For our November Q&A with Dr. Zhana Vrangalova, we’re talking about Spicing Things Up.
What would be a definition of sex? What is sex?
I define sex quite broadly. It can include anything – masturbation, partnered sex of different kinds (oral, anal, mutual masturbation, using toys on each other), different kinds of kinky activities, voyeurism, exhibitionism, group play, any of it.
What are ways to “spice things up” even if you’re satisfied with the sex and adventurous?
I’m so glad you asked! Too many people wait for things to stop working before they try to make things work again. But it’s actually much harder to get things running again after they haven’t been running for a while than it is to keep them running from the get-go. So think about all the different ways you and your partner can bring in some novelty, something new, and some mystery and distance between you two so it can be different – new positions, sex acts, toys, role-play scenarios, places, people, you name it.
My partner has been checked out. LELO is my only outlet. How can I connect these two?
It’s hard when a partner leaves the sexual aspect of a relationship. It is important to communicate with your partner and let them know how important sexual connection is to you. You cannot be expected to be in a relationship where your basic sexual needs aren’t being met. Your partner has to either re-engage with you sexually, or let you meet those needs with other partners, if you’re both open to that.
What can you do to diversify your enjoyment as a single person?
Switch up everything – the locations where you have sex, the positions in which you do it, which body parts you play with, the types of strokes you use to play with said body parts, the length of play (from quickies to hours-long sessions), what you masturbate to (porn, fantasies, memories, written erotica, audio erotica, your own sexy videos…), do it in front of a mirror, use different kinds of toys, use CBD lube. Be creative.
Are there any thoughts about scheduling sex and planning it with a partner?
Scheduling sex doesn’t sound sexy to a lot of people but I think it’s an amazing tool for couples who live together and have busy schedules. If you think about it, that’s basically what couples who don’t live together do – they “schedule” sex by scheduling dates. You can make the days leading up to it sexy by sexting and prepping, buying new lingerie, toys, and so on.
What are methods to discuss this with a partner without them thinking it’s a slight on their sexual ability?
By approaching it as something that’s going to add to your already amazing sex life, as opposed to a place of lack or dissatisfaction. So, saying something like “I love all these different things that we’ve done sexually And I’ve been curious about all these other things. What do you think about trying some of those next time?”
What can I do to be more comfortable talking dirty? My boyfriend asks me to and I can’t.
Dirty talking is a great way to spice up your life. Although it can be uncomfortable at first, you will soon get better at it. It is easiest to just describe what’s happening at the moment. It is also possible to talk about what you enjoy or love when your partner does it. Also, you can discuss what you would prefer your partner to do for you. You can find phrases online that work for you and memorize them so you are prepared. You can also practice them in front the mirror. Sexting can be used as a practice session.
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You are interested in sharing monogamy- and nonmonogamy topics with other curious and open-minded people around the world. Join Dr. Zhana’s Monthly Open Smarter Social Virtual event
Zhana Vrangalova is a NYC-based researcher in sex. She studies casual sex and nonmonogamy as well as sexual orientation. She is a Cornell University graduate in Developmental Psychology. She teaches Human Sexuality at New York University and also runs the Casual Sex Project. This project allows people to share their real hookup stories. She currently writes a book and provides daily sex education via Periscope live streaming.
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