As you might recall, our intrepid couple Emma and Seth volunteered to take on Durex‘s “Get Closer to Go Further” challenge. They’ve spent the past few weeks experimenting with an intimacy kit sent to them by Durex containing sex toys and lube and sex tips and spa gift certificates, oh my! Did they get closer and go further? Or did everything just end in giggles? Let’s find out:
Em & Lo: What was it like getting a box of love treats in the mail?
EMMA: Super exciting! I came home hoping it was there and not stolen or lost in the mail (SF postal service is cray) and when I saw it I got giddy. Seth wasn’t with me when I found it, but I was too eager to wait for him so I just opened it a little, just to get a hint at what was inside. Then when we were together we went through it all and were really surprised how much nice stuff there was — you never know with these giveaway packages, but Durex totally delivered on their promise.
SETH: They did a really great job of wrapping it up all nicely in tissue paper and including a handwritten note, which made it really fun to open for the first time.
What items came in the Durex Kit?
EMMA: Susie Bright’s “I Dare You” cards, Kama Sutra’s body chocolate, an aphrodisiac cooking book, a Durex bullet vibe, Durex massage and lube in one, Durex Extra Sensitive condoms and Performix Intense condoms, a kit to make mixed drinks, $200 to spafinder, $150 to restaurant.com, and a Kind Notes jar.
What were your favorite items and why?
EMMA: I liked the cook book a lot! I had read through it before in a bookstore and thought it was a pretty book. Now I finally have a sexy themed coffee table book..about time. Also the little Durex bullet was unexpectedly powerful. Anyone who doubts a condom company can make a good sex toy should buy it. The silicone is even velvety soft and smooth!
SETH: The spafinder gift certificate was pretty exciting because neither of us have had professional massages before. We ended up getting a Swedish couples massage together. It was neat to share the same anticipation together in the waiting room, and then to share our first-time thoughts about it afterwards.
What were the results of playing with the “I Dare You” set?
EMMA: We went through the entire “I Dare You” card set in one night. Some of the dares were difficult to try because we still have roommates — we didn’t want someone walking in on us when we were christening a common room! Although Seth did make it into the kitchen to take a ridiculous photo — big thanks to Susie Bright for that one, something my eyes cannot unsee.
The dares were definitely the best part of the deck (compared to the truths). There were lots of suggestions on how to incorporate each other’s whole bodies rather than just focusing on the usual/obvious places to touch…which is always a good reminder and I was able to express to Seth how much I like when he explores even the most forgotten, simple places on my body.
SETH: The 2-in-1 massage oil/lube was a fun treat because it’s perfect for transitioning from a massage to sexy time. It was an easy way to help get each other relaxed so that we could leave the stresses of the day behind and become more in touch with our bodies and each other. It also paired well with the mixology/cocktail kit.
Did you discover anything new — about sex, or about each other — by doing this? (E.g. things you like, things you definitely don’t like, ways to talk to each other, etc.)
SETH: We learned about what ways of talking and tones work for us in the bedroom, as well as some more unconventional ways to turn each other on. For example, I never knew that a large glass of water could be used as an intimate bedroom accessory.
EMMA: We also both discovered from opening one Kind Note a day that cheesy quotations on love don’t really do it for us. And that neither of us really enjoy “ice breakers” — we’re definitely more into forced dares than forced truths!
How has this experience improved your relationship?
EMMA: We were given a chance to do things that we otherwise wouldn’t have, at least not yet anyways, which allowed us to have new, unique experiences together. We were able to bond and set out quality time for just for the two of us instead of getting distracted by work, friends, facebook, etc.
SETH: It prompted good conversations about what turns us on — especially the “I Dare You” cards. And it helped us bring new and spontaneous activities into our relationship.
Was it helpful to have this set period of time where you agreed to try new things together — or did it feel forced/silly? Would you recommend this kind of experiment?
EMMA: Seth was at the end of his intensive coding school when we got the package, and I didn’t want to distact him from his studies too much, but it was nice when we were able to carve out some time. And a massage is a pretty perfect way to celebrate the end of a semester. I would definitely recommend it because getting outside your comfort zone can be a good opportunity for growth, even if it seems awkward or distancing at first.
SETH: The time-frame was a little short to fit all of the activities in around our busy schedules, but it was still really nice to have all these ready-to-go ideas and suggestions for when we were able to have couple-time.
What will you continue to do in the future based on this experience?
EMMA: Try to express more how I feel right then when something in bed makes me feel uncomfortable, rather than kind of getting quiet, trying to work it out on my own and then talking about it later. I need to remember to talk about and experience everything in the bedroom together. This project helped me focus on everything as more of a partnership.
SETH: I’ll try to remember to keep things spontaneous both inside and outside the bedroom.
Em & Lo’s Take Away: Investing in your sex life a bit, buying yourself and your partner toys and treats, setting aside specific times to play and experiment, trying new things — these are all things that are essential not only to making long term monogamy work, but to keeping it hot. You may not get a box of free sexual tips and treats in a nicely wrapped package on your doorstep, but following good (and free) advice like on “Get Closer to Go Further” (as well as this humble little site) is the next best thing!