Following are leftover questions from my live online chat, “Initiating – Who First?” November 27:
How can you do something different sexually after having a pattern of years together?
When I suggest anything new, my wife panics, thinking this is just the start and I’ll go overboard on my demands. So we’ve been going through the same moves forever.
It’s okay to get the job done, but I think we can make it better - if only she’ll meet me halfway.
The road to a varied sex life with your partner is paved with loving talk and subtle influences.
Complaining about what’s missing doesn’t work nearly so well as, say, lighting some candles, complimenting her, watching a gently arousing film (porn is a no-no for an already reluctant woman), while sitting or lying close by.
Daylight discussions suggesting trying more frisky moves can be off-putting, while reading Dr. Alex Comfort’s revised Joy of Sex together, can expand the imagination of both of you.
Try a different setting, time, and activity, to initiate sex. Cook for her, take her away overnight, or go dancing for a date. A change of environment and approach makes it easier to gently experiment together.
Build anticipation for both of you. It starts with a loving touch even as you pass in your hallway, includes a comment when you call in the day, and grows with every hint that she makes you feel sexy.
Do this without pressure about any specific approach, or time… it’s about your bond of intimacy, whenever and however you connect.
My fiancé was a virgin until his 20s, and only had a couple of relationships before me.
I’d had a lot more experience sexually so had to lead the way. We were doing fine, till he met someone who knew me in high school when I was pretty fast.
Now when I start touching him, he gets uncomfortable and wants to know about every guy I ever had sex with.
Time for a talk, but without past details.
Say that you love him as you’ve never loved before, and that you look forward to a lifetime of joy and passion being married to him. He needs to hear this.
Say you can barely remember anyone from the past because it’s faded from mattering at all. You had no long-term interest in anyone, until you met him.
Create your own sexual playbook together. Ask what he’d like, tell him what he does for you that you like. Keep the sexual requests related to him only, never about something you’ve done before.
My husband and I have a healthy sex life, usually two to three times a week. We never think about who starts… if one person mentions having sex, the other gets into it, unless feeling ill.
Even when stressed with something, we usually realize that a nice romp will clear the cobwebs.
We once had a bad patch when we were arguing something important and let it go for a few weeks.
But we both felt terrible about it until we got back on track. By the way, we’re in our 50s.
Satisfied Middle Age
You’re both very wise, with healthy open attitudes towards sex and it’s role in bonding a couple.
That’s what’s worked for you and could help so many others, too.
Some basic tips:
Make time for sex. Quickies are fine sometimes but give longer sex play a chance. Show your desire - e.g. wear something sexy, offer a massage. Lastly, enjoy.
I'm having a hard time studying. If I mess this up, my future and past three years of hard work will amount to nothing.
It doesn’t help that my elder sister had gotten perfect grades and is now dumping on everyone with her wedding drama. Also, my mom and teachers are stressing me, criticizing my every move.
I need advice on concentrating on math and chemistry. Whenever I try to study I get a headache and my body starts shaking, perhaps because I’m underweight.
Stressed Out in Karachi
Be direct with your mom and teachers that you need help. And avoid your sister’s drama, as much as possible.
At school, ask for math and chemistry tutoring – inform your parents that it’s essential – and beef up your understanding of the basic principles involved.
You may also need personal counselling. You hinted at having an eating disorder, which is draining both your energy and focus.
Tip of the day:
A couple’s sex life needs as much attention as their work life.