As partner and lovers, one of the most important things we can do with our lives together is spend time exploring our boundaries to nurture and expand the intimacy that we share with our partner. Relationships are risky, challenging, even scary. But “getting to know” someone doesn’t stop as soon as you are married. It goes on for your lifetime together as you each grow and change as individuals.
In Staci Newmahr’s amazing book about kinky American communities, “Playing on the Edge” she defines five aspects of boundary exploration that takes place in these relationships which create an excellent framework for exploring your relationship as well, kinky, “vanilla” or otherwise.
Ethical vs Unethical
In order to share a meaningful life with someone, it is important to have common goals, ethics and moral values. It may not seem sexy at first, but talking about what sex means and what your boundaries are in regards to fidelity and flirting, sexual experimentation, sexual morals and overall life goals gives you the information you need to ensure that as you and your wife grow as individuals, you do so together, entwined in passion.
What goals do you share, sexual or not? What skills do you have, shared and as individuals, that will help you to reach these goals? What bad habits do you practice which could hinder your progress?
Bad habits are manifestations of the unconscious and subconscious minds, personal and collective. The way to make positive, lasting change in your relationship is by making conscious choices, looking at your behavior objectively and communicate effectively.
Exploring the subconscious mind can be tricky business, but as experienced pick up artists will tell you, understanding a woman’s subconscious desires is the very best way to learn foreplay techniques and get your lovely lady in the mood for you. And what is the easiest way to understand her subconscious? The answer to that lies in guiding her exploration!
Talk about your fantasies and encourage her to explore hers in depth, not just those which are explicitly sexual, but all her dreams and desires. What does she want out of life? What fantasies does she sometimes explore that she wouldn’t really do – skydiving, learning French, writing a novel? Could you encourage her to pursue any of these other fantasies along with her sexual desires? What conscious changes can you make in your life to help nurture you and your lover towards your shared dreams and goals?
Changes don’t have to be forever! Sometimes change need only be temporary in order to be effective. A quick detox or genetic reset diet, a week of non-stop sex, a weekend away somewhere beautiful, or even just a night out on the town. These temporary changes allow you to experience something different and novel, to shock your system into feeling something new and interesting.
Temporary changes can also be part of role playing or other fantasy exploration. In order to feel safe and take certain “risks” in our sexual experience, it’s important to create a container for your play. These can be very specific rules, safe words, general guidelines, themes, costumes, anything that you might use to change the mood or create a suspension of disbelief and allow you to be someone else, if only for a few moments.
On the other hand, you may wish to make some permanent changes in your life. While permanent changes needn’t be tended to obsessively, maintaining some regular daily practices can help you to create changes in your life ranging from simple to complex and difficult.
Sometimes in our exploration, the line between consent and nonconsent can become thin and difficult to see. This is what makes negotiation so important. Have you ever initiated sex or even just with your partner while she was still asleep? This may seem benign for a couple that has been together for many years, but it does skirt the edge of this line. Talk about your boundaries. Work through your issues. Stretch your understanding of each other and learn to negotiate.
After all is said and done, all sex is about life and death, creation and destruction. The French even call orgasm “the little death” in reference to the ecstatic moment of release. What do you wish to create with your lovemaking? What walls are you willing to bring down and what boundaries are you willing to cross in order to seek out new experiences with your lover?
Face each day knowing that it could be your last. Enjoy your time together and revel in the pleasures you can give each other, small and great.