1. Limits. Unless you want to end up in a “50 Shades of OMG what are you doing?” situation, discuss boundaries. “While it’s possible to have a good experience trying something new with no communication, it’s also possible to have a big fail,” says Carol Queen, PhD, Staff Sexologist for Good Vibrations, an online sex toy shop. Determine what kinds of play you’re OK with before someone pulls out handcuffs. Also, choose a safe word, one unrelated to sex either of you can say to halt what’s happening. To start the limits conversation, exchange one idea each about something you’d like to experience. “Worst case: Your move stays a fantasy. Best case: There are two new options on your sexual menu,” says Dr. Queen.
2. Ruts. It can be easy to move into patterns in a sexual relationship, “especially if a couple starts out with little sex information or strong opinions about what ‘normal’ sex is, leading them to reject many erotic options,” says Dr. Queen. If your sexual playbook becomes staid, she suggests talking to a sex therapist or coach-or doing some reading. “Some books, like Hot Sex! Over 200 Things You Can Try Tonight, are made to be browsed together, giving you spicy ideas and info to boot,” says Dr. Queen.