Husbands – Can you explain the desire for novelty/variety in the bedroom?

    I’ve read many times that husbands desire frequency, enthusiasm, variety and novelty in the bedroom. I understand the desire for frequency and enthusiasm. What I’m a little unsure about is the desire for novelty and variety (specifically, how these are attained over the long term).


    I obviously understand that novelty means doing new things (new position, new location, etc), and variety means not always doing the same one or two things over and over to the exclusion of others. What I don’t necessarily understand is how can novelty and variety be continually pursued successfully over the long term?

    I mean there’s only so many different positions you can try, and they’re all just variations of about 7 or 8 basic positions. Once you’ve tried them, they’re not really novel anymore, are they? So how do you still get novelty? Is it through other stuff like new location, new lingerie, new routine of undressing, etc? How can the desire for novelty be fulfilled over decades of marriage?


    In terms of variety, how does this desire get fulfilled when age and health issues come into play? When you’ve racked up a few miles and you’re no longer a spring chicken, it can restrict the number of different positions you are able to utilise. Does this mean there is now a perpetually unfulfilled desire for variety? Or, if you’ve already seen all your wife’s lingerie pieces before, do you just want her to wear something new instead? Does your own bedroom become boring if that’s the only place you can be together sexually?


    This question has been on my mind for a long time. As a female, I have often asked myself how can I keep things novel in the bedroom, especially after decades of marriage. How can I maintain variety, even if age/health issues make things difficult?


    Husbands, would you share your thoughts on this? Do you have a desire for novelty and variety? How does this play out? What could wives learn that would help them meet these desires?


    Thanks for your help with this 😊.

    California King Asked on May 21, 2020 in MARRIED SEX.
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    21 Answer(s)

      Your first question asked why. The base answer to that is because God designed us that way. So I have to assume there is a purpose that might be beyond our ability to justify it. The dig comes with how we as husbands handle it and how wives respond in turn. Same could be said with the mostly defined HD/LD phenomena.

      But, being a typical husband who as you describe desires novelty, I also understand the quandary. You might compare it to a preacher trying to produce new sermons 2-3 times a week. I mean the Bible is only so long with a defined amount of words and information, right? It quite simply takes some time and thought. And there is no reason one can’t circle back from time to time. But if a preacher only had 50 sermons in his arsenal, eventually the congregation would be bored.

      I don’t think every sexual encounter needs to be novel. Not even the majority. The actual percentage will vary with husbands. My preference would be in the 20-30% range. More would be a special gift, less will lead to boredom and eventually resentment of what can feel like lack of interest.

      And defining novelty is important as well. It is a spectrum,  not black and white. So the variables can be almost endless. It can be a simple as a slight change of position to the most outlandish situations. One can do missionary at the same time, same location, same buildup, same ending for 12 nights in a row, then on day 13 turn around in the bed, and do it the same otherwise and that could be viewed as novelty by some. Others might not see it that way. But it also might not take sex in a public restroom to qualify either.

      Long term pursuit will take a combined effort. If you are the one that generally does not desire novelty, then you have to open yourself up to the idea for the sake of your partner and your partner has to understand it is an effort and learn to appreciate the effort, no matter how small. Those are the building blocks. Then work together to generate ideas. I wouldn’t try to make every encounter novel. That will only bring frustration. But then if this has become an “issue” in your marriage, then perhaps a wake-up call is being issued and should be heeded. Maybe make an effort to do some novel things for the next week. This shows interest and understanding. Kind of a shock treatment. Then moderate it and make it a common thing that on occasion you will either initiate something a little different or will be accepting of the same.

      What this eventually comes down to IS acceptance. And I know it goes both ways. In this case, the wife accepts that part of her husband. And a husband accepts that his wife may not think this way. But they work together on it and don’t question why, which can infer judgment. Spouses should seek to understand, accept and love, not judge. We as humans tend to fall into ruts and find comfort there. And we often have a hard time recognizing the ruts we’re in. We don’t see a need to get out. We can be the boiled frog very easily if not vigilant. We can boil our marriage.

