“One has to do something new to see something new.—George Lichtenberg

vanilla sex

“My spouse is very vanilla. How can I encourage them to try new things in the bedroom?” 

You’re not alone if you’ve wondered this before. In fact, this question came straight from the ONE Family. And when one couple has this question, there are often many others who feel the same way. 

“Vanilla” sex typically refers to sexual acts that are ordinary. 

Some people view “vanilla” sex as unadventurous or lacking excitement. For others, “vanilla” sex works for them—and they really enjoy it. 

If you prefer “vanilla” sex, that’s great. 

But if you’re interested in adding a few sprinkles or changing up the flavor, there are some tips to help you have a successful conversation with your spouse. 

First, you must engage your emotional intimacy and talk to your spouse. 

Reflect on how you define “vanilla.” What does that word mean to the two of you? Does it describe your sexual intimacy? If so, are you both satisfied with this approach or would you like to adjust something?

During your conversation, it’s important to remember that you and your spouse likely view sex differently. This is because of your upbringing, past experiences, mental or emotional roadblocks, and so on. 

The idea of “vanilla” sex might look very different for one of you than the other. Understanding where your spouse is coming from is key to moving forward.

The more conservative spouse might not feel comfortable making massive changes right away. But they might be willing to try minor adjustments. 

Think of it like adding a few sprinkles to your vanilla ice cream. 

You might not want to jump straight into a sex challenge, but you could try opening your eyes during sex

Using blindfolds or tie-ups might seem overwhelming, but a small wedge or ramp during foreplay could feel less intimidating. 

Remember that breaking out of “vanilla” sex doesn’t necessarily just happen. You’ll have to discuss the changes you want to make. 

Ideally, do this somewhere other than your bedroom. And have the conversation in its own time—not in the heat of the moment. 

The ideas you discuss with your spouse will be as unique as your marriage. However, couples in the ONE Family have a few suggestions: 

Now, if this seems difficult at first, that’s normal. Talking about sex requires vulnerability. As with anything in marriage, it’s a process. You will have to develop these communication skills. 

So, if the conversation doesn’t feel natural, don’t worry. You’ll become more comfortable with time and practice. 

Patience is also crucial. A conservative spouse’s comfort level can grow as you build trust, have more conversations, and strengthen your emotional intimacy. 

Developing sexual intimacy with your spouse is a lifelong pursuit. 

As you go through different seasons, your preferences may change. Your spouse might not even realize that sexual intimacy is part of The 6 Pillars of Intimacy®. (If they don’t, that’s an excellent place to start!) 

Ultimately, your marriage requires flexibility and teamwork, especially as you build your Sexual Intimacy Pillar. When you start small and add just a few sprinkles, your sex life can flourish. 


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