Learn from Me: Sex Stuff Women Didn't Expect to Like

By Romance Recovery's Johanna Lyman for GalTime.com

What women didn't expect to like...What women didn't expect to like...I'm a pretty adventurous person, and I've done a lot of sexual experimentation over the years. It takes a fair amount of sexual variety to keep the spark alive in a long-term relationship, and I'm approaching 26 years with the same man. The question is: How can you find out different ways to increase your sexual repertoire? And how do you know what you'll like?

The truth is, you can't always know what you'll like before you try it. The brain is funny like that, and the neural pathways of pleasure aren't always easily understandable. You'll just have to try things out, keep the ones you like and drop the ones that don't do it for you.

I took an informal poll of my friends, many of whom are sex or relationship coaches, sex educators, and generally adventurous women. Here are the things they've tried and enjoyed, despite some initial reservations.

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Bondage Bondage 1. Bondage, part one. Being tied up is not something I would have thought would be a turn-on. I like being in charge and in control. And, as it happens, that's one way to tell if something will be a turn-on. If it's the opposite of what you do and how you are in life, it will most likely lead to erotic excitement. It's the thrill of novelty that gets the imagination racing. Try getting tied up with something soft, like a tie or a silk scarf. If you like that, you can move onto restraints that are a little more difficult to get out of.

2. Bondage, part two. Being the dominant in bondage play. Being the dom means that not only do you get to boss your partner around, but you get to dress up to do it (if you want to). Don a pair of black heels, the higher the better, and a black dress, the shorter the better. Pull your hair back into a tight bun and put on your brightest red lipstick. All of these are just for visual effect, of course, but since men are visual creatures, it's worth the extra effort. You can play it however you want: tie him up, strap him down, or just tell him exactly what- (and what not) to do. If he's a man who is in charge at work, he'll love the role reversal.

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3. Watching pornography. One of my friends, a self-professed ardent feminist, was surprised when she was turned on watching pornography with her boyfriend. "It was just raw, hard, "take me" sex, and we never do it that way. It's not that I want him to treat me like that, but I have to admit, it was a turn on to watch it." After her first experience, she was willing to explore a little more. Eventually, they found a few films they both liked and have included them in their sexual play. She revealed to me, "Some of the soft core films are made with women in mind. They're really sexy and erotic, and they've given us some great ideas to work with."

4. Another friend revealed this surprise: "For my birthday I received a double strap on. It was awesome to be on the reverse side of things and so hot to be pleasured while giving pleasure." Surely a double strap on isn't a beginner's toy, but it's an interesting idea for an adventurous couple.

5. A third friend said, "I never thought there would be things I didn't like, sexually speaking. I have tried quite a bit and I am open. Specifically, though, I am intrigued that I like hair pulling, spanking and biting as much as I do. I also like being tied, blindfolded, etc. I am not opposed to light pressure on my neck, which I am surprised by." This is another example of rough play or bondage inspired sex. There is almost no end to the ways you can explore if you're open to playing with your boundaries. The only real rule is to know what your uncrossable boundaries, or "hard limits" are, and to clearly state them before engaging in any sexual play.

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6. Then there are the cultural taboos we have about age and gender. One woman pushed both boundaries at once. "I connected with an older woman (I was 33 and she was 49) for a fling. It had elements of taboo (she was my instructor at one point) and she wined and dined me literally and figuratively, taking me out to new places and events that really were life-expanding. For example, it was the first time I went to a gay pride march and tried sushi. In a sense, I remember feeling some relief in relying on my partner to guide the relationship in a way that I had never before (and probably not after) experienced with anyone else.

7. For those of you wondering if it would be fun to be a cougar, the overwhelming answer seems to be "yes." For this woman, being with a younger man (she was 35, he was 24) "was meant to be a fling but ended up being 2-1/2 year relationship. It was "love/lust at first sight" and we had a powerful intellectual and flirtatious connection of speaking and relating to one another almost as poetry. That led to a dance of who was initiating that was refreshing for me. It felt like incredible chemistry and intensity and was reinforced by a high energy time for both of us. I also got affirmation and validation from being the much "more experienced" of the two of us. In the bedroom, we were soulmates." Even though it ultimately didn't work out, it was a heady experience for her. Several of my friends and colleagues agree that being a cougar can be an empowering experience for women

Ready to confess? What have you tried in the bedroom (or bathroom or car) that you didn't expect to get into so much?

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