Because NOBODY wants to be boring in bed! Tracey Cox reveals how to ask a vanilla lover to try something new – and how to be more adventurous if you’re a self-confessed prude

  • British sex expert Tracey Cox shares suggestions of hot new things to try in bed
  • She tells how to boost your sex-confidence if you’re nervous about new things 
  • She says you have to be positive and confident when asking for what you want

‘One of my most excruciating sex memories was me thinking I’d shake things up by wearing a corset and stockings and boots and surprising my (then) boyfriend in my new outfit,’ one woman confessed to me on Twitter.

‘I walked in, holding a whip and thinking I looked hot. He reacted by bursting out laughing. It took me years to work up the courage to initiate anything new with anyone after that.’

This is one reason why lots of people would rather have the same old sex – year in, year out – than suggest trying something more adventurous.

British sex expert Tracey Cox (pictured) has shared suggestions of hot new things to try in bed

Sharing our most intimate wishes and wants takes courage. No-one wants to be judged, rejected or ridiculed and all are possible in this scenario.

But there are ways to get what you want – hotter, more interesting and satisfying sex – with minimal risk to your pride and relationship.

Here’s how to ask for what you really want, some suggestions of hot new things to try – and how to boost your sex-confidence if you’re a little nervous about letting your wild side loose.


Bursting with sexy suggestions you’re longing to confess? Follow these guidelines and you won’t go too far wrong.

Always remember, just because it turns you on, doesn’t mean it’s going to make your partner shudder with delight.

One person’s wet dream is another’s wet blanket. Have a couple of suggestions, not just the one you’re dying to do.

Be positive and confident when asking for what you want: If you make a big deal about asking or look terrified once it’s out of your mouth, they’ll also think it’s a big deal. Say it confidently and casually and they’re far more likely to agree.

This is only possible if you truly believe it’s just harmless fun. If you’re secretly worried it’s slightly dodgy, slay your own personal demons first by finding out more information about it.


Being more adventurous doesn’t mean diving in the deep end and inviting your single friend, the one that’s in your ‘bubble’, over for a threesome. Start small and progress from there.

Here’s some simple suggestions of things that (might) be a little different from your norm to get you started.

Add a blindfold: You might think you know your lover’s moves inside out, but if you’re not sure what you’re getting, where and how, predictable turns startlingly sexy.

Film yourselves: Do a practise run (it’s harder than you think to get the angles right), then go for it. It’s as much about the thrill of filming than the end result.

Buy a portable, full-length mirror: Watch yourselves have intercourse from different angles. Position it so the person receiving oral sex, has a good view of what’s going on.

Masturbate in front of each other: It’s by far the best way to get what you want in bed – they get a ringside seat and can see exactly what speed, pressure and technique you use.

Use sex toys together: Tease toys – with one of you in control of arousing the other via a remote – are an easy way to add instant zap.

Spanking: A spot of slap and tickle is just what you need to shock each other out of so-so sex.

Anal stimulation: Most couples now include anal play in their sexual repertoire – for a reason. It’s just naughty enough and the anus is packed with nerve endings.

Talking dirty: Particularly effective if it’s done by the person who’s the least sweary.

Tie up games: If someone’s not sure how they’ll feel being tied up, hold their wrists together above their head with your hands during sex or instruct them to keep their hands behind their backs.

Role-playIt’s a great way to play out fantasies without the consequences of actually doing it. Invite a few vibrators and dildos into your bed, along with a blindfold and it feels like you’re having sex with more than one person.

Watch erotica together: If porn’s not your thing, read out the sexy bits in a classic novel like Lady Chatterley’s Lover or go online and check out some audio porn.

Get him to wear your knickers: Even a trip to the supermarket becomes edged with excitement when you both share a wicked secret.

Do it in places you normally wouldn’t: The kitchen, the bathroom, on the stairs. Yes, even the loo!

