may not be open to talk about pleasure and sex, as many people are not, by culture, education or personality. As a generality, in the heat and darkness of the night (by time and light), some persons are more prone to doing/exploring things.

Like in any other moment in life, body language is important. Except that, in this case, you may have the privacy of some darkness, which makes things easier for some people.

So, why wouldn't the both of you talk with your bodies? Slowly doing things, delicately moving hands, there are so many things you can do and that your partner can let do or not by just adjusting her body with a slight move. You'll quickly understand if that move is preventing or accepting your move. But, if your partner isn't talking to you because of shyness, you'll have to understand her body language and pick up the slighest move in order to adjust your own body language. I agree that it takes a lot more time than if you could talk before.

Problem seems to be that, at this stage of your relationship, you have no options that include "let's word our needs and wishes", so you need a workaround.

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  • Thank you for your insightful answer. You are write that we kind of "already have a communication channel open". As I have pointed out in the question comments, I feel this method is, however, rather "inefficient" in terms of introducing variation - as I am afraid any wrong move could ruin the mood, we typically end up just repeating the same routine every time.
    – Tom Tim
    Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 21:22
  • You can always introduce new things if you "ask" by starting them physically. And she can stop/say no. But I agree that it takes a lot more time than when you talk before. But good sex can be like good relationship, it's sometimes "very* long trip :)
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Apr 4, 2023 at 4:02
  • As it takes such a long time to possibly discover something the partner likes, my impression is that we are gradually losing the motivation for these physical contacts - not the urge to be close to each other, as we assure each other with words and touches many times every day, but the will to actually do anything beyond hugs and kisses. In the course of all the years, we have just become used to intimate encounters strictly following some previously explored pattern, afraid of breaking the mood. But as you say, it can be a long trip, ...
    – Tom Tim
    Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 23:10
  • ... so maybe we should make the effort and "force ourselves" to try it more often if we can find the time, despite the unclear outcome. Thank you for your insights - I consider accepting this answer after waiting for some more time.
    – Tom Tim
    Commented Apr 6, 2023 at 23:10
  • Well, if it doesn't turn her off or worse, yes, you can still "try harder". You should also know when her mood is at its peak so that trying isn't that risky. But yes, if you have that boring routine, it's worth trying to change it.
    – OldPadawan
    Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 3:38
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I cannot tell how your partner (current or future) would behave, but my experience taught me that there are (at least) two kinds of people:

  1. Open people. They like to experiment, and they like to talk about it.
  2. "Shy" people. They also like to experiment, but they do NOT like to talk about it.

So with the shy people, you just go ahead, and see if they enjoy or not. If they do not, stop doing it. If they enjoy, occasionally repeat.

Note: I do not take into consideration the naysayers (no experimentation, no talking, no any healthy behaviors) and I avoid them from the beginning. For me, they do not exist. I tried in the past, but the decision was simple to make: for me, they are not worth the trouble.

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    Your current answer kind of implies that all shy people like to experiment. I believe that to be a potentially harmful statement and i'd really recommend expanding your answer Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 14:15
  • @AlexRobinson: good point, updated answer.
    – virolino
    Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 14:20
  • Now, your conclusion makes no sense. It doesn't follow the rest of your answer. I really think this needs expanding to explain and not editing a few words here or there Commented Mar 29, 2023 at 15:10
  • @AlexRobinson: I reverted my answer to the original text. I invite you to write a much better original answer ;) I will be happy to comment on it.
    – virolino
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 6:45

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