There's a certain type of man who will react to any suggestion of spicing up your sex life with disapproval. Women delicate little petals that we are aren't supposed to want naughty things and this man's judgement of you will be harsh: you're a tart or a slut and definitely not good enough to be sitting at his parents' table for Sunday lunch. Happily, despite all the potential pitfalls, there are ways to have your orgasms and keep him too. These are the basics which you should apply to any situation where you're suggesting something new sexually:
*Make it his idea. Men are far more open to doing something if they think the idea came from them.
*Make it clear you've only ever wanted to do it with him. His first thought will be: has she already done this with someone else?
*Make it clear you're suggesting it because you trust him: You know you won't be judged and he's made you feel so good about yourself; you feel that you can truly open up and tell him anything.
*Tell him you're suggesting it because you want to have the best sex life possible. You know all the statistics about couples cheating on each other and don't want that to happen to you two.
*Be aware that most men feel threatened by the new breed of sexually confident women: No matter how liberated he is, you have to remember the poor little sausage is just getting over the horrific news that his penis alone often can't give you an orgasm. It's crucial for you to present your proposition tenderly and tactfully.
Here are some specific tips on how to help achieve your dream fantasy.
Sex with another woman
Most men love it if you admit to lesbian fantasies, so why not take it through to reality? If your partner's not the jealous type and it's a relatively new relationship that you don't mind risking, go ahead and suggest it. Broach the idea by telling him you had an incredibly erotic dream last night about you and another woman in whichever scenario you crave. See what reaction you get. It's pretty easy to move from here into a serious discussion.
Just because he's always joking about it doesn't mean he really wants to try it. Faced with it happening in reality, all sorts of fears creep in.
Suggest it by: pretending you saw a magazine story about threesomes and then ask, "What do you think of them?" If he doesn't react with horror, confess you'd like to try it, then talk about the reasons why it appeals, loading on the sexual compliments. If you decide to go ahead, always practise safe sex and make rules on what is and isn't allowed. Don't take being left out personally and always pay your partner more attention than the third person.
Acting out a role-play is relatively tame compared to swinging but it's still a dreaded scenario for many guys. The risk of humiliation is high because you both have to "act" and even if he's not shy, fears that he'll burst out laughing may plague him.
Suggest it by making a joke of it eg, "How about doctors and nurses?" Once you've let him know it doesn't have to be deadly serious, the chances are he'll come round to the idea.
Some men think it's degrading to spank their partner and it is if you don't ask for it but wanting them to spank you is quite another thing.
Suggest it by visiting a good sex shop or going online and buying a rubber whip but only if you're pretty confident he'll get a buzz from it.
Having phone sex/talking dirty
"The first time I talked dirty, the guy I was with lost his erection and told me I was a slut. Needless to say, I'm a little nervous suggesting it again even though I love it when guys do it to me." I get letters like this from women all the time and there's a common theme throughout: confusion. Like, he watches porn all the time and swears with his friends, why wouldn't he like talking dirty? What's going on?
The sort of men who react badly are usually traditional men, brought up in a household where sex was dirty and good girls definitely didn't. But even "normal" men sometimes find it difficult to hear very rude things coming out of their girlfriend's mouth.
Suggest it by: upping your moans and groans, then slipping in the odd swearword. If he seems to like it, start describing what's happening: "I'm watching you disappear inside me and that is so sexy." If you want him to talk dirty to you, follow this by whispering, "Tell me what you'd really like to do to me," in his ear.
Adapted from 'The Sex Doctor', by Tracey Cox (Transworld, 8.99)
Visit LoveHoney for relationship tips and advice from Tracey Cox. Every week, Tracey answers questions from visitors to the site.