I was at a local coffee shop and saw the cutest old couple sipping their coffee and staring lovingly into each other’s eyes. As I sat with my coffee and watched as they were deeply engaged in conversation and focused on each other. I thought to myself, these two are clearly still enamored with each other after what may be 20, 30 or even 40 years of marriage. I thought up names for this couple and I thought up the backstory of how they met, how many kids they had and what they did for a living prior to retirement. The man got up to use the restroom and the woman looked over at me, caught my stare and we exchanged smiles. I feel like we see fewer smiles since our faces are covered with masks due to COVID (I feel like the preceding sentence will date this blog in about a year. Note to future self, remove that sentence in a year to keep this blog relevant. Sorry my A.D.D. flared up for a moment there.) So me being who I am, I decided to walk over and ask this sweet lady the secret to a long and happy relationship.
I smiled and said, the two of you look so happy. What is your secret? She smiled and replied that they play like they are teenagers and she said that her husband is her best friend. I let out an audible aww and she smiled at me. I asked how long they had been married and she told me they had been married four wonderful years. Not at all the narrative that I had created in my head. By her response, I knew that she caught the puzzled look on my face. She said that this was her second husband and they both had lost their spouses. As I started to say an obligatory “I’m sorry”, she waved her hand to dismiss my obligation and told me that they both wanted to just enjoy what time they have left. They found each other and decided to have a good time and be silly and fun together. I thanked her, smiled and walked back to my table as her husband returned from the restroom.
As I sat there, sipping my seven dollar macchiato, I played that conversation back and it made me think about the relationship at play blog that I wrote several years ago. This lovely woman’s statement made me want to revisit that blog. What I read into our brief conversation is that she was probably married to her late husband for a few decades and raised a few children together. At some point they lost the spark and their marriage became transactional and mundane. They stayed together because that’s just what you do. His passing, while clearly devastating for her caused her to get back out there and it re-lit a fire of passion and excitement in her.
The previous blog I referenced discussed being playful, spontaneous and filled with loving teasing. In the last year, I think we’ve all come to realize just how fragile life can be. We take everything so seriously and our lives or our partner’s lives can be taken from us without warning. I am not trying to be a downer but I am trying to cast a veil of “don’t take it too seriously” across everything in life. Will it matter in 5 years? No? Then don’t sweat it!
Our time with our partner is too short already. Once we find someone that truly “gets us” and is worthy of our time and commitment, make the best of your time with your person. Kev is defiantly my person and my best friend. We joke, we play and for the most part we are devoid of any real drama. When I do something that upsets him, he is great about communicating. When he does something that upsets me, I do my very best to tell him right away. Communication is the key to a successful relationship but a close second is play.
A playful mentality is casting aside cares of what other people think and doing silly things anyway. Being playful takes the drudgery of a trip to the supermarket and makes it fun. Just the other day, I went shopping with Kev and he rolled a soup can down the entire length of the supermarket aisle to me. An employee passed by and laughed at us as I picked the soup up and set it in my shopping trolley (I said trolley for the benefit of our UK readers) this clearly brought laughter to his day as well. Joy and laughter are infectious and they impact those around you.
This blog is about evolving a relationship into something that brings everyone joy. Playfulness and happiness are the source of joy. When people look back at their relationships, they think of those playful, adventurous and happy moments. Feeling like your relationship is stale? Challenge yourself to do something new and exciting together. Take dancing lessons, sign up for a yoga class or maybe take cooking lessons. What about sexual experiences? With the hormonal impact that sex has on our lives, this one can’t be understated. I dedicated this entire site to being sexually playful with each other. Locking your husband’s penis in a cage? Are you fucking kidding me? If you can do that with a straight face, you are taking yourself way too seriously. What about pegging? Does it get any sillier than strapping on a fake dick and fucking your partner with it? What about sex in general. People bouncing on each other, grunting and moaning until the man shoot something out of him and into the woman while they make funny faces at each other. This clip from the movie Dogma is a great reminder about how silly our lovemaking can be. If your sex is sometimes silly and awkward, don’t try and fix it. It is impossible to be silly and awkward without a smile on your face.
A playful disposition removes the two absolute worst traits of humans in our society; entitlement and narcissism. You want some proof that play is good for your relationship? Here are a few articles about the topic, I found the last one to be pretty fascinating. If you have the the time, take a moment to at least scroll to the bottom and read the conclusion.
Playfulness in romantic relationships was predicted to be positively associated with the experience of positive emotion. Positive emotion, in turn, was predicted to be associated with relationship satisfaction.Antecedents and Consequences of Adult Play in Romantic Relationships
…good convergence with potential relationship-strengthening positive behaviors (the core of a playful lover). Men and women high in Eros rated their partner high in global, Other-directed and Intellectual playfulness.Beyond the ludic lover: Individual differences in playfulness and love styles in heterosexual relationships.