      Practically, novelty can be almost anything. And it doesn’t have to be physical novelty. That is actually probably the least effective. Attitude and engagement are more impactful IMO. The approach up to sex, the longer or shorter pre-game, the small changes in response to initiations; when, how, initiations happen and who does them – all of these can be almost endlessly novel. How penis actually engages vagina can be the least of the novelty. It’s about novelty of mind mostly. And that can be endless, just like there are innumerable sermons on the prodigal son.

      Under the stars Answered on May 21, 2020.

      To add to my own thoughts here – you asked “how”, as well as “what wives could learn.”

      What my wife could learn is that there are in fact many, many ways to interact with a man’s penis. The willingness to learn and explore are perhaps the most validating things she could do. (The willingness to learn and explore anything our spouses find important and interesting is a sign of love and a marriage builder. If your spouse finds XYZ important, take the journey with them instead of struggling against them at every opportunity.)

      My DW told me just this morning that I am wrong in assuming that “she doesn’t want sex.” But then said that just because her libido isn’t there and she isn’t horny doesn’t mean she doesn’t want sex. …. let that marinate a minute.  The novelty I seek more than anything is an enthusiastic response to sex. That would truly be novel. She equates willingness to wanting. She sees no reason to change, doesn’t think she can change. She wonders why I seek the novel? Why do I want something different? She’s willing, why isn’t that enough?

      I’m willing to go with her to the clothing store….but I don’t enjoy it like she does, so she’d rather go without me. Do you see the comparison? That’s why men get so much from a wife that engages actively in maintaining a vibrant, fresh sex life. It is so little about the actual sex and so much about the joint engagement in a mutual activity that is meaningful. I’m struggling to find the words here, but I hope the idea comes across.

      There really is endless ways to inject novelty into married sex, it just takes a little thought and effort. And like anything given, it is truly the thought that counts because that is what assigns value to the other person.

      If one desire guidance on how, just a cursory look around this website will show a plethora of novelty. Be bold and try something now and then and the desire for novelty will be fulfilled. Hands, feet, boobs, butt, mouth, knees, elbows… many ways can we physically interact with each other? Times, locations, words, sounds, toys, tools…endless choices. Novelty should never be a problem. Until we make it one by our own laziness or apathy.

      on May 21, 2020.
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        That is a really good question. For me, I do enjoy variety in what DW wears, where we have sex, what positions we use, the foreplay leading to sex, the activities during sex,  and the toys we use. I don’t expect something novel each time we have sex, and in fact I am very fulfilled using the ‘routine’ we have developed over the last 5 years or so that (thankfully) now enables DW to have an orgasm (using a Magic Wand).  But just like variety in diet is a good thing, it is also a good thing to keep the love-making fresh by changing things up once in awhile and adding new activities. ‘

        I also should add that for me, enthusiasm on the part of DW is much more important than variety. DW being able to orgasm from sex is also much more important to me than variety.

        Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on May 21, 2020.
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           How can the desire for novelty be fulfilled over decades of marriage?

          That is a great question! It is both a how question and a “should” question. Like should novelty be such a sought after commodity after decades of marriage? For the How question, the simple answer is by making an effort to be novel and the more difficult answer is by being creative. For the Should question, it depends on the person and couple!

          Husbands, would you share your thoughts on this? Do you have a desire for novelty and variety? How does this play out?

          First,  I feel there are two main sources of new ideas. One is a creative mind. The other is learning from the creativity of others! God has made us creative beings. So, find your area of creativity and explore it! If it isn’t in the area of new ideas for your MB, find someone (i.e. people here at TMB) who has the ideas for you to “copy”.

          Yes, I have a desire for novelty and variety! But there are limits to that. Obviously, I’m staying with the same Mrs. OWM! In our case, even thought DW is creative in many ways, when it comes to our MB, most of the creativity comes from me. And for the most part she is fine with that. DW is not very adventurous. So, in suggesting new ideas or options, I need to pick the right time to introduce such things and give her time to think about it and process it. For the eager beaver in me, that can be frustrating. But, I have learned that unless I give her time, the results are not so good! So, I make adjustments in my approach to novel ideas to match her personality and style. Otherwise my ideas stay only as ideas!

