My partner wants to try _____

“My partner wants to try ______ (fill in the blank) and I am not comfortable with that.” “Do I have to do it?” “How do I handle this?”

I get this question so often from women regarding any number of sexual activities. 
My answer is NO...AND.

NO -- you don't have to do anything you are not comfortable with and your partner should respect your choices. You always have the right to say "NO thanks!" It is vitally important that both partners be in agreement regarding whatever they do sexually together. This is a non-negotiable.

That being said, ask yourself why you feel the way you do about _______. Are you afraid? Does it gross you out? Have you heard or read things that have influenced you feeling the way you do? Get curious with yourself and then if it feels safe, communicate what you find back to your partner. This opens a discussion that can be really enlightening for both of you.

AND -- If you are in a trusting, committed relationship and your partner is asking to try something different sexually, get curious instead of completely shutting them down.

Ask questions to understand what might be the broader desire behind the request. Is it that they are bored? Want to experiment? Are feeling adventurous? Saw or heard something that sparked their curiosity? Have always had a fantasy but never verbalized it?

I think it's a good idea to investigate further and figure out where the request is coming from. Sometimes an alternative compromise might be a possibility instead, one that you BOTH feel comfortable with.

Stay curious. Ask questions. Open the conversation.