Why Toys, Whips & Fancy Positions Aren’t Always The Answer (and what our vanilla sex life actually looks like)

by | Couples, Sexuality

There’s bit of a myth surrounding sex. (Actually, there’s many, but we’ll keep it simple for now)

A lot of people think that to have a fresh, exciting and passionate sex life, you always have to be trying new things. New positions, new toys, new outfits and new techniques.

Of course this is a fantastic way to breathe life into your sexual play. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it spices things up a little.

But chasing novelty isn’t the only answer to having a great sex life.

And for couples in a long-term relationship, not only is it exhausting, it often doesn’t work.

When ‘new’ and ‘novel’ are seen as essential ingredients for an exciting sex life, it creates the false idea that unless you’re always trying different things, your sex life must be boring and unfulfilling. (Hint: self-judgement never leads to a fulfilling sex life.)

Not only that, but the novelty myth can also have us looking for fulfilment in all the wrong places.

Too many couples go on a fruitless journey to revive their sex life with toys and role-playing and complicated Kama Sutra positions – and yet find it doesn’t really work for them and they can’t understand why.

Because it’s not necessarily the novelty itself that creates a great sex life – it’s the connection you create when you try new things.

The excitement, the thrill and even the nerves of trying something different creates a shared experience between you. It’s vulnerable, and as Brené Brown so eloquently puts it, “vulnerability is where intimacy happens.”

Yes, there’s a wealth of pleasure and play and fun to be hard experimenting with different toys and positions. Even sex parties and elaborate fantasies. But it’s not for everyone. And that’s OK.

If it’s intimacy you’re looking for, novelty isn’t the only way to create it.

The truth is, it’s less about what you’re doing, and more about who you’re being – how you’re showing up, what energy you bring to your sexual play and how intimate and real you can get with each other.

Your sex life doesn’t need to look a certain way – it only needs to work for you, your partner and your relationship.


What Our Sex Life Looks Like

As sex coaches, there’s a lot of assumptions about what our sex life looks like.

For a start, people think we have a lot more sex than we actually do. And I’m pretty sure the type of sex people think we have is way off the mark too.

In fact, to most people, our sex life probably sounds a little vanilla.

For Reece and I, sex follows a pretty predictable pattern most of the time.

There’ll be some kind of initiation – something we both make sure we do. Whether it’s a specific time we’ve agreed to, or a gentle invitation from one of us in the moment – “Would you like to play?” – this is usually verbal, so that we’re really clear and on the same page. (Pro tip – leaving your partner to interpret subtle initiation cues usually leads to miscommunication and disappointment. Take the guesswork out and make it clear!).

Then there’ll be our warm up – kissing, which can sometimes be a little clunky at first, but we stay with it until passion and heat starts to build. After a few minutes of playful, passionate kissing, we’re usually feeling fired up, connected and in deep want for each other.

As it feels right, hands will start to wander, exploring our bodies so we both feel turned on and completely activated. Before we touch each other’s genitals, there’s always a check in – “Can I touch you?” Consent and permission is an important part of keeping trust and safety between us. We move as fast as the slowest parts of ourselves.


Redefining Foreplay

Next comes a variety of different ‘foreplays’. I use this in inverted commas because the idea that foreplay is only the thing that comes before penetrative sex is really limiting. Some of our hottest sexual escapades have been made up exclusively of foreplay – no penetrative sex at all. In fact, to me, it’s all Sex. From kissing to manual play to penetration, it’s all sexual intimacy and connection – which is the whole damn point.

Anyway, I digress.

For us, ‘foreplay’ can be anything from manual stimulation, oral sex, passionate ‘dry-humping’ (SO underrated), kissing or masturbation.

Often, this is all we do, for anywhere between 30min to an hour and a half – until I just can’t handle any more orgasms, or it draws to a natural close. We follow the energy – there’s usually a natural slowing and completion.

But if we do move into conventional ‘sex’ (as in penis-in-vagina, old school way of defining sex) it’s only after we’re both well and truly warmed up (again, we’re communicating the whole time). There’s usually only 4 or 5 positions that we use – there’s some variations here and there, but mostly we stick to our favourites.

And that’s pretty much it. We’ll vary between positions, maybe move back into ‘foreplay’ (see why this word is so limiting? Often it’s happening before, during and after. Often it’s the main course. This is why we just refer to all of it as Sex. No hierarchy – only pleasure, play and connection) and that’s our whole repertoire.

There’s no whips or blindfolds. No toys or accessories. No third person, no sex parties and no tantric rituals. (There’s of course nothing wrong with any of this, and we have been known to use some props here and there, but for the most part, these things just aren’t our flavour. At least not right now anyway).


It’s Not About the WHAT

So this is where it gets harder to describe.

Whilst my cut and dry description of our vanilla sex life might make it sound pretty plain, it’s anything but.

How our simple repertoire FEELS to us is challenging to put words to.

Sometimes it’s passionate, hot and fiery.

Other times it’s gentle, tender and soft.

Sometimes it’s fierce, raw and primal.

Other times it’s slow, subtle and cosmic.

Sometimes we’re working through some emotional shit, so there’s tears and heaviness.

Other times, we laugh and play and are filled with lightness.

But no matter the tone, it always leaves us feeling closer to one another. Connected. That we’ve shared something together – pleasure, bliss, love, release, tears – or at the very least, that we’ve witnessed and held one another in a way that no one else can or does.

What I’m trying to say here is that it doesn’t matter what your sex life looks like. You’re not boring because you don’t have all the bells and whistles. If vanilla is your favourite flavour, that’s totally freakin’ awesome. If you’re all about chocolate and raspberry swirl, rock that shit too. If you like sampling ALL the flavours, then hell yes to you.

What matters is you’re satisfied.

What matters is that your sex life FEELS the way you want it to feel.

What matters is that you’re not comparing your sex life to someone else’s and judging yourself based on what you think you should be doing.

Here’s what matters most about your sex life.

Does it make you feel more intimate with yourself and your partner?

Does it nourish your relationship?

Does it energise, excite you and revive you?

Yes? Perfect. Keep doing whatever you’re doing.

If not, then maybe something needs to change.

Maybe that will mean a visit to the sex shop and an array of new toys.

Or maybe it will mean learning how to go deeper sexually with your partner, and with yourself.

Just be careful that you don’t go looking for fulfilment in all the external places, when really it’s the two of you that need to make satisfaction happen.

Because once you’ve got that connected sex sorted, all the rest is just caramel sauce and sprinkles.


If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired in your sex life, let’s have a chat. We help couples to re-ignite the passion in their relationship, and to create the deeply connected and intimate sex life they’re looking for.