Trying new things in bed
A comprehensive guide
Written by Jennifer Hanson
We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve been with your person for quite some time now, and things have gotten a little stale in the bedroom. Fear not! Whether you’re in the mood for something kinky, sensual or maybe a little brainy, there are always new things you can try in bed to spice things up and get your sex life back on track.
Since some of these new tricks might be a bit much at first, let’s start with the sensual side. Everyone can engage in these acts without feeling overwhelmed.
Sensual delights during intimacy
When it comes to the senses, there are so many different ways to stimulate your partner. After all, great sex is almost entirely based off of our ability to interact with all of our senses at once, so why not heighten the stimulation and make things even better?
The first sense that’s triggered for most people is sight. Since the majority of relationships are formed based on mutual attraction, this is a no-brainer. There are a few different things to try in bed in terms of immediate turn-ons. The first, and easiest, is sending racy photos. Almost everyone has a smartphone nowadays and getting naughty photos at an unexpected time can really get their heart racing.
Another thing that can be added to this equation: wearing lingerie. 89% of women have reported wearing lingerie to spice things up,1
so this can be in photos or in person, or both! Send them teaser photos and tell them you’ll have your sexy outfit on when they get home to add to the surprise.
If either you or your partner is prefers it, you might regularly have sex with the lights off. This is another great way to change things up. Seduce them in broad daylight if you both have the day off or catch them before they can turn off the light. Make them know that as part of your plan to try new things in bed you want to see what they’re doing to you and watch them get excited. Around 90% of both men and women have reported leaving the lights on for more adventurous sex.1
In the case that this is a bit much for your first try, lighting a few candles to set the mood is another milder option. This also adds an air of romance to the situation, and parts you might be self-conscious about can hide in the shadows.
Maybe it’s a night with your partner on the town and you want to entice them and let them know you’re ready to try new things in bed when you get home. This is a perfect time to find an outfit that flaunts your best features. You know what you and your partner like, so keep both of these preferences in mind and wear something that compliments both. Spend some time on yourself
before date night. You should feel like you can conquer the world, not to mention your partner’s lust!
Speaking of going out, you could always try going to a strip club or burlesque show to get both of your juices flowing. Just watching people take their clothes off in a sexy way can be enough of a turn on to make you unable to keep your hands off each other.
This one only works if you’re using protection: Instead of him rolling on a condom and making quick work of it, take things into your own hands and do it for him. Slow things down so he feels every movement and can’t wait to get back to business.
If you’re feeling risky and want to give your partner access in public, it’s always an option to go commando. Maybe give them a peek when you get up, or just give them a hint to make them imagine it. Either way, this is a cheeky way to make them think of you sans
underwear for a few hours and all of the new things you could both try in bed.
Maybe you’re going away to somewhere beautiful for the weekend. You have deluxe accommodations and know there’s going to be a killer view. Why not initiate a romp right in front of that view and make it a vivid memory? Exotic locales are as novel as it gets and studies have shown that partner novelty increases sexual function, desire, arousal and orgasm.2
Finally, take sight away all together. Blindfold your partner when you really want to drag out whatever they’re feeling. Make them feel every single touch, breath and kiss possible without seeing any of what you’re doing. By the end they’ll be wild with desire and ready for any other new things you want to try.
If you’ve tried some of the options above and want something a little different, dirty talking or making more noise when having sex might be the best thing. It doesn’t have to be overkill, even adding some heavy breathing or moaning into the mix can get both of you even more worked up.
It may seem intimidating, but dirty talk is an excellent way to try something new in bed. 63% of men report talking dirty to spice things up,1
so it has the potential to drive your man wild. There’s a myth that dirty talk is difficult or maybe you’ll say the wrong thing, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Start with observations about what your partner is doing well or right and go from there. That might be all they need to take over and help you out!
A simple way to delve into sensuality is to extend foreplay beforehand. The suggestions above are easy to try, but it’s seriously important; women are more likely to orgasm when sex includes multiple acts,3
and different regions of the brain are activated during nipple and genital stimulation respectively.4
The importance of foreplay really can’t be understated!
There’s also the option of giving your partner a massage or vice versa to heat things up. Skin-to-skin contact is one of the main components to sex, and sometimes just feeling their hands on you
elicits mental images of what’s going to happen next. Once the anticipation builds, there’s no limit to all the new things you can try in bed.
There are zones on the body that are known for being sensitive to stimulation: erogenous zones
. You probably know a few of these on your partner, so start with lavishing light touches and kisses on these areas during foreplay. Take your time and soon they’ll be begging for more!
Lastly, we’ve all been turned on and not had time to do anything about it. In the event this happens with your partner, don’t be afraid to make it a quickie. Maybe it wasn’t as long as you would’ve liked, but there’s something hot about walking around afterwards and knowing you just had spontaneous sex.
Use your brain (consciously)
Maybe sensuality is something you’re warming up to, and you’re thinking you might not be ready to initiate some of the ideas above. Or maybe you or your partner likes to use their head more than shutting it off. There are a few new things to try in bed that are totally perfect for this situation.
Sexy games are the first option for anyone who is hesitant to explore a feelings-based approach. As an example, have you and your partner write down some of your fantasies on index cards. Fold them up and pick them out of a bowl. It may surprise you what your partner is into! You can discuss whether these fantasies are worth pursuing in reality, but even if not, they make for some hot dirty talk that will keep both of you on your toes. There is evidence to show fantasizing heightens sexual experience
, so you stand to benefit either way.
Similar things can be achieved with sex dice
, or even discussing candidly
what new things you want to try with your partner. Being vulnerable is something to aim for with your partner, as the most rewarding relationships are open and honest. This can also extend to being spontaneous, and if your partner says something you also find sexy, grabbing them and letting them know about it in the moment.
