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The sex is boring, but he won’t listen. What do I do?

Tweet at @amberlym or email with your sex question. (All questions will be published anonymously)

The question: I've been with my new boyfriend for two months now and the sex is so, so boring. We talked about sex before we had it, but it's the same boring position every time, with him on top. I have tried to talk dirty just to spice it up and he lost his erection. What do I do? I like him a lot but I can't see things getting any better in the bedroom.

The answer: I have a rule about books: If it doesn't grab you in the first 50 pages, abandon it. The same can be applied to sex: Life is too short to read mediocre novels or be thinking about Homeland while there's a man on top of you.

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I have heard from many, many readers who complain of boredom after years and years of marriage, looking for ways to bring excitement back to a bedroom filled with predictability. But this is quite different.

Sex in the beginning of a relationship should be mind-blowing, toe-curling, apologizing-to-neighbours shenanigans. If it's not, I'd doubt your compatibility .

Sex is also inherently subjective and deeply personal, so I asked everyone I knew in new-ish relationships. I was blown away by the stories.

"I fell asleep during sex with my new guy last week," my very blunt hairdresser admits.

"Just okay. It was meh – that's how I'd describe the first two months of sex, until I fell in love with him," my openly open barista says.

And for Allison, one of my closest friends, sex with her boyfriend of three months was seriously lacking excitement. It's improved, but her face scrunches when I ask if it's great. Her advice for you: "She's got to really work at it if he's shy, or needs help understanding what she wants. It takes balls, but she has to a) talk about what she wants during sex and then b) drive that car. If you want it differently, you have to make that happen yourself."

Fascinated by my friend's story, I called sex therapist Bianca Rucker. Surely Allison is an exception to the rule?

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"Your friend has a very real emotional and intimate connection that makes putting in the work into sex, at a very early stage, worth it," says Rucker from her office in Vancouver. "That sex she's having is an expression of love, so there's a great desire to want it to be better."

It sounds like you're on your way to that "expression of love" sex, so there's real work involved in your sexual future. Talk about the actual sex you're having, not just the philosophical sex you'd like to have, Rucker advises.

"Something like, 'I have a picture of what I want our love making to look like,' " she recommends.

I interject: Is it really practical to talk about the sex you're having outside of the bedroom? "Where does this conversation happen?" I ask. "I can't picture it. You ask to be dominated over coffee?"

"It's challenging," she says, laughing. "It has to be a nice request. Like you just said: You ask, don't tell."

Having also been a marriage counsellor for 27 years, Rucker digs a little deeper into your issue: "Pushing this a little further, she has to see if he values her to try something outside his comfort zone."

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If he doesn't budge, she says, that's fairly telling. "Might be time for some personal growth for him, if he's willing to consider what she wants."

End of story, you've got nothing to lose here. You can – to use the novel metaphor – choose your own adventure. If you truly feel he's worth it, keep reading, and ask for what you want. If he doesn't budge, it's time to put the book down.

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About the Author
Editor in the Opinion section

Amberly McAteer is an editor in the Opinion section at The Globe and Mail. She has been a homepage editor, online editor and community editor in Features - including Life, Travel, Style, Arts and Books. She's written columns about her quest to run a 10K and find the perfect dog. More


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