In the post-economic meltdown era, building cities and economies that are ‘resilient’ has become the term-of-the-moment for policy wonks and civic leaders. The idea is that cities and economies much be able to withstand unexpected shocks and recover in dynamic and unpredictable ways.
It made be think about how we can resilience into our sexual relationships? If you are wanting your sexual relationships to be more adventurous and open, it is a virtual certainty that there will be bumps in the road. If you get into swinging, inevitably someone will accidentally step beyond your negotiated rules; if you decide to try out strip clubs as a couple, at some point you will give too much attention to a stripper and not quite enough to your partner; if you decide to get into watching porn together, one of you will want it too much or too often.
So, how do you ensure that these minor missteps do not become the relationship meltdown equivalent of the Lehman Brothers of 2008? A few tips:
1. acknowledge to each other, in advance, that mistakes will be made – As you try new things, especially concerning something as emotionally charged as sexuality, you will make mistakes. The exact type of mistake will be unpredictable, but the occurrence of mistakes is completely predictable. Agree in advance that minor and innocent mistakes are forgivable;
2. take small steps and move at the pace of the slowest member of a relationship – getting used to sexual openness is a process and the rate of the process is different for each individual. While a fast mover can slow down it is very hard for a slow mover to go faster then their comfort allows them. You need to respect this and see this as an ongoing process
3. be honest about your needs and desires – any desire is acceptable and the more you talk about it and are honest about it, the better the chances of either your partner adapting or becoming tolerant of you getting incompatible needs meant by other means.
4. focus on the big picture – if you like your relationship, you will find way to continue to explore sexually together and make compromises sexually (and like them)
Relationships and people have ups and downs. There are periods when sex has to take a back burner. To make sure you stay fresh, sexual and satisfied, make sure your relationship has sexual resilience.