The early days
After dinner with his parents, Jack and I decided to walk around the local college campus. It was one of those early spring evenings with the humidity and scents to remind you that summer is around the corner.
Our relationship was new and very exciting. After a few months of persistence, Jack got me to agree to monogamy which is exceedingly funny considering where we are now.
Jack gave me a tour of the campus where he attended lectures and poured over homework while trying to raise three children on his own.
He wanted to show me the theater, and the grand piano he’d always coveted. We slipped in the side door that was propped open for the cleaning crew and made our way to the stage.
Jack climbed up the stage and sat at the ivory keys. The melody of Moonlight Sonata echoed off the theater walls and filled the space with liquid romance.
I left my seat in the theater, feeling a need to dance on the stage as he played. I kicked off my heels and pirouetted across the hardwood. When the music trailed off I landed, breathless, in Jack’s arms.
He lifted me and placed me on the keys as he kissed me. Worried that the strange notes would alert the cleaning crew, we scurried into the seats. There, in the dark, we made love without speaking.
On our way out of the theater, we passed through the dining hall, vacant and closed for the night. I raised an eyebrow before lifting myself into a table. Jack took the cue and teased me to orgasm. The sound of footsteps had us racing back outside into a light rain shower. I can still hear the harmony of our laughter from that night.
Life gets in the way, if you let it
Our early relationship was full of playful, lustful humor. At some point along the way fertility treatments and the demands of five children, one a newborn robbed us of some of that. We aren’t alone, many couples report waning sexual desire when tiny humans infiltrate their home.
Experts caution that while a phenomenal sex life won’t save an unhealthy relationship, terrible sex life can break a loving one. Sharing sexual intimacy is more than just intercourse, and ensuring that you keep playful behavior in your repertoire is vital.
Eventually, we realized that the survival of our relationship depended on us finding our playful sexual side again. Perhaps that’s one reason we began experimenting with non-monogamy. Engaging in erotic play with other partners revs us up for weeks, or even months afterward.
Now that we are an old married couple our hikes usually involve at least one of our small humans, but when we are able to sneak out on our own thanks to a random day off, or a babysitter, we always search for a secluded spot, just off the trail to fool around.
Sometimes we fantasize that someone will happen upon us in our lustful embrace. As exhibitionists, that idea only fuels our fire. We’d welcome a few observers, and perhaps even some light contact. Sure, we could get caught, but I’m fairly certain we could handle any ill effects. Besides, the risk is part of the excitement.
Playfulness will keep you connected
These days our playfulness takes many forms. We may have a vanilla date where we dance like fools to a bad cover band, or find a swinger party and dance naked around a stripper pole. Some of our favorite dates involve playing Cards Against Humanity with a group of random strangers and winking at each other across the table.
When Hubby and I haven’t had an opportunity to be playful with one another, our relationship suffers. Humor is all about connection, and shared experiences. Relationships lacking humor are a breeding ground for resentment. Resentment is not sexy.
When I say humor, it’s important to understand that I don’t mean teasing or sarcasm. Neither comes from a place of love and care. Many people have a fear of being laughed at, so this type of behavior can cause them to shut down and hide vulnerability. When a man makes fun of his wife in a swinger setting it is an instant turn off for me. We should be building our partners up, and sexual teasing is some of the worst kind.
May Soo of Sec Positive Psychology recommends that couples engage in sexual playfulness in order to spark sexual desire which can wane if couples fall into a routine of intercourse as the only sexual activity.
Sexual playfulness is different than sex, and can make sex even more explosive. The idea is to include innuendo, connection, and even overt sexual touching throughout the day. This will look different in every relationship.
For Hubby and I, our sexual playfulness includes:
- Dancing in the kitchen (90’s R&B is perfect for this). This usually ends with our children running in and demanding to dance with us.
- Sexy hikes where we look for spots to sneak off (even if we don’t use them).
- Sending dirty photos or memes throughout the day.
- Referring to sex as gardening in from of our children. The code words allow us to be flirty, without embarrassing the littles.
- Sensual touch when sharing the same space (cooking dinner, etc.).
The list isn’t exhaustive, but you get the idea. We find ways to let each other know that we desire them, and that there is playtime on the horizon.
I know many women who lament that they don’t enjoy being groped by their husbands. I encourage them to discuss what they do find appealing with their partners. The goal is eroticism and connection, and sometimes we have to speak up and ask for what we want.
Perhaps you don’t like you ass grabbed while you make dinner but you love the feeling of a soft kiss against your neck. We are all in control of our own sexual pleasure, so if your spouse is approaching you in the wrong way, only you have the power to correct it. Work together to find your playful side, and then keep playing.
“We don’t stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing.”
- George Bernard Shaw