The literature suggests that playfulness facilitates the experience of positive emotions, relates to potential biological processes, and how people communicate and interact with others (i.e., social skills such as dealing with stress by seeking social companionship and surprising others in daily interactions). We assume that individuals’ playfulness affects the partner and the couple as an interdependent unit as well; for example, by contributing to RS, reducing conflict (e.g., by solving interpersonal tension) and monotony (e.g., by engaging in an active and fulfilling sexual life), and building trust with the partner.Adult playfulness and relationship satisfaction: An APIM analysis of romantic couples
So where do we go from here?
Don’t take sex or relationships too seriously. Our bodies are silly, the silly toots we make when we fart are silly. Take the time to be confident and playful. Be open minded enough to see your relationship for what it is; a chemical reaction and familiarity and agreement to partner. Play with your biology and gamify anything that you can. For example, I’ve found that locking my partner’s penis in a cage changes his subconscious focus to be on pleasing his partner. I’ve found that strapping on a silly rubber penis and penetrating my partner opens his mind to intimacy and creates emotions around sex that have never existed for him.
Make time for sex.
Sex is essential for keeping that bond and keeping a constant playfulness alive in the relationship. If sex dies, the tone of playfulness dies with it. My definition of sex is VERY broad, however. It doesn’t need to be the normal grunty thrusty penetratey that can get monotonous and boring with time. Sex is everything from locking his cock up for a week and teasing him a few times a day to keep his hormonal levels high to poking some fun of his little willy.
Lock up his weenie!
Male chastity is a great way to disrupt the traditional relationship dynamic and keep your sex life fresh. Not only is it empowering to be in control but wearing a key anklet or bracelet is a great way to get his hormones racing every time you jingle your keys. I can’t overstate the allure of having a naughty little inside joke. You will notice a shift in his desire to please within a day or two and his ability to communicate his emotions will follow within a week or two. Male chastity is a great way to keep the teasing and fun alive.
His penis is SOO small!
Tease him about the size of his penis! Why on earth would you do this? Creating an emotional response manipulates his hormonal levels by poking at his insecurities. Whether valid or not, men are incredibly self conscious about the size of their little guy. This creates uncertainty and anxiety and threatens you, his sexual supply. Our society equates size with virility when the fact of the matter is – many of us don’t want a big honkin’ thing. All you have to do is hold his penis in your hand and make a few jokes about size and you will see exactly what I mean. Little will boost his testosterone and arousal more quickly than a few nicely placed comments said in good fun (of course).
Penetrate him with a strap-on dildo!
Flipping the script on sex allows him to accept vulnerability as a part of sex. Since we first became sexually active, vulnerability is an essential part of sex for us. Sex is about accepting something inside our bodies and not inserting our bodies into someone else. From the first time he experiences sex as a receiving experience, it will be a mind blowing experience. It took me a couple times to warm up to pegging because it is so foreign and weird but once I got the hang of it, I now absolutely love it. To give you an idea, pegging is more frequent in our household than PiV sex. I wrote about how it makes me feel and I must say; the feeling is addictive!
I coined the phrase poly-friending because I don’t like the other terms out there. To me, a poly-friend is basically a friend with benefits for a woman in a partnered relationship. This is a guy whom she has chemistry and some sort of a physical connection with. This can be kissing, cuddling, making out and more. Your partner can be present or your partner can stay home and allow you alone time. I personally think that having your partner present is better in that he experiences compersion as you flirt and unlock your flirty and sexual side for another person. I should be very clear that many women do not need a sexual relationship to get much of the benefits of having a secondary relationship. A relationship limited to innuendo and flirting is perfectly fine and never needs to progress any further.
Just enjoy the connections that you are able to experience! Open your mind to understand that our society’s strict expectation of monogamy is malformed and outdated. It is unwise and unfair to expect that one person can be the complete source of your mental and sexual satisfaction, stimulation and excitement. Do you feel chemistry with someone? Discuss this with your partner and consider a very real possibility of stepping out and exploring that chemistry for a moment.
Sex creates a bond
Sex creates, reinforces and maintains connections and intimacy with a partner. Sexual play is reflected in a tone of playfulness in your relationship. If you have sex with your partner, you directly reinforce that intimate connection with your partner. If you have sex with another, discuss and enjoy this connection with your partner. Communicate the feelings that you experienced. Talk about the things that you liked and the things that you disliked. This one is will probably be controversial, but tactfully compare the experience with your lover to that of your partner. If he was bigger, smaller, faster, slower, fatter, skinnier, taller, shorter; don’t shy away from that conversation. That was all part of your experience and part of the communication that you should have about it.
The opposite of play is work
If you aren’t playing, your relationship is by definition going to be work. How long will you feel satisfied in a relationship that is work? Many women find that maintaining frequent sexual activity in a long term relationship to be work. I would argue that this is because they don’t do enough to make it exciting and fun. Tease your partner, poke his emotions and provoke the unexpected or uncomfortable. It is only with discomfort that we grow as individuals and together as a couple.
Our desire for sex will ebb and flow, keeping other sexually playful options on the table and ensuring that you are sexually active with your partner is essential. How frequent should you do something sexual? This is entirely dependent on the couple but if I am not doing something sexually playful at least a few times a week, neither of us feels truly connected. Just don’t take it all so seriously, alright?