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Friday, Sept. 14, 2012

Banishing Boredom in the Bedroom

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  Do you recommend any particular books for a young, married couple with fizzling bedroom sparks? I've been reading Fifty Shades and some of it sounds fun/worth trying. We just don't know how to try! Who knew spanking had a technique!? We are interested in some educational books that have some guidelines, information and techniques. Any suggestions?

—Too young to be bored

It’s pretty common for people in long-term relationships to find that the energy of their sex life changes. The excitement of a new relationship wanes, and it’s replaced by familiarity—not a bad thing, necessarily! Long-term relationships can provide the trust and honest communication that are essential to trying new things.

This scenario is so common, in fact, that we have a section of books at the Tool Shed devoted to keeping the "spark" going in long-term relationships. Alison Tyler, the prolific editor of best-selling erotic fiction anthologies, tackles the issue in her book, Never Have the Same Sex Twice. Ian Kerner, author of the guide for men about female pleasure called She Comes First, outlines a 30-day plan to jump-start your sex life in Sex Recharge: A Rejuvenation Plan for Couples and Singles. If you’re wondering why it is that sexual “boredom” is so widespread, therapist Esther Perel’s book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence explores the reasons and the solutions.

Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels have performed an enormous public service by making it OK to read erotica publicly, talk about it with friends and partners, and express an interest in kinky play—all things that were not generally considered topics for polite conversation before. But you’re absolutely right—when engaging in any kind of kinky play, technique is important, and depending on what types of activities you’re experimenting with, there’s a chance that you could harm yourself or your partner if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s essential to read books, attend classes or find local BDSM community groups for more information. Some brand-new books include Tristan Taormino’s omnibus Ultimate Guide to Kink and Morpheous’s How to Be Kinkier (and its prequel, How to Be Kinky). Both authors are well respected in the kink community. If you’re a visual learner, Tristan has educational DVDs that touch on kinky play as well!

Kinky play isn’t for everyone (and that’s OK—although Fifty Shades is popular, there’s nothing wrong with you if you don’t find it a turn-on). You can get lots of ideas for new tricks and techniques to try from new general sexy-sex books like Sex Is Fun, from the creators of the podcast of the same name, or Jamye Waxman’s Hot Sex.

Hope that gives you enough to get started!

Laura Anne Stuart owns the Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee’s East Side. She has a master’s degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than 15 years. Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXpress? Send them to laura@shepex.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.

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