Jennifer: Don’t see things that don’t work as failures, see them as experiments. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we just say “meh, tried that once, don’t need to do it again” and sometimes we say “ow, never mind” and go with something tried and true. Your 30% of what works for you is going to be different than our 30% of what works for us. Also, things change over time…things that weren’t in our 30% ten years ago are there now, and things that used to be there are not enjoyable any more.
Reader: Athol, you said ” Only about 30% of what you try in the bedroom together will work for you as a couple.” You’ve said this before, IIRC. Two questions.
1 Where does this number come from? Is it a rule of thumb or is it more research-derived?
2 Does it actually mean that one woman in three will do pretty much anything and the other two will do missionary only?!
Right, I’ll get my coat… ;_)
Athol: The figure of 30% is based on the personal experience of Jennifer and myself. We’ve found that an awful lot of things that sound good, simply don’t work for us when we try them in reality. It’s just as simple as “Ahh… I don’t bend that way” for some things. Half the toys we’ve tried over the years got used once and tossed.
I know you all imagine Jennifer and I drenched in each others juices in a sweaty rythymic choreography each night, but some nights it really is exactly like this when I get a really good idea…
There’s also some things that we do as a couple that simply won’t work for many other couples. For example I’m 6′ tall and fairly sizable, while Jennifer is 5′ and fairly petite, so one position we like is a rear entry position with me lying on my back and Jennifer lying on top of me with her back on my chest. If Jennifer was 5’10” and fifty pounds heavier, it wouldn’t work for us as a position. It’s a great position in that it’s really intense, but even with her so much smaller than me, as soon as I orgasm the “erotic intensity” immediately turns into “bitch get off me”. There’s a sort of a 1-2-3 move where I orgasm,
dump her ass on her side of the bed gently roll her off me, and take a huge breath of air.
So the 30% figure is quite real to us as quite a lot of what we’ve tried in bed hasn’t worked for us. Somethings only work once as well. The first time is really good, and then the second time it’s just all kinda meh.
The 30% is important in that I think it’s very helpful and encouraging to couples starting out with widening the things they do, to think that it’s okay to have sexual failures. Most people have so much invested in sex that even a tiny handful of sexual failures can be viewed as a significant problem. The reality is pretty much everyone starts out pretty damn awful at having sex, and it’s only with practice and trying out stuff that you get better and better.
Trying out new sexual things is like batting in baseball. You hope that you’re going to hit a home run, but most times you aren’t even going to get a clean hit that gets you to first base. If you quit after a few strike outs, you’re not understanding the game. But if you just keep getting up to bat enough, at the end of the season you should have a decent record.
Or if makes you feel better… a symbolic interactionist based seventeen year longitudinal study involving the mating practices of a bonded dyad determined up to 70% of all novel breeding methodolgies initated by the male met with negative levels of reported enjoyment. This lack of enjoyment was slightly more typically reported by the female than the male.
So anyway, make a bucket list and just start trying new stuff out together. If it doesn’t work, laugh about it. If it works, you’ve found something new to do together that’s exciting and fun!