Columns / Discourse / February 12, 2020

Pillowtalk: less work, more play

Hey Pillowtalk,


I’ve been in a relationship for a while now and our sex hasn’t gotten boring, but it seems like we take ourselves too seriously sometimes. I’ve always seen sex as something that’s supposed to be “hot” and stuff, and of course it feels good and I enjoy it, it’s just not much fun I guess. How do we make it more enjoyable?


Sex is what you make of it: it can be a job, it can be a chore, it can be a bonding activity, it can be important or it can be casual. Most overlooked in the general narrative, though, is that sex can be play! It doesn’t have to be this super hot, super passionate activity. You can just decide to do it, and decide to do it for however long you want and including whatever activities and positions you want.

My biggest piece of advice is to get over the fear of messing up. Let yourself be clumsy! Let yourself make weird, silly noises and say the strange, unrelated things that pop into your head while you have sex. Make jokes! Laugh! Kiss in weird ways. Keep your tongue in their mouth for too long.

So much pressure is removed when you start thinking of sex as a fun activity to do when you’re hanging out, instead of forcing it to occupy this special category of experience. Yeah, sex can be special, monumental, magical, spontaneous, hot and sexy – that doesn’t mean it can’t also be fun and silly and playful!

The more comfortable you are with a person, the easier this will get. However, a lot of people lose touch with “play” as they get older, or reserve it for specific relationships or settings. Maybe you only really play when you’re drunk, or hanging out with your best friend, or at home with your younger siblings. Change this first! Everyone needs to play. It’s incredibly good for you. I could go on and on about the importance of play, and how you should schedule it into your life and seek it in your relationships. If you can’t play with your partner, your sex isn’t going to be very fun. Try a snowball fight, or a wrestling match, or a board game!

Besides play, you need a few other tools in your sex toolbox. You have to be comfortable with your body and your partner’s body, to an extent. It’s hard to have fun in sex if you’re worried about queefing or pimples or farting or cellulite. If you can’t ignore it, laugh at it! Bodies are beautiful AND funny.

You also have to be willing to talk about sex with your partner. To joke about sex during sex, you should be able to talk about it without joking, too. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t take sex too seriously! Just ask for oral. Propose anal. Tell them that they have a skin tag. Compliment their genitals. Compare your nipple colors. Make bodies and sex a part of your normal conversations with your partner.

So, my advice to you is just to start to play. Have this conversation with your partner! Let this be practice for talking about sex. Keep these skills for the rest of your life! Let them translate to other relationships. Incorporate play into your life in general; it will make everything a little more fun.


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Elleri Scriver

Tags:  advice relationships sex sexual arousal sexual relationships

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