Sex advice with Suzi Godson: Our playful experimentation has ended

When we met, my girlfriend was quite adventurous in bed, which I really enjoyed. Sex now is still perfectly nice, but the playful experimentation has all but stopped. I’m worried that she is bored in our relationship.

No, I don’t think she is bored in your relationship. What you have described is quite a common trajectory within a relationship, and is perfectly healthy. No matter how adventurous you are in the early days, commitment and long-term relationships cannot sustain the level of excitement (and time spent in the bedroom) that you started with. Sex inevitably becomes less experimental, and is likely to happen less often too.

Sex inevitably becomes less experimental, and is likely to happen less often too.

When we first meet, and start to forge romantic relationships, there is an initial, exhilarating period in which we get to know each other, talk and debate all evening — and sex is an active part of this process. We stay up all night learning about each other’s minds and each other’s bodies. We might play with toys, positions, and perhaps light S&M such as spanking, restraints and blindfolds. It’s a journey of mutual discovery where we reveal the parts of ourselves that we only show to the people we love and trust.

We might play with toys, positions, and perhaps light S&M such as spanking, restraints and blindfolds. It’s a journey of mutual discovery where we reveal the parts of ourselves that we only show to the people we love and trust.

Ultimately, however, that high-octane intensity is unsustainable long-term. At a certain point the relationship begins to settle down and cement. The dizzy lust that propelled you through the first year or so has developed into, and is replaced by, a deeper intimacy and a stronger emotional connection. You become happily familiar with each other. Sex is part of this change. By now, you know each other’s style and sequence, and what works and what doesn’t.

You become happily familiar with each other. Sex is part of this change. By now, you know each other’s style and sequence, and what works and what doesn’t.

What that does mean — and what you are discovering — is that fewer hours are spent in bed, as day-to-day life gets in the way. There is also, of course, a real joy to the closeness — but every so often you will inevitably find yourself romanticising about those long nights together when getting to know each other was all that mattered in the world.

Although you are talking about your girlfriend’s kinkiness in the past tense, there is no reason why it should remain in the past. Where there is a will there is a way — so first of all, speak to her, and find out if she is feeling the same. If she is, and you both want to reintroduce certain elements, you need to make it a priority.

The psychologist Arthur Aron explains that the challenge is to “avoid the extremely strong lure of the familiar”. Routine makes life easier to negotiate, but it can also make it unadventurous. Without even trying, you can trap yourselves in cycles of work, home, supper, TV, sleep — and even if you get on well and are deeply in love, if you don’t actively do things to keep your relationship exciting, it will gradually lose its magic.

One of the problems with sex in long-term relationships is that routine tends to make it goal-orientated. The ultimate destination is orgasm and you know how to get there, probably with some short cuts. The downside is that in doing so, you bypass sensuality.

Light S&M can be a more intense experience because it is focused specifically on pleasure and sensation.

It also tends to take a lot longer, and for that reason alone it requires more planning and better communication. Perhaps the nicest way to start that conversation with your girlfriend would be to give her some new props. Coco de Mer is stocking an elegant selection of masks, restraints and blindfolds. Have toys, will play, as they say.

The downside is that in doing so, you bypass sensuality. Light S&M can be a more intense experience because it is focused specifically on pleasure and sensation. It also tends to take a lot longer, and for that reason alone it requires more planning and better communication.

Perhaps the nicest way to start that conversation with your girlfriend would be to give her some new props. Coco de Mer is stocking an elegant selection of masks, restraints and blindfolds. Have toys, will play, as they say.

n Send your queries to suzigodson@mac.com


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