A healthy physical relationship is an important part of any couple's life. But even the most loving couple needs to spice things up occasionally. It may be the case that you're one of those couples for whom every aspect of the relationship has always been perfect. You get along well, you have similar likes and dislikes, and your interaction in the bedroom can only be described as, well, dynamite! You both enjoy each other's physicality and have no problem reaching the required release in perfect unison. All is absolutely and utterly tip-top. Or is it?
Two sides to the coin As much as feel you know each other inside and out, you are still very much your own people. One of the most prevalent issues affecting relationships, especially although not exclusively long term ones, is the sin of complacency. Assuming things about your partner can lead to serious problems further down the line, and this can quite easily be the case regarding sexual activity. Essentially, don't assume that your partner is as happy with your sex life as you are.
Talking it through Although you may have a really positive relationship, where a discussion is always an option and you can usually head off any problems through productive communication, sex is very much a different matter. Many people, even the most liberal, have difficulties talking about sex, and they may feel dissatisfied with what they have but are unwilling to talk it through. Hence, it is always worth approaching the subject yourself, even if you yourself are perfectly happy with the way things are.
The usual suspects If any issues are identified when holding such discussions – and do be patient, as it might take a few times of asking to get it out of them – it will probably be one of the usual suspects. The length of time that one-half of the couples spends on sexual activities is one of the main complaints for example, as is the amount of foreplay indulged in. Other issues may include the lack of frequency of sex, the disparate levels of enthusiasm displayed, or even such trivialities as the whole lights on or off question. The issue that we shall be talking about in this article, however, is that of a lack of adventure in the bedroom department – the complaint that things may be getting just a little boring.
Variety is the spice of life It's not anyone's fault that one or both of the couple in question are yearning for a little more variety. It's a perfectly natural feeling that occurs in most relationships at one time or another. The important thing is not that it has happened but how it is dealt with, and again, this comes down to discussion. If you are going to try something new in the bedroom, it's important that you both agree on the exact choice and that you are aware of each other's limits. After all, some kinks are more extreme than others. So, to start talks off on a positive note, the following such list of potential kinks is our way of giving you a gentle push in the right direction.
#1 Fancy dress. Dressing up for the sexual act could refer to a whole range of things. It could simply be a matter of the lady in question buying some sultry underwear, or it could progress to full gimp mask, leather chaps, and thigh-high boots. Uniforms are another popular dressing up option, complete with role play scenarios. Cops and robbers, anyone?
#2 Heads and shoulders, knees and toes. Body part fetishes are quite prevalent, and it may be the case that one of you already indulges – at least in your thoughts, though how this kind of fetish materializes is entirely up to the two of you. It could simply be a matter of appreciation and indulgence, or the body part in question could be used as an actual physical part of sexual activity. Of course, we won't be going into too much detail on that front here. After all, that's what Google's for!
#3 I'm tied up at the moment. One of the better-known kinks is that of bondage. The art of restraining one's partner in order to tease and/or abuse them *in consensual moderation, of course,* has received considerable popular interest thanks to movies such as 50 Shades of Grey. It provides a convenient halfway house between the extreme and the mild, and there is plenty of information out there on how to go about it in a safe and fulfilling manner.
#4 More than a flick. Try replacing the usual rom-com or action thriller with movie action of an altogether more adult kind. This is a great way to get each other in the mood and also to get an idea of what kind of secret proclivities you're both into. If you're watching off a computer, then try taking turns at picking the movies, and maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised at your partner's choice. [Read: 13 non-porn erotic movies that are sure to turn you on]
#5 Things that buzz in the night. The sex toy industry is booming, and for good reason, with more people than ever giving them a try. From pocket vibrators to sex chairs and lifelike dolls, you'll be surprised at what you can find to spice things up in your love life.
#6 Spiritual matters. The ancient art of Tantra might be described as a kind of cross between meditation and very slow sensual sex. It is a discipline that requires patience and practice, but those who have tried it have sworn to its incredible effectiveness in prolonging the shelf life of a physical relationship. [Read: The beginner's guide to sexuality and tantric sex]
#7 Three's company. Swinging is another sexual pastime that has really hit the ground running in recent years. Getting three, four, or more involved in the sexual act might not be everyone's idea of what a loving relationship should be all about, but it certainly makes things interesting. And if this does appeal, there are dozens of sites out there that you can join to find like-minded people. [Read: 20 things you need to know before getting into a threesome]
#8 Turn things around. With society expecting us to conform quite strictly to gender roles, no matter how much we may ostensibly rail against the fact, some couples like to shake things up a bit. With freedom guaranteed in the privacy of the bedroom to explore different aspects of the personality, there is no better time to explore the concept of role reversal. Playing dominant women and passive guys – or the reverse, depending upon real world roles – can be highly fulfilling for both.
#9 Take your punishment. Sadomasochism, the art of administering or receiving pain, might seem to lie at the more extreme end of the kink scale. However, this doesn't have to be the case and could include punishments as mild as a light spanking or a weak twist of a nipple. Of course, the scale in S&M is a large one, and how far you wish to travel down this particular path is entirely up to you.
#10 Let it all hang out. Exhibitionism, the desire to have sex in public and/or while observed by others, is another common sexual kink. It is, however, one that needs to be approached cautiously. There aren't many countries in the world where such an act wouldn't be considered indecent and criminal. Perhaps the better option, in that case, would be to go down the swinging route, but with a strict no touching policy in place.