QUESTION: My sex life with my husband has always been pretty predictable and staid. We’ve been together for 17 years and for most of the past ten we’ve tended to have sex on Saturday nights (almost always in the missionary position).
In the past few months, however, my husband has suddenly suggested new positions, has wanted sex mid-week and has started sending me flirty texts. I’m so startled I don’t know what to think. Part of me enjoys the change - but my closest friends have always said that if your partner does something new in bed, he’s having an affair. Should I think the worst?
ANSWER: I find it’s far better for your blood pressure to think the best before you dwell on worst-case scenarios. If you have no overall intimation that your husband is being unfaithful, then I doubt very much that he is.
Any man who is neither a serial adulterer nor a total idiot (I presume you’ve known him long enough to dismiss both charges) would be unlikely to rush home after a tryst and try out new tricks on his spouse.
Indeed, the cunning male (the serial adulterer) would know that women are suspicious of innovations in bed, so would studiously keep his bed routine unchanged.
Meanwhile, a husband who is racked by guilt at his deceptions would be too terrified to begin to confuse you with his mistress.
Anyway, in my observation, a sudden loss of interest in sex or a sense that your husband is absent when he is present (and always on his mobile phone or sending texts), are far more reliable predictors of infidelity.
I can think of only one woman I know who discovered her partner’s infidelity while they were in the throes of passion - and that’s because he called her by the wrong name.
I would suggest there are far more likely reasons for your husband’s new erotic practices.
You say that your sex life has been “predictable and staid”. Well, I imagine your other half has been thinking that, too.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut after many years together, but that doesn’t mean you don’t regret it. Perhaps a desire for change has been building in him for some time.
As I am always writing, middle-aged British men are among the most reticent males on the planet: the thought of browsing a shop looking for sex manuals just does not sit easily with them.
But in recent years, with the advent of the internet and increasingly user-friendly technology, a whole new world has opened up to them.
The shyest man can find a raft of sexual inspiration online (and, no, that doesn’t have to mean they are accessing pornographic sites).
You can access tips from the Lover’s Guide online, most magazines (such as Men’s Health) put tips on their sites and you can order books, such as the updated The Joy Of Sex from Amazon or for your Kindle, without having to blush in front of a shop assistant.
I think many people in what we now call middle youth look at those in their 20s and think: “I want a little of that freedom.”
Discovering the frisson of sending tender, erotic messages to one another with the push of a button is just one of the joys of owning a smart phone or computer.
I know of one couple in their 60s where the husband, who is a classic, buttoned-up British male, has suddenly taken to “sexting” (sending sexually loaded texts) to his wife, simply because he can write something in a text that he could never say aloud. His wife told me: “I never thought it possible that we could open up a totally new erotic avenue at a time when we’ve started collecting our pensions.”
You are clearly inspired and delighted by your husband’s new moves - even if they make you feel some trepidation.
Couldn’t you tell him that you’re thrilled to find your sex life revitalised after nearly two decades together and maybe ask him what inspired the changes?
If you demonstrate that, indeed, you are interested in new boudoir tricks (and don’t immediately accuse him of having an affair), he is likely to open up and tell you his motivation.
It seems to me that both of you felt the same ennui about your sex life, but didn’t dare tell one another for fear of seeming critical - which is often true of long-married couples who adore one another.
In the unlikely event that your husband is shifty and evasive when you ask him how he sourced his erotic innovation, then you would be wise to be a bit more suspicious about him.
But, as things stand, I would advise you to stock up on champagne and new lingerie, and enjoy this renewed passion.
Carpe diem - and stop carping. - Daily Mail