          What could wives learn that would help them meet these desires?

          Explore your area of creativity and see how it can relate to and enhance emotional connection, ambience, bodily presentation, foreplay, positions, places, vocalization, expressions of gratitude, etc.  If that isn’t your forte, try to open yourself up to the creativity of your spouse. Explore it in conversation first – if that is what you need to do to prepare for something new.

          Or, submit to your spouse and trust them to lead you into new areas of enjoyment.

          And as I said above, learn from others who are more gifted in marriage-bed creativity!

          Under the stars Answered on May 21, 2020.
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            Let me answer from two different directions.
            First, I don’t trigger easily, but broad generalizations about sex really bother me. Not all husbands desire the novelty and variety, and none are the same as any other. In the same way, some wives are the partner desiring novelty in their intimacy. If you want to understand what this means to your husband, if it is his desire, you’re going to have to have a frank discussion. For me, for instance, novelty is not necessarily something completely brand new, but maybe something we RE-NEW. A position we haven’t tried in a while, a toy from the bottom of the box. Another definition of “novel” is “unusual” or outside of usual. In that way, we just go back to variety, and variety is the spice of life, as the cliche goes.
            Second, to answer why, think about a food you love. Again, using myself as an example, I’ll go with brisket. I love to smoke a brisket and I find a perfect brisket to be some of the most desirable table fare ever! With that being said, if I were to eat brisket the same way every meal, would I still find the same ecstasy from the meal each time? Not likely. Luckily, I can have it fresh from the smoker, sliced with mashed spuds, pickles, and salad. I can chop it and make a bbq sandwich with potato salad and a Coke. I can cut leftovers into an amazing cold sandwich with potato chips. I can dice it and make a smoky chili or stew or beef vegetable soup. It’s all still that perfect brisket and even if I make it frequently, by using it in various ways I get the height of enjoyment from it.

            On the floor Answered on May 21, 2020.
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              The OP is packed with terrific insight and questions – great post MQ.

              Your central questions to husbands are: Do you have a desire for novelty and variety? How does this play out? What could wives learn that would help them meet these desires? In addition, you indicate that you’ve been on this wonderful journey of marriage for decades, so perhaps it’s in the context of mature marriages. I’ll take each question and share my thoughts and experience over decades of marriage and in my senior years.

              Do you have a desire for novelty and variety?

              Simple answer – yes – when we were in our 20s and even now, after nearly 50 years of marriage.

              How does this play out?

              Differently when I was younger than today. When I was younger, my imagination worked overtime to conjure-up ideas to spice-up our sexual intimacy. I was quite naive and inexperienced. That is true to some extent for all newbies to sex even in today’s world of instantaneous information and more open exposure to what once was novelty and variety in my day and age. That naivety and curiousness led to lots of novel ideas to tryout.

              In my younger years, two main drivers were 1) my God-given desire to explore the boundaries of sexual delight and 2) pushing the sexual edge of our intimacy. For example, in the late 1970s I stumbled on an awareness that women went beyond shaving their swimsuit line. Wow! Would Mrs. Youngbear possibly do that for me? Better yet, how about if I did it to her!? It took me about a year to crank-up the nerve to ask her. Smartly, I did so at a point in our foreplay when she was fully abandoned to her enjoyment of the moment. When I gently asked her, she urgently begged me to do so. The new frontier we crossed that evening was electric! Most significant, it removed a barrier that to this day gives each of us confidence and assurance that pursuing novelty and variety (mostly for me to initiate) is fine and desired. Mrs. Youngbear/Oldbear had/has a desire for novelty and variety – she just wants to let it happen.

