Sexpert Julie: Why Being Sexually Versatile Can Help Your Relationship
Our Sexpert Julie discusses why it’s so important to explore your sexual desires with your partner.
-Julie Elledge, Ph.D.
Your man sends you a text asking you to pick up a set of handcuffs and a feather on your way home. He plans to use both on you tonight and clothes are not an option – sexy or creepy?
Sexual versatility describes the ability of a couple to accommodate to each other’s desires and indulge in a variety of sexual scenarios, both intimate and erotic. Couples who have developed a high level of sexual versatility have deeply rooted trust in each other. Playing with power in the bedroom and allowing one person to dominate during an erotic scenario isn’t threatening because letting go and giving up control to your man for an erotic scenario is not going to end up with you being hurt (there is never room for coercion in intimacy).
On the other hand, your man trusts that you will love him, even if you don’t love his idea of fun tonight. Playing along with his suggestion can liven your connection, but turning down his offer isn’t a rejection of him. Perhaps you have your own suggestion of how you can play together tonight.
Understanding Sexual Versatility
Sexual versatility begins with a generous spirit. In a committed relationship, each person is emotionally and physically invested in the other. They demonstrate their commitment by accommodating the needs and desires of the other. The more generosity there is between the couple, the more they are willing to leave judgment outside the door of their bedroom and accept the intimate and erotic self of each other.
No two people will come into the bedroom with exactly the same intimate needs or erotic impulses, so accommodating each other takes a generous spirit. That generous spirit is a two-way street. Will your erotic scenario push him too far? Does he still feel like the star of your play? When you operate from a generous spirit, you won’t ask your man to do something for your pleasure if it will hurt him.
The Benefits of Sexual Versatility
Couples with high sexual versatility have the ability to lead and follow each other in their sexual play. No two people will ever match up completely on what they find arousing, when they need to connect and how.
Because words so often fail us, sexual play is one of the most powerful methods of communicating acceptance, love, empathy, healing, and comfort through intimate sex, while erotic play unleashes creativity, freedom, novelty, variety and exploration of the most private parts of your brain. As you follow your man sexually, you are exploring parts of his mind that he has shielded from everyone else, and as he follows you sexually, you are revealing parts of yourself that no one has ever seen. Being sexually versatile is intensely intimate, even when it is erotic.
When a couple has low sexual versatility they hesitate. Revealing sexual desires, intimate or erotic, threatens the current level of intimacy between the couple. What if he makes fun of me because I want more romance? What if he thinks that my fantasy is stupid? What if he really doesn’t want to do it? What if she is too busy to care? All couples weigh the cost and the benefit of exposing their private thoughts and urges.