New Relationship Energy is a phrase commonly heard in polyamorous relationships. It is a concept I first heard about a few years ago on the Sex is Fun podcast (episodes 191 and 192, for those who are interested).
NRE is a bubbly kind of feeling that can happen when two (or more) people experience something new together. While these feelings are often related to new sexual encounters, they could be more “PG.” For those who are monogamous, one might wonder I’m in a relationship with only one person. So, how can my partner and I get our NRE on?
I’m glad you asked!
Two people in a monogamous relationship can still infuse excitement into their relationship no matter how long they have been together. As I wrote above, it can be more “PG”. Experiencing a new place, or a new activity can add a rush of excitement. Doing something new together can form a deeper bond. Something as simple as trying that new restaurant you both have been meaning to try rather than going to your mainstay, favorite eatery can be enough to add a little “something.” For the more adventurous folks out there, sharing a roller coaster ride, going bungee jumping, or sky diving will get your adrenaline rushing. The adrenaline which is induced during a fight-or-flight response in an intense situation such as sky diving, can potentially lead to increased production of the bonding hormone, oxytocin. In other words, sharing a scary or exciting experience together can bring you a little bit closer and be a source of NRE.
Now, this is a blog about sexuality. First, I will stay within monogamy before I talk about NRE within a poly situation. As always, the first rule before you do anything new (especially sexually) is to have conversations about it.
[Also, please know that the suggestions I make in this blog are just ideas. Whatever my readers choose to do with the information should be done in an informed and consensual manner. This is a jumping off point to find out more about something that piques your interest. In no way am I suggesting that anyone or everyone should be one certain way, however, I urge you to consider new things, whether or not you try them.]
For those who are a little bit adventurous sexually, you can always spice things up through new sexual positions and accouterments. That lovely ottoman in your living room can be used for a variety of new and improved positions as well as variations on some of your favorites. If you do not happen to have that versatile piece of furniture, there are some really great pillows and furniture in a myriad of shapes by the good folks at Liberator.
For next level of sexual adventure, you might wish to try some role playing or some BDSM [Bondage, Dominance/Discipline, Sado-Masochism]. There are plenty of kinks you might want to try that could spice things up in the bedroom. And there is a kink community just about any where you are. The number one rule especially with BDSM is that you MUST be communicating. Some of the activities are potentially risky and could lead to harm, but if you are informed, it could be that you have a great experience. A nice sort of beginner tool or activity to get into BDSM with, if either you or your partner are interested in restraint, you might consider buying some rope. You can get into all kinds of fun and intimate situations where you might be tied down and can’t move during your play-time or you may want to be a piece of art (or both!). It’s helpful to physically go to a class and have the interaction with others on how to tie up your partner safely, but a good resource to look into is Two Knotty Boys. They have a bunch of videos for you to peruse if you are interested in discovering rope.
[If I haven’t already pushed some buttons, I might do so now. I want to preface my suggestion by mentioning the concept of trust. I hope for those who have read this far, that there is a high level of trust already within your relationship. And with that, I plunge on!]
Within the context of a monogamous relationship, it is completely possible that with the passage of time you feel less attracted to your partner, that one or both of you have stopped “trying.” Where did that thing, that spark go? Well, like just about everything else in our lives, you have to work on your relationship and keeping that fire alive. Spend that time before you each rush off to work to give, a deep, lingering, passionate kiss rather than that hurried kiss somewhere vaguely in the vicinity of their cheek. That consuming kiss is a great, simple way to keep the energy alive in your relationship and stay on your partner’s mind as they begin their work day.
There are times I have heard of when someone gets a little jealous when their partner receives a little extra attention say, when they are out at a restaurant. The server might be a little bit flirty. While I understand that might be a little bit threatening to some, I urge you to think about this logically. What are the actual chances that your partner is going to run off with the server? Slim, to none. The server is probably just going that extra step of being super friendly so that you’ll tip better. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Well, if you’re starting to feel that little green eyed monster stirring, my suggestion to you is: Switch the energy and turn it into NRE. Think to yourself, Wow my partner is so sexy, no wonder the server is being so flirtatious. And I get to have my partner all to myself when we get home later. Switching your mode of thought to something with a positive spin, and channeling it back into your relationship can make for more sexy time later on.
This leads me to my final point: new relationship energy within polyamorous relationships. For those who don’t know, polyamory is a type of relationship in which often one has a primary partner and either together or individually they have other relationships as well. This is not the same as polygamy in which one man is (usually) married to multiple women. In a poly relationship, because so many people are involved (consensually), there is a constant flow of positive energy, love, acceptance, and validation. People in successful poly relationships have new relationship energy around constantly.
Having a poly relationship is not for everyone and it can be extremely different. The first rule of polyamory is that everything is open and honest. It’s not cheating because everyone talks about what goes on and nothing is behind anyone’s back. For those of us who aren’t ready to be in one, there is a lot we can learn from poly: mainly, open and honest communication and conversations, especially about sex. Talk to your partner about what you’d like to try. Be able to listen and if something does make you uncomfortable, say so. You can do the Yes/No/Maybe list. Let your partner know if what they suggested is completely off the table, whether you’d like to try it if the conditions were right, or if you’re totally on board with it. You might be able to find a lot of ideas that individually you might not have come up with.
So to put it simply, talking about sex can keep the NRE flowing in your relationship. So go ahead. Talk to your partner about the sex you are having together and the sex you want to have. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be feeling some NRE of your own before you’re done!