              In our elder years, novelty and variety play out differently. It was novel and erotic when I first lingered on Mrs. Oldbear’s breast to the extent that she understood how exciting and satisfying it was for me. The next time we moved toward sexual intimacy, she pulled my head to her breast and surrender herself intimately and sexually. Wow – a new variety of sexual intimacy was born! These days there is a shift in my desire for novelty and variety. External prostate massage is something that is novel and erotic. It is also pleasureable and helpful in my advanced years. Mrs. Oldbear is all in on providing me this pleasure. Her delight and enthusiasm keeps it fresh in terms of variety in our sex life.

              What could wives learn that would help them meet these desires?

              Be playful and alluring. Mrs. Oldbear will tease me with an edgy idea, knowing we (I) either aren’t horny enough or physically able to do something. The mere fact that she hints at it, is novel and variety enough. She also knows that wearing surplice, plunge lingerie turns me on. More often that not, it turns into an intimate time of me on her breast with no sexual intercourse or orgasm for either of us. This, though, is erotic. Although it’s not novel or a new variation on our sex life, it keeps our sex love fresh and fun.

              Under the stars Answered on May 24, 2020.
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                I don’t want routine in the bedroom. Same place…same time…same routine…same ruts. That becomes stale, lifeless. Keeping it fresh regarding place, time, position, activity, initiation is a turn-on. And women are not made that way, otherwise, once a formula was found in the bedroom for a spouse to O, you could ALWAYS do the same. It doesn’t work.

                On one  hand, I  tend to be a creature of habit and comfort, I typically order and get the same thing specific restaurants and while I could be ok with eating Taco Bell or Wendy’s daily, I also enjoy KFC, Golden Corral (most buffets for that matter), moving up the food chain, Applebee’s, Texas Roadhouse, Smokey Bones, PF Chang’s, and if I really want to step up, I take my wife to a couple Brazilian Rodizio steakhouses in state.  It’s the same in the bedroom. I enjoy a variety of flavors, styles, and even some novel places to change things up.

                Also, we serve and worship a creative God and I believe we honor our spouse and God with some creative initiating and  lovemaking. Variety is the spice of life and novelty helps bring the heat and passion.

                Under the stars Answered on May 21, 2020.
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                  For me, novelty doesn’t necessarily imply something new. In fact, maybe I am unique but novelty isn’t really on my wish list, or not in the typical sense. What I enjoy most, but I don’t think it is really novelty, would more likely fall under the category of unexpected, and even risque. Hiking in a park, and then slipping off the beaten path and finding a secluded spot is something I have enjoyed.

                  Taking a shower and having my wife join me unexpectedly.

                  To me, the bedroom is more about being close, amd there are a lot of ways to explore that closeness, but as you point out, it is pretty limited. To me, that ok.

                  I guess you could say that for us, variety is usually in the bedroom, but it isn’t infinite variety. It just means not doing the same thing the same way every time.

                  Novelty is found more in other environments,.

                  On the floor Answered on May 21, 2020.
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                    Effort – when you stop giving it effort and slip into the routine of the same thing it will compile upon itself.

                    Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on May 21, 2020.
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                      [I tried to leave this as a response to LBD directly, but it wouldn’t post as a comment for some reason]

                      @LBD – Ok, so I did let that marinate for a minute (just like you asked), and I don’t have a problem with what your wife said.

                      You assume she doesn’t want sex because she’s not horny and her libido isn’t there. Are you judging her desire for sex according to a typical male sexual pattern/response?

                      A person can want to have sex, even if they are not horny. A person can want to have sex, even if their libido has taken a nose dive. Granted, this is probably difficult for most husbands to relate to, but it doesn’t make it untrue.

                      Women often don’t fit into the stereotypical male sexual response, but that’s ok – we’re not male 😄. We can still be sexual though, even if it looks different from a male sexuality.

                      California King Answered on May 23, 2020.

                      Thanks. I understand that. Well….I try to anyway. I can understand and appreciate where she’s coming from. Hence my clothing store analysis. There are many things I’ll do with her because she likes them. Doesn’t mean I really like them, but I want to show my love by joining in. I hope she can appreciate the effort. Even so, she recognizes often that I’m just along for the ride. She then ends up being concerned if I am really having a good time and that decreases her enjoyment of the thing. SC was speaking to this in her recent post about her husband going off and not coming home on time. She talked about how they have different interests so sometimes she’ll just “go along for the ride” or hang out and read. I wonder how that makes her husband feel? Maybe he doesn’t mind. I would rather someone who is joining me for an activity be engaged in the activity. Otherwise I end up thinking about them and how they are not really enjoying themselves. That’s just me.