Reading literotica is another way to boost your desire. Find a subject that’s hot to both of you and look for a story centered around that. Romance novels are also an option. Maybe you switch off reading and whoever has to stop first loses... or wins?
There’s also the option of role playing. As a stand-in for lingerie there are loads of sexy costumes out there, one of which is bound to get your partner going. A nurse or maid are both tried-and-true classics. Develop a story around whichever character you decide. An aspect of light punishment makes these fantasies all the more fulfilling. Sometimes trying new things in bed means doing a little acting, but it doesn’t have to be serious!
Lastly, let sex evolve. Especially if you plan on being with this person for a long time, the things that turn you on might change. Try to go with the flow and accept each person’s view on things even when your sex life may not stay as consistent as you’d like.
Sometimes you’re just feeling dirty and both of you are down to try anything. When the mood strikes, there is a spectrum of new kinky things to try in bed to get each other’s pulse racing.
If you’re not sure where to start, watching pornography with your partner is a way to ease into trying new things in bed. Whether you buy a video or find it on the internet, look for a type you both find sexy. You can talk about it while you’re watching, and when it gets to be too much, this is a great place to start dirty talking about it. Tell your partner when something specific turned you on and go from there.
When the mood strikes, a striptease or lap dance is something that can really spice things up in bed. Remember to take things slow. Remove pieces of clothing by barely moving them inch-by-inch off of your body. Make your partner watch as you put your assets in their face. Don’t allow them to touch you. This is all about anticipation and exciting them, so they remember how hot you are!
Obviously, part of knowing yourself sexually is knowing the best way to touch yourself. Use this to your advantage and let your partner find you touching yourself when you’re in the mood. Both for observations-sake and seeing you get into it will have them needing you quickly.
Another new thing to try in bed is incorporating toys into your escapades. This may be unfamiliar, but considering a whopping $15 billion per year is spent on sex toys,5
you won’t be alone. Turn your partner on by grabbing your vibrator and showing them how to use it on you. It’s also fantastic to use during sex for extra sensations both ways
Since clitoral stimulation is the most important stimulation for partners with vaginas,6
a vibrator is one of the best toys to use to help them achieve orgasm. However, vaginal orgasms are possible with the right stimulation.7
Other toys like handcuffs, nipple clamps, anal beads and butt plugs can enhance both of your experiences!
Speaking of anal play, butt plugs and the like are a terrific way to warm up to anal sex. This is a taboo subject for many, but it doesn’t need to be: 43% of men have reported trying insertive anal sex, and 37% of women have reported trying receptive anal sex over their lifetimes.8
As long as you take it slow and use a generous amount of lube it can be an orgasmic experience. This can start with your partner inserting a finger during foreplay or sex to see if you like it. If the answer is yes, graduate to anal beads or a small butt plug first.
If you’re enjoying this experience and are comfortable enough with a larger plug, anal sex is the next step. Make sure both of you are ready for it, and again, don’t be afraid to use more lube than you need. Read this handy guide to anal sex
too, to ease your mind and make sure your bases are covered. If this is something your partner has expressed interest in as well, strap-on dildos are an option to get the job done. Kinky stuff is all about comfort, so make sure there is a dialogue beforehand between you and your partner. This holds true for any more serious new thing you want to try in bed.
Trying rough sex with your partner is also something that should be discussed beforehand. It’s not for everyone and that’s okay! However, if it’s unexplored territory for either or both of you, it might be worth a try. An easy way to get into this is with spanking. Say you’re role playing a punishment scenario. What better way to have fun punishing someone than by spanking them? This can also easily be done during sex to gauge potential interest. Women’s pain threshold has been shown to increase during arousal,9
so it won’t sting as much as you might think.
Bondage is one possible next step after rough sex. It’s no fun if one person is in control every single time! Switch things up and take charge. Wear something that makes you feel sexy and empowered. Maybe this is where the handcuffs or whips come into play. Just make sure beforehand that you both understand each other’s limits, decide on a safe word, check in frequently and practice ongoing consent
Spicing things up is necessary in most relationships. Things will get dull at some point and need a restart. It’s up to you and your partner to figure out the best ways to do this. Be candid and find out what turns them on or try one of the above methods to gauge their reactions. You may be pleasantly surprised what your partner likes, and you’ll never know unless you try!
- Mark & Kerner (2013). Valentine's Day Survey. Good in Bed.
- “Role of Partner Novelty in Sexual Functioning: A Review.” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, vol. 41, 15 Sept. 2014,
- Arch Sex Behav. 2018 Jan;47(1):273-288. doi: 10.1007/s10508-017- 0939-z. Epub 2017 Feb 17.
- Komisaruk BR, Wise N, Frangos E, Liu WC, Allen K, Brody S. Women's clitoris, vagina, and cervix mapped on the sensory cortex: fMRI evidence. J Sex Med. 2011;8(10):2822–2830. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02388.x].
- Statistic Brain Research Institute, 2018.
- Tavares, Ines Margarida Matos. “The Relationship Between Sexual Stimulation and Female Orgasm: The Mediator and Moderator Roles of Psychological Variables.” University of Porto, 2016. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2014.958788.
- Jannini EA, Rubio-Casillas A, Whipple B, Buisson O, Komisaruk BR, and Brody S. Female orgasm(s): one, two, several. J Sex Med 2012; 9:956–965.
- Herbenick D, Bowling J, Fu T-C(Jane), Dodge B, Guerra-Reyes L, Sanders S (2017) Sexual diversity in the United States: Results from a nationally representative probability sample of adult women and men. PLoS ONE 12(7): e0181198. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181198
- King, B. E., & Alexander, G. M. (2000). Pain sensitivity and individual differences in self-reported sexual behavior. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 114(2), 193–199. https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7036.114.2.193