OK, I know, I know, every blog about marriage, relationships, etc has at least one article with that title. They usual have a large list of techniques, activities. Maybe they suggest a blindfold (gasp). But that’s the easy stuff. I think you want . There’s only one. But it’s a game changer. Here it is:
Let’s see if I can explain it:
His & Her Boundaries
The grey circle is “His Boundaries”. These are the things that the husband is willing to do. Since we’re talking about sex, this will be a subset of all the sexual activities possible. Inside this circle (I hope) would be things like:
- Missionary Position
- Hand Holding
- Etc. (honestly, I could only think of three things that I thought 100% of the population would agree on)
Now, keep in mind, this circle is EVERYTHING he is willing to do, whether he’s aware of it or not. Outside of the circle are all the things he’s not willing to do. Somethings, I believe, rightly belong there in a Christian marriage. Such as:
- Having an affair
- Having sex in front of people
- Watching porn
But there are probably some others that are not right, nor wrong, he just doesn’t want to do them.
The pink circle is “Her Boundaries”. These, like the husbands, are things that the wife is willing to do. Extrapolate from the list above with some variation for personal preferences.
Then we have a box called “Known Boundaries”. Now, I’m guessing on this is true for most couples based on my marriage, but as time went on, we expanded into some sexual activities that we didn’t know existed when we got married as we had no experience. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, or bought Our Sexploration List you might have come across some activities you never knew existed. At the beginning of our marriage, our “Known Boundaries” box was basically a sliver compared to now.
After the honeymoon it had grown a fair bit. After 11 years, it’s grown much more. As we continue to explore each other, we learn new things about each other. In most cases, our boundaries haven’t shifted, we just learned more about what they are by experience.
For example (a fairly innocent one) to clarify the point:
Last week I learned I like having my ear lobes kissed during foreplay. It makes my spine tingle (in a good way). My wife has never done that before, and so I’ve never experienced it. So, our “Known Boundaries” box got larger on both our ends. My wife learned that that’s inside her boundary to do to me, and I learned it’s inside my boundary to receive it from her. The boundary didn’t shift, we just discovered another thing within the border.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky.
Outside of the two circles, we have a “no go” area by mutual consent. For example, in my marriage, in that big white “no” box my wife and I both agree that a threesome is a bad idea. It’s outside of our boundaries.
There is an area of the husbands circle which doesn’t overlap with the wife’s circle. These are activities he has interest in, but she doesn’t. Likewise with the pink circle, it has parts that don’t overlap with the blue circle. These are activities that she has interest in, but he doesn’t.
Then, we finally get to this overlap in the middle. Where husbands and wife’s preferences overlap. This is generally a fairly small area. Then, we cut it down even more to only include the “known” aspects of those boundaries, and that’s where 99% of your sexual life is with your spouse. That little overlapping area in the very middle. That’s all the stuff you do in bed together. Why?
Because he doesn’t say no, she doesn’t say no, and you know about it. That’s about it.
So, you’re probably asking now, where’s the tip on how to spice up our sex life? And this is it, understand this system of boundaries and overlaps. If you do, you’ll see there are really only three options:
Opportunities To Spice Up Your Sex Life
- Grow the “known boundaries” box. This is the easiest one. Checkout Our Sexploration List. It has pages and pages of activities you can discuss together to increase your “known” box. Think about them, talk about them, and figure out which ones sit within your boundary and which ones don’t. This is what all the “sex tip” articles are about, growing your “known boundaries” box.
- Grow your personal boundaries box. This is much harder because it involves real change. Most people have some boundaries that are only there because it’s a personal preference. There is no moral or societal reason for them. I see so many posts/emails/messages about husbands and wives lamenting that their spouse demands oral sex, but won’t reciprocate. This is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. That sounds like a perfect time to grow your boundary. I’m not suggesting you step into any “morally gray” areas, just that you evaluate your sets of “approved sexual activities” and “not approved sexual activities” and figure out if it’s approved or not approved for a reason.
- Grow your partners boundaries. This is impossible. You cannot change your partner. People change themselves. You may be a catalyst for change, an inspiration to change, but you can’t change them. If they have boundaries that to you make no sense, I say go ahead and challenge them (verbally challenge them, don’t go forcing your spouse!). Ask why it’s a boundary, start to dialogue about it.
That’s it. Simple, but a game changer I think. Stop looking for the latest trick that will only grow your “Known Boundaries” box by a fraction. Instead, look for inner growth.
Now, here’s your homework: Are there any activities you’re denying your spouse without good reason?
37 Questions for spouses to ask each other about sex
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