Ever feel like you just keep doing the same things in the bedroom, but you aren’t sure what else to do?
Maybe it’s hard for you and your spouse to have a conversation about sex. Or perhaps you don’t quite know what the options are. Maybe you or your spouse have never taken the time to think about what you’d like to do with, to, and for each other.
Well, that’s why I built Our Sexploration List, for spouses who need a tool to help them communicate what some possible alternative activities to their regular bedroom fun might be.
My hope is that you’ll end up with a list of things you both are really interested in, but never talked about before. There will probably be some that one of you really wants to try, and the other is willing to give it a shot. There will be others in the “I’m not ready for that”, and you can shelve them for later in your marriage.
We all change over time, and while Our Sexploration List might be just what you need right now, you might want to print off a fresh copy in a few years and fill it out again. You might be surprised at how your desires, inhibitions and fears have changed.
How to use this resource to have better sex
Our Sexploration List is split into three major lists:
In the Activities section, we’ll go through a large list of sexual activities I have curated for you to weed out any things I believe the Bible deems morally unacceptable or I think have a high likelihood of damaging your relationship. I think you might be surprised but just how much is left to play with.
Now, you and your spouse may have differing opinions than I, and that’s okay. Frankly, you’ll likely have differing opinions between the two of you as well. I’ve done my best to allow this to account for those so that you don’t end up pushing each other’s hard boundaries or feeling like you are being pressured into doing something wrong.
That said, I would say to seriously consider the individual questions, and not just your gut reaction. Sometimes our upbringing, history, teachers, pastors, elders and a host of other influences can put some ideas in our head that aren’t in line with Truth.
In the Vocabulary section, we’re going to go through some words that you might use in the bedroom. It’s split up into various groupings to help you focus on one area at a time. Now, be warned, some of these words are generally not considered acceptable in public. However, in the bedroom, we have a lot more freedom to express ourselves as it is the proper context for that type of language, should you choose to use it. If they bother you, you can simply mark them as a turn-off and move on. If it really makes you angry you can black it out with a sharpie if that makes you feel better.
Lastly, in the Feelings section, we have a list of feelings that you might have, want to have, or want to avoid during sex. Sometimes we don’t think about how we feel or what we’d like to change. This will give you an opportunity to consider how sex makes you feel and help you focus on some things you’d like to work on in your marriage, or in yourself.
Throughout Our Sexploration List, I’ve also included links that, if clicked on in the PDF, will bring you to a blog post of ours, or a trusted affiliate where you can find out more about a term or item.
Many people will want to just dive right in and start discussing each question with their spouse. I’d advise against that. Ideally, what I think you should do is print two copies of pages 5 – 19, one for each of you. You’ll also need a copy of pages 20 and 21, and two copies of page 22. Then you should fill them out in private, separately. I mean, you can be in the same room if you want, but make sure you can’t see each other’s papers. The reason for this is because often, we change what we’re willing to admit just because someone is watching us. You’ll likely still be tempted to change your answers because you know your spouse will see them, but please try to remain honest.
It might also be handy to keep the PDF open on a device nearby so you can click on the links for anything you might want to know more about.
If you find something particularly arousing, I suggest circling your X or checkmark to make it really stand out.
If you want to remember to discuss something, then underline the question so you won’t forget.
After you’ve each filled it out, then I suggest trading papers and going through them together one by one, discussing where you feel you need more discussion.
When you both aren’t interested in an activity, it’s simple. Move on. You don’t really need to talk about it.
If you both want to try something you don’t already do, then discuss how you might do that and add it to the Things we both want to try list. This way you will have a consolidated bucket list of things to try instead of having to go through all the responses again to remember.
Again, it might be helpful to have the PDF open nearby so you can click on any links where the activity might require a purchase to fulfill.
Likewise, if you find something that you are either willing to try, or one spouse wants and the other responds that they are willing to try it, you can add it to the Things we’re both willing to try list.
That way you have a list of things to grow into for when you are feeling adventurous.
Then there’s the Things I can bless my spouse with list. You’ll each have one where you can list activities that you perhaps aren’t terribly excited to try, but you might be willing to once just because they want it. Or perhaps things you might be willing to try one day, but not yet. This way you can keep a list handy of things for sexy sexual gifts for special occasions like birthdays, Christmas, or any other time you might want to give a sexual gift that they’d otherwise not get.
Handling conflicts in desires for sexual activities
When you have a conflict, when one spouse wants an activity the other isn’t interested in, I suggest you discuss it. Often the interested spouse will concede and just say “that’s okay, it’s not important”, but I don’t suggest you let them do that. While reading your spouse’s answers, if you come across something that causes a negative reaction in you, stop and take a breath. Don’t let your reaction be your response. About the worst thing you can do with this list is recoil in fear, disgust or anger at your spouse being vulnerable about their desires and needs. You will damage your relationship in ways that might last decades. You will make it extremely difficult to be vulnerable with you again. When you can’t be vulnerable, the intimacy in a relationship is severely limited, which means you can’t grow. Relationships that can’t grow stagnate and eventually die. I cannot impress the seriousness of this enough. Be very careful about how you respond.
That doesn’t mean you have to agree to do something you aren’t comfortable with. But it does mean accepting that it’s something they desire, talking through it and understanding their perspective. This is an opportunity to learn something about your spouse that likely no one else knows. This is what deep intimacy is built on.
For the other spouse, the same holds true. Ask questions, find out why they aren’t interested, what bothers them about it. Understand the other’s perspective. In that way, you both can mitigate, or avoid feeling hurt by the other’s response. You might also find another way to meet a felt need that doesn’t involve pushing past hard boundaries. Or, you might decide your boundary isn’t as solid as you thought once you understand what they are looking for.
The point is, honest, authentic communication focused on understanding and compassion is the way to handle these conflicts.
Likewise, when you find out you are doing something that your spouse is not comfortable with, you need to discuss it. Otherwise, each time you engage in this activity, you are damaging your relationship because your spouse is feeling they are being forced, coerced or otherwise imposed into doing something they don’t want to do. In this way, this list might uncover wounds in your marriage that you aren’t even aware are happening. These need to be addressed immediately using the same attitude mentioned above. Focus on compassion, learning to understand and finding a solution.
A note and a warning
Creating a list like this for Christian couples is difficult at best. There are a lot of sexual activities that mankind has come up with. Some are wonderful. Some are not. I’ve done my best to stick to those wonderful activities; however, even then, our world has popularized names for some of these things that carry negative connotations, or the slang name is the most well-known. In some cases, I decided to stick with the well-known, but vulgar, names for activities, simply because the centuries-old scientific (often Latin) name is unheard of in most lifetimes and no one will recognize it.
Please excuse those times when I have opted for vulgar language. It’s not my intent to offend, but rather to be clear. Thank you for your forbearance.
Ready to purchase?
With that out of the way, if that sounds like something you want to do, then I invite you to get your copy of Our Sexploration List!
This is an opportunity to learn about each other, and frankly, can be some pretty amazing foreplay as vulnerability increases intimacy, which increases attraction and trust, both needed for a healthy sexual relationship.