in: Dating & Relationships

Nervous to Ask Your Partner to Try Something Deviant in the Bedroom?

Breaking free of the norm in any situation can be intimidating, but broaching the topic of something deviant in the bedroom can spark nervousness and uncertainty. Bring these tips into your conversation (and your bedroom) if you’re considering something new.


Most individuals state that they would prefer a long-term relationship over being single. We crave the love and security that an exclusive relationship brings. We want to have a date on New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day and an anniversary to celebrate. As a culture, we dream about white weddings and tropical honeymoons. We celebrate marriage and its subsequent white picket fences and family celebrations.

One challenge to the longer-term relationship, however, can be keeping your sexual relationship vibrant. Over time, sex with the same person can become familiar and predictable, even if in a wonderful way. It may start with cuddling, then move to kissing, then, almost like a routine, the sexual dance unfolds in a predictable manner.

At times, a familiar sexual pattern can feel comforting and loving. At other times, however, it may feel staid and rehearsed. At some point, one partner may start to fantasize about trying something new or ‘deviant.’

Let me just say that the term ‘deviant’ is entirely subjective. What is normal to one couple may be considered deviant by another couple. Sexuality can be influenced by a number of different factors including: religion, exposure to different types of sexual expression, and the strictness of your moral compass. I also tend to believe that where you live can influence your sexual attitudes. For example, if you live in Manhattan, you can find a sex shop on virtually every corner. This tends to normalize the use of sex toys or costumes. In more rural areas, sex shops are virtually nonexistent. I would imagine that less exposure to sexual experimentation through toys or costumes might lead to a more conservative sexual attitude.

In a perfect world, the bedroom is a playground where each partner feels liberated to express their wishes, fantasies and desires; but the reality is many people don’t express their sexual fantasies for fear of being embarrassed or rejected.

Common concerns arise when asking for a change in the sexual relationship:

What if I tell my boyfriend that I want him to dominate me and he thinks it’s weird?

Am I risking a loving relationship for something dirty or degrading?

What if my girlfriend breaks up with me if I tell her that I want to watch pornography with her?

What if I ask my boyfriend for ‘rougher’ sex and he is embarrassed because he thinks I’m disappointed with him sexually?

Should I just keep my ‘deviant’ fantasies to myself?

I would argue that you shouldn’t stifle your sexual fantasies for three reasons:

1. You want to cultivate a culture of trust, communication and curiosity within your relationship.

2. You’re assuming that your partner wouldn’t enjoy trying something new and you may be wrong.

3. You run the risk of feeling resentful or ashamed if you stifle your sexual fantasies.

That said, I don’t think you should open the discussion with your partner by asking for your most outrageous sexual fantasy. Start with something that is a little different than the norm and work your way, over time, toward the more ‘deviant’ fantasies.

In other words, dip your foot into the pool. Don’t do a cannonball off the diving board.

Here’s a creative way to ask for what you want:

Suggest that you go to a sex shop together and that each person is to purchase one item that would excite him/her in the bedroom.

It’s important that each person informs his/her partner about any type of sexual activity that is off-limits in the bedroom.

After the off-limits activities are established, each person needs to promise to happily try the other person’s purchase.

At the sex shop, each person is to pick something out and pay at the register individually. There should be no communication during this process as you don’t want to be influenced by your partner’s reaction.

Bring the items home in secret. Most sex shops will wrap items in opaque shopping bags.

On a weekend night (weeknights just don’t lend as well to playfulness) set the mood with wine, music, whatever makes you feel relaxed and then have an ‘experimentation’ night with your new purchases.

A happy long-term relationship balances the security of love while keeping a curiosity about your partner’s sexual fantasies. It’s tempting to assume that we can predict our partner’s reactions to our fantasies, but it’s important to remember that your partner may also be shy about his or her so-called ‘deviant’ fantasies. Who knows? You might actually be wishing for the same thing!

[image: via Aleera on flickr]

About the Author:

Lauren Napolitano PsyD

Dr. Lauren Napolitano is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bryn Mawr, PA. She is also on staff at Bryn Mawr Hospital. She specializes in helping individuals and couples to build happier relationships. Her website:


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