                      Take that to the bedroom. That’s why so many husbands harp on enthusiasm in the sack and why so many decry “duty sex.” When we get right down do it, “duty sex” is really offensive. Thankfully, DW has not been prone to that lately. At least not during the act. But to tell me she wants sex, yet at every time I make a motion, or drop a huge hint, or cop a feel, or outright mention a desire to do something – she avoids, eye rolls, ignores, puts me off – there is an imbalance of words and action. And it is because her libido is non-existent I’m sure. What she might have said was “I want to make you happy” and I do believe that. She wishes to. But wishing ain’t doing. We’ve had that conversation over and over. Nothing changes. I’m convinced now that she just doesn’t want to. Which is the opposite of what she told me. For instance if she really wanted to have sex with me and please me, she wouldn’t be so dead set against me walking into the shower with her, or she would entertain the idea of sex outside, or she would attempt to not be so put off when I embrace her while she’s doing something. All of her actions say one thing while her mouth says another. Actions speak louder. At the core, it is stubbornness driven by selfishness. In the beginning, her independence was attractive to me. Probably because I had a strong willed mother. Over the years it has become less attractive and more irritating.

                      And I know I got my own issues to get around too. I’ve lived this for so long that I have given up on many things and it has caused some bitterness. I’m working on it….

                      thanks for your concern and your thoughts. I’m glad you are embracing the idea of novelty. It’s like a pungent spice. A little can really enhance a dish, too much and it can become the focus and overwhelm what the dish is all about. Sex is about love and unity and acceptance. Some effort at novelty can enhance all of those.

                      on May 23, 2020.

                      Thought I might add that this is one of the problems I have with this forum – novelty is exposed and exposed within the bounds of holy marriage. Awareness is one of the most problematic things to happiness. A pig is happy in mud because…..well, what else does he know?

                      “You mean to tell me that there are fine Christian wives that actually enjoy slipping off the beaten path and having sex in the woods with their husbands!?” ….yes, apparently so. $$#@**&. Why didn’t I get one of those,. &$$#

                      Of course the other side is also true and can be a blessing. I read of poor slugs who have a much more difficult path to trod and I am grateful that’s not me. Goes both ways. Count your blessings.

                      on May 23, 2020.

                      Actually, that comment was in NWNL’s QOTD.  And it’s my husband who asks me to go along, and often is the one who suggests I take a book, knowing that otherwise, I would stay home.  He actually enjoys the time we get together in the drive there and back, and when we see places to pull over and enjoy the beauty along the drive, or when we picnic together as a family.

                      I appreciate the fact that he realizes the differences between us, and he cherishes me anyway.  🙂   I appreciate that he realizes that the destination really isn’t the ultimate goal, but the journey along the way.


                      on May 23, 2020.
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                        My brief thoughts on this:

                        The desire for novelty and variety on my part is 1. ultimately a desire for her to be fully engaged and plauful in the MB and 2. is by no means all encompassing.

                        1. Novelty and variety in the bedroom is a sign that both partners are engaged and delight in sexual intimacy.

                        I have often compared sex to a fun game in the eyes of a man. Even the best games can get stale if they are played the exact same way all the time. How fun would football games be if the only play was a run up the middle? Variety adds excitement and further enjoyment to the game. Its also true that like sex the amount of plays in football is limited but football fans still get excited to watch the games year after year after year.

                        2. Novelty and variety are not needed in every encounter. To use the football analogy above teams still run up the middle a lot despite the fact that “flashier” plays are available. It’s the same with sex. I have no issue with the majority of our sex following a specific pattern as long as we can introduce novelty and variety as it suits us.

                        On the floor Answered on May 23, 2020.
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