I’m currently reading The Remains of the Day by Ishiguro Kazuo (British or not, out of habit I still put last name first). The main character, Stevens, is a sad, sad man who is completely unable to be spontaneous. He has to think his way through witticisms, practice making them up while he is alone in his room, listening to the radio. If you are familiar with personality types, he is a rather extreme example of an ISTJ who has not developed his shadow functions.
It got me thinking about how spontaneity is often used as a synonym for “fun,” and tends to be viewed as an essential trait for exciting sex. This can certainly pose problems for the sexually active asexual person, whose natural tendencies do not coincide with their partner’s desires. Whether one is spontaneous or not outside of a sexual context, it’s just very hard to be so in a situation that ordinarily one wouldn’t be inclined to get oneself into at all.
So we may find ourselves doing the same thing as Stevens, trying to think through sexual encounters to figure out what we are expected to do beforehand, and then try to simulate spontaneity later on. But does this method work? I’m sure some people will insist that it doesn’t, but I have had some moderate success by doing so. I think the key is to have several different things in mind which you could choose from, but not to let your partner know what specifically you have in mind (although of course, if this is a BDSM scenario, you’d better be clear about boundaries), and then do something that they don’t expect. You ought to be thorough when thinking it out, but don’t succumb to paranoia. Being too insecure about it can get in the way of figuring out what is really going on in your partner’s head. You may be perfectly fine at whatever you’re doing, but not realize it and decide not to do it anymore.
It’s very important to get a clear picture of what your partner wants you to do. Unfortunately, they may not always be forthcoming about that information–tons of people just rely on the assumption that everybody knows what is supposed to happen during sex (it’s the “facts of life” after all), and not be willing to apply so much thought to it, out of the idea that it’s just supposed to happen “naturally” out of instinct. Different people approach sex in different ways, though. Some expect it to mean something emotionally, others just think it’s a way to have some fun–and may see this process of thinking through it beforehand as a damper on that. So figuring this stuff out can be a pretty big problem, and it’s not one I have an easy solution for.
Has anyone else tried this strategy? What has worked for you? For sexual partners, do you think this strategy would be satisfying, or ultimately lead to disappointment?