Here's the situation- you want to try something in the bedroom, but you're not sure if your partner will be up for it. In a perfect world, you could simply ask them. Unfortunately, relationships rarely follow the "perfect world" ideal. We worry about our significant other's reaction.
Will they be upset? Will they feel threatened? Hurt? Embarrassed? Will they think we're sick perverts? Will they be so offended they decide to leave us?
All are legitimate fears.
Since it's unlikely all of us will go through the steps to assure we have a perfect relationship where we feel absolutely safe to express ourselves openly and honestly, there are "shortcuts."
When it comes to kinky sexual activities and determining our partner's willingness to partake, one great tool is what's known in psychology circles as a consensus scale. It works like this:
- You're given a list of items (in this case, sexual activities.)
- You rank each one using a five point scale to be discussed in a moment.
- You then discuss the answers with your significant other.
The five point scale is designed to assess agreeableness to activities, or how open you are to trying stuff. By rating agreeableness, you can then see how each other feels about any given activity.
In short, you'll know exactly what's on and off the table.
So the scale: For each activity, there are five possible choices:
- 5 - I would LOVE this and would jump at the opportunity to do it!
- 4 - I think I would like this and want to give it a try.
- 3 - I'm not sure how I feel about this but would like to discuss it.
- 2 - I'm pretty sure I would dislike this but may be willing to give it a try at least once.
- 1 - I do not want to do this activity.
For the list of activities, I would recommend making your own. I Googled "list of sexual activities" and found a few very good lists, including this one from cafemom.com, this list from mysexprofessor.com, and this list from guyspeed.com. If you really want to push their boundary (or make other items on the list seem more "normal") add items from this list.
Want an easier option? I'm in the process of compiling a list via Google Docs that's set up for this specific purpose. All you have to do is print out two copies, then each take the inventory. It can be found here:
The list isn't entirely comprehensive, so I could use some help. Look over the list. If there's something I should add, leave a comment on THIS post. It can be general or specific. I'll add it to the list ASAP.
Have fun with it!