I've been with my partner for two years and I want to make our sex life better. Lately she freezes up in the bedroom and seems only concerned with giving me an orgasm instead of just having fun. How can I shake things up a little to distract her? She is pretty conservative, how do I convince her to take a sex class with me?
First of all, kudos to you for being proactive and reaching out for some support with this issue! From what you have written, I’m hearing that this recent change in your partner’s bedroom behavior is what is challenging for you; that she is ‘freezing up’ and seems goal-oriented. I also hear that you would like her to relax and enjoy herself more than she does, and I think you are wondering if her conservative nature is keeping her from doing so.
I suppose my first suggestion would be to check in with her about the other aspects of your relationship. If there is something going on for her that is impacting your sexual relationship and you fail to address and understand this, you won’t get very far in opening her up in more vulnerable and intimate ways. I’d suggest you start by letting her know how important she is to you and that you want your relationship to continue to grow (and of course, first check in wit yourself to make sure this is true). Then perhaps try expressing what you have noticed about your sexual relationship, let her know you want to understand if something has changed for her, if there is another aspect of your relationship she is struggling with, or if there is something separate from the relationship that is challenging for her right now. Then LISTEN. Really listen. Your first goal is to understand her, not get her to be the naughty vixen of your fantasies. ;)
Next, pending how that goes, use your “I statements” and let her know specifically how you would like the sexual aspect of your relationship to continue to blossom. Try to avoid using ‘you never’ or ‘you only’ statements. See where that leads. Suggesting attending a class together is a great idea, and I think your odds of her being receptive to that would be increased if you focus on a class that builds intimacy rather than one focused on specific techniques or kink. If she is conservative, go easy – perhaps hold off on taking her to a class on bondage or anal sex, for instance.
Last, remember that you each have the right at all times to want what you want sexually, but that neither of you can force the other to want the same sexual relationship or to engage in the same behaviors or activities. If, after trying all of the above, your partner is not showing signs of opening up, you may want to consider your other options, namely, waiting a few months and seeing if things change, or leaving the relationship. And by this I do not mean to suggest that you give her an ultimatum or threaten her. I mean, you need to consider for yourself what is important to you, how much you value the relationship, what is non-negotiable, and what compromises you can make. If you feel that this partner may not be the sexual companion you’d hoped for, you may need to end the sexual part of the relationship. Showing your love, support and trustworthiness by encouraging her to open up and talk with you, expressing your desires to her, and remaining committed through that process is being a good partner. However, staying in the relationship and trying to ‘convince’ her to do anything she isn’t comfortable with is not fair to either of you.
About Gina: Gina has been working in reproductive health for nearly 20 years as an educator and researcher. She approached Pure Pleasure in 2009 about holding a focus group for a research project she was working on and was impressed with Janis and Amy’s welcoming, sex-positive business and their commitment to community involvement and education. Shortly thereafter, Gina began working with Pure Pleasure part-time as a Pleasure Party Educator and staff member and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Human Sexuality Education. Also a parent of two boys, she is committed to sex-positive parenting.