Be clear about what you want: Is this a one-time experience or do you want it to be a regular part of your sex life? Most people can cope with doing ‘kinky’ things consistently but irregularly, few want to do it every single session.

Talk it through: Asking someone to try something new can make people feel insecure. They think: ‘Why am I not enough anymore?’, ‘Does this mean they don’t enjoy ‘normal’ sex?’.

If they say no to your request, it often leaves them feeling unadventurous, prudish and deeply unsexy. (Or they think you’re a complete weirdo and start to worry whether you’re safe to leave with the children.)

Talking about the reasons why it appeals, tactfully and laced with loads of sexual compliments reassuring them they’re still sexy, often fixes the problem.

Are they saying no to this particular act or anything new?

Could be they’re feeling insecure about your feelings for them or angry and withholding sex as punishment for you not fulfilling other needs. Also ask if anything happened in their past which puts them off doing what you’re suggesting now.

Don’t trick them into doing something they don’t want to: Tying someone up, saying ‘Aha! Now I’ve got you!’ and bringing in the sex worker you’ve got hidden in the bedroom, is also not wise if you’re planning on making that next wedding anniversary.

Similarly, don’t make veiled threats to leave or get ‘it’ elsewhere if they don’t comply. This is absolutely unacceptable.

If your partner won’t be persuaded, I’d suggest you accept defeat graciously and suggest an alternative. If you honestly think you can’t be true to yourself unless you have this new experience on a regular basis, leave in search of someone who wants what you do.

Men are often the most threatened, so make it ‘his idea’: There’s a perception that women are the ones who react with horror if their partner confesses a desire to do dark, dirty deeds. In reality, it’s often men who are most threatened.

You asking him to up the erotic ante means you’re reversing the traditional sexual roles – him pushing you to be more sexually adventurous – which some men still find emasculating.

Get around this by making it his idea. Any good negotiator will tell you someone is far more open to doing something if they think the idea came from them.

 ‘Remember you said you’d always wanted to try a tie-up game? Why don’t we do it now.’ (Most people can’t remember what they said yesterday, let alone years ago.)

Also make it clear you’ve only ever wanted to do it with him. (His first thought will be ‘Has she already done this with someone else?’). Say you’re suggesting it because you trust him, you know you won’t be judged and he’s made you feel so good about yourself, you feel you can truly open up and tell him anything.

That’s him sorted then!

Now here’s what to do if you’re the shy one.


It’s not a nice feeling saying no to anything, especially if you love the person who’s doing the asking.

Here’s how to make yourself more adventurous, without feeling like you’re being forced into anything you don’t want to do.

Don’t say no, say you’ll think about it: Educate yourself – read up about it, look it up online, ask some trusted friends, then make a decision.

Risk the unfamiliar: Remember this mantra: If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got. If you’re both doing cartwheels over how fabulous your love life is, great. If it rates simply as ‘content’, take a risk.

Try to understand why: Ask your partner why it appeals to them and don’t punish them for suggesting something new. People need variety in order to stay interested. It doesn’t mean they’ve gone off you, it simply means they want a new experience.

She tells how to boost your sex-confidence if you’re nervous about new things (file image)

If it’s a reasonable request, try it: If it won’t physically or emotionally harm you, try not to say no just because you think you won’t like it. For a start, how do you know you won’t like it, if you’ve never tried it? Secondly, it’s called compromise. The same way you’ll begrudgingly agree to have pizza instead of Thai takeaway, the same trade-offs can be made with sex.

Suggest an alternative: It’s fine to say no. Just make it clear you’re open to other suggestions. In other words, no doesn’t mean no to everything, just that one idea.

Take baby steps: If your partner wants to role-play a complicated fantasy, suggest you start by telling each other your fantasies first. Only when you feel you’re ready, move on.


You did everything I’ve suggested and still got nowhere? Here’s how to combat the excuses being thrown your way (or talk yourself into being brave).

