Day 8 – Novelty

If you plan to stay married for a long time, novelty in the sexual relationship is vital. It’s human nature to crave newness and adventure from time to time! We like variety in our food. We like new cars, new computers and gadgets, new houses, new hair styles, new outfits, new music, and so on. So it’s probably no surprise that it’s also perfectly natural to crave novelty in sex, to desire new experiences with your spouse.

When you’re first married, there’s plenty of sexual novelty. After a while, you get used to each other and you gradually fall into your familiar patterns of what works for each of you. If we stop pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, we risk having sex that feels routine, blah, and a bit boring.

Today I want to talk about two ways to find novelty, which I’ll call horizontal and vertical novelty, which will help you think about how to keep your marriage strong for the long haul. 

Horizontal novelty is most common and what people think about when you’re talking about seeking novelty in the bedroom. This can mean new positions, new lingerie, toys, locations, or a gazillion other things. Maybe even an awesome new app like Intimately Us! 

Horizontal novelty does have its limitations. Think of horizontal novelty like a good dessert: it’s great to have once in a while but if your whole diet was nothing but pursuing the next desserts, what would that do to you? No need to answer! Sooner or later you’ll find out that dessert can’t keep gratifying you long term. 

I want to be clear here: there’s nothing wrong with seeking this type of novelty. But if you derive your sense of “aliveness” in your sex life by only the pursuit of new things, you’re going to burn out your marriage pretty quickly.

And that brings me to the second type: vertical novelty. If horizontal novelty is like water skiing, vertical novelty is like scuba diving. It’s about seeking treasure within the same terrain. It’s finding deeper meaning with the person you’re with. It’s pursuing the beauty and wonder that lies within the normal and ordinary. It’s finding that sense of aliveness within the person right in front of you — your spouse!

In short, see your spouse in a new light: it will change your sexual experience with them in positive and exciting ways!

If you’re looking for some specific ideas to cultivate more vertical novelty in your marriage, try visiting your spouse at work when they give a presentation. Do a date night that includes meaningful conversation (and use conversation starters in the app if you wish). Be “Sherlock Holmes” for a week and journal meaningful things you notice about your spouse that you didn’t see before.  And when you disagree, get curious as to what makes your spouse tick instead of getting ticked off.

Most importantly, you will find vertical novelty by cultivating appreciation and gratitude for your spouse. 

A great marriage has a healthy blend of horizontal and vertical novelty. Horizontal is pleasurable and fun up front and vertical novelty adds meaning and depth over the long haul. It takes courage, honesty, and integrity to have both.

What are some fun ways you’ve added more novelty into your sexual experiences? Let us know in the comments below!