Elise English (they/them); San Francisco, CA—
The Questions Elise Answers:
1. I’ve been dating my partner for a long time, and we want to mix things up a little. Do you have some advice for both romantic and sexual ways to change things up?
2. How do you find a rebound after a long term relationship? Is a rebound a good idea?
If you have questions for Elise, ask them here.
1. I’ve been dating my partner for a long time, and we want to mix things up a little. Do you have some advice for both romantic and sexual ways to change things up? — Sam, they/them
I’ll answer this in two parts: one for the romance and one for the sex.
For romance, think of some hobbies you both like that the other hasn’t tried yet or hasn’t done in a while. These activities can be almost entirely free, like watching a YouTube, Hulu or Netflix series that you enjoy, a trip to your local park for a picnic or something that costs a bit of cash, like ordering in or going to an event (assuming you have COVID-safe event options!).
If you both have similar interests, try looking at some options together to pick up some new hobbies you can share together. Maybe you’d be into some co-op games? A double (maybe even triple date) of Among Us? Start a book/game/TV show club with your partner(s)?
For a more traditionally romantic event, you can look up some recipes online and make it a wine and dine event for the two of you!
As far as sex goes, talk with your partner about what they like. Ask them if they’ve been dipping their toes into new categories of porn—if they’ve had fantasies they wanna share. Anything along these lines can help start a dialogue to create new ground for both of you to explore.
Once you’ve done that, load up some erotica, porn or movies/TV shows with adult scenes, and watch them critically with your partner(s). If you and your partner(s) find a scenario intriguing, you can explore it more in the bedroom. Anything that poses a safety risk (bondage of any kind, breath play, wax play, hair pulling, flogging, riding crops) should be taken slowly and with the help of a guide (books, adult education sites or even a kinky buddy).
If you have sex toys, try including them in your play. A vibrator can enhance an experience with your partner(s), gloves can add a different sensation to mutual masturbation, condoms have different patterns available (ribbed, flavored, thinner/thicker—just steer clear of spermicide and “numbing” condoms/lube!) and BDSM toys have plenty of options for folx who are just getting started.
I hope you both have an amazing time adding some new flavors to your romantic and sexual lives together!
2. How do you find a rebound after a long term relationship? Is a rebound a good idea? — Art, she/her
Rebounds are complex and for good reason. Some people are looking for a romantic rebound in order to get some much-needed serotonin and connections, others are looking for a sexual rebound for a variety of reasons and sometimes it’s a mixture of both!
Asking yourself what kind of rebound you’re looking for is a very good idea, especially before you approach anyone with an offer for that kind of relationship.
Finding a rebound isn’t too hard with the number of apps and social options that exist today. Technically speaking, you can ask friends if they’re interested, although I strongly advise against that to avoid potential drama.
Regardless of how you intend to rebound, you need to be honest. Telling people what you’re looking for straight out of the gate decreases the chances of people getting hurt. Letting them know where you’re at and what you need gives them a chance to say no and what to expect.
Once you’ve found a perspective partner, the same precautions apply during the pandemic. Please be safe, wear a mask, get tested (both for STDs/STIs and COVID), and find out how big your potential partners’ bubbles are. Depending on the duration of the rebound, keep in touch with test results, new entries to your bubbles and new desires (romantic and sexual).
Wishing you the best in your rebound adventures!