I’m too old for all that!

If you can still eat, breathe and smile, you can still be open to new sexual experiences. Age is an attitude. True, health problems and ageing can influence which ideas/techniques you choose but disregarding new things just because you think they’re for ‘young’ people is silly.

I’m happy with how things are.

This is usually about laziness more than a resistance to change. It takes effort to try new things and little effort to roll into bed together on auto pilot. I’d never met a couple yet who’ve regretted making an effort to make their sex life more interesting. Stop being lazy. Turn off Netflix.

What about the kids? 

There are ways around the children problem. OK, so maybe some of the things you want to try might need to be shelved until you can have a babysitter again. But there’s a lot you can get up to when the kids are asleep or fixated on their screens. Put music on to drown out any groans and moans.

I’m just not the adventurous type/I don’t like change.

The more secure you are, the more likely you are to try new things because the risks are low. If you fail or make a fool of yourself, so what? Your self-esteem and ego are in good enough shape to handle the odd dent.

If you’re the one wanting adventure, reassure your partner that it’s OK to take baby steps and you’ll hold their hand all the way. Also make it clear you’ll stop if they don’t like it.

If you’re the one who’s a bit nervous, talk it through with them. Why don’t you like change? What does it represent to you? What are you scared will happen? Sometimes, just admitting our fears out loud makes us realise how silly they are.

I’m too shy/I’d feel embarrassed.

Worrying you’ll look unattractive or a bit of an idiot is a common reason why people say no to new things. If you’re not a person who’s comfortable in the spotlight, a suggestion that you allow your partner to tie you up naked – legs and arms splayed – probably isn’t going to make you feel like agreeing enthusiastically.

The trick to getting through it, is to start with the thing you find least scary and work up to doing the others. If you’re not naturally exhibitionistic, there may be things you’ll never enjoy. In those cases, let your partner take the dominant or starring role.


Consider doing it for them: If it’s something they’re desperate to try and you’re not completely adverse, why not make their day? Besides, seeing them super turned on, can often turn you on.

S:rike up a deal. Nothing wrong with sexual bartering if it’s done in a spirited, friendly fashion. 

If you give them what they want, they have to do something you adore in return.

Don’t let worrying what you’ll look like, be a reason for saying no. 

If you’re saying no to dressing up for role-play or being tied to the bed because you don’t think your body is good enough to be exposed like that, stop worrying now.

If your partner honestly thought that, they’re not going to suggest doing it, are they?

Our lovers don’t see what we see. They love us and find us sexy or they wouldn’t be around. 

Accept this is true and let yourself relax.


You’ve both compromised and how have a list of things you’re both willing to try?

How exciting! Now here’s a few guidelines to make it go as smoothly as possible.

Talk through exactly what will happen, being as specific as possible, so there are no surprises.

Set rules and stick to them: how far are each of you prepared to go and under what circumstances?

Decide on a ‘safe word’ which means ‘Stop now’. Make it something you’re definitely not going to say accidentally.

Remember your relationship is more important, at every moment, than the experience you’re having. Constantly check in with each other.

Don’t be afraid to use your ‘safe word’ to stop the experience if you feel upset. 

It doesn’t mean you’re prudish, just prudent. If your partner gets upset, stop everything and go to their emotional rescue.

Try the things which instantly appeal first – and things that appeal to both of you.

Try something new at least three times. The first time, you’re concentrating on getting it right, the second, you’re ironing out glitches. 

By the third time, you’re able to relax and truly immerse yourselves in the experience.

Accept you’ll have misunderstandings and probably arguments as you both adjust to the new, more honest versions of yourselves.

Don’t expect to enjoy everything you try and you might be very happy with the outcome.

Remember to balance lusty sessions with lots of love and emotional intimacy. They aren’t mutually exclusive, you know! has lots more advice and information about sex and love and details of Tracey’s Supersex and Edge product ranges with Lovehoney.    

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