How do I get my partner to like Marmite?

Image by the genius Stuart F Taylor

If you’re not British, you might not be familiar with Marmite. It is either:

  • a delicious brown substance created during the brewing process, which you spread on toast with butter before having a mouthgasm OR
  • diarrhoea brewed in the anus of Beelzebub.

For me it’s the former, for others it’s the latter. I pick Marmite because not only is it a great example of something that has divided a nation (their literal slogan is ‘you either love it or you hate it’) but also because there is no moral value in either liking or disliking Marmite: you’re not a better person if you choose to try it. However, you are a bit of a dick if you try to sneak it into someone’s breakfast without them noticing.

Pretty much all sex acts are like Marmite. Oral sex? Some love it, some don’t. Probably a larger group of the former than the latter, but whatever. Likewise hand jobs, using sex toys, doing anal, bondage: any act that two or more people can take part in.

Here’s where sex acts diverge from Marmite: sometimes you really want your partner to try something. No one really cares if I like Marmite or not. It won’t break my heart if Jon Hamm announces, on our wedding day, that he won’t be eating any of the brown stuff. Sex, on the other hand, is something you can enjoy with your partner, and so if you have a particular kink and your partner’s not keen, that can be pretty gutting. If Jon Hamm tell me that he really hates spanking, I’ll be very upset (as well as surprised, tbh, given how much he loves spanking in all those dreams of mine he’s shown up in).

Anyway, given the Marmite nature of various sex acts, I can see why people often ask me the following question:

How do I get my partner to like bondage/anal/fisting/etc?

It’s an understandable question, if you’re into something niche and you want to enjoy it with your partner. Perhaps you need someone else’s participation in order to fulfil a particular fantasy (spitroasts don’t work alone, and bondage without a spotter can be a little dangerous), or maybe you just want to share the joy that you feel when you indulge in it. That’s cool.



Usually when people ask this question, it comes in this form:

“I’ve asked my partner if they’ll do X, and they say they don’t want to. How can I get them to do it?

And that makes me really sad. Like I say, I get why you want to share these things, and because of that I’ve written a few tips below that should help answer the question for those who ask it. But you shouldn’t even start trying to share your kinks with your partner until you understand – fully and completely, in a totally zen and calm way – why you shouldn’t be trying to ‘get’ someone to do something they don’t like. Until you fully comprehend the difference between the question above and this one:

How do I tempt my partner to try bondage/anal/fisting/etc?

Now we’re cooking with gas. While the question above makes me uncomfortable, the following one makes me happy:

“I’m really into buttsex/sploshing/threesomes/etc. How do I explain it to my partner in a way that might tempt them to join me in my fun?”

The difference is that the first question is phrased quite selfishly – you want X and you need to get your partner to do something. The second one is phrased in a way that brings in your partners needs and desires, and places them on equal footing to your own.

So how do you tempt them? I’m not an expert in either psychology, sex, or what your partner thinks about stuff. But I want to give you a better answer to the question than just ‘figure it out’, so here’s what I do in that situation:

1. Talk

Ideally not in the middle of sex, where you go ‘hey I want to try fisting, let’s have a go ready one two three.’ I usually try to raise this stuff before sex, when we’re both pretty chilled, or after a good shag, where I can go ‘wow that was awesome, you know what else I’d love to do?’

2. Show

If I have some hot porn of the thing in question, or a sexy story about it, I’ll ask him if he’s up for reading/watching something that gets me off. Alternatively, as in the picture above, you can demonstrate with whatever you have to hand. if you have a tiny teddy-bear strap-on to hand please let me know where you bought it because now I really want one.

3. Ask

Personally, I think reciprocal fantasy-sharing is one of the funnest things you can do as a couple, and holy shit I have learned some fucking weird and cool things from boys I have had this chat with. If I had never told any of them that I’d quite like to be fucked while they ate a bacon sandwich, then I would never have learned, for instance, that they’d be quite keen to lick jizz out of my arse. Or whatever it may be.

That’s basically it. I know, it sounds really boring. Most genuine sex advice does. The reason clickbaity bullshit gets most of the clicks is because it promises a magic bullet – this ‘one weird trick’ that will make your other half love anal, or wear latex, or whatever it is you want. In real life, though, the answer is intensely simple and boring: you talk, you ask, you listen. If they seem curious, you give them more detail. If they’re interested in dipping their toe in the water, you give them an intro – making sure not to crank the damn thing up to 11 shortly afterwards because you got overexcited and didn’t check in. If they say ‘I’d never thought about it’ then you back off and give them time to think about it, perhaps offering to provide some examples or stimulation if they’d like to see/hear more.

But ultimately there is no way to ‘get’ your partner to enjoy anything sexual. Sex advice columnist Dan Savage coined the term ‘GGG’, which stands for ‘Good, giving and game.’ The ‘game’ part means that an ideal partner should be willing to at least try and entertain your fantasies and kinks, or let you seek fulfilment for those fantasies somewhere else. I’m down with the latter although not necessarily the former, because I think it’s often misinterpreted by horny people to mean ‘Dan Savage has given me carte blanche to nag you into trying for a threesome.’ He hasn’t, because while the ‘game’ part on their side is an encouragement to people to consider things they may otherwise not have thought of, it doesn’t lock anyone in to a contract to do a particular thing.

I’d always try to be ‘game’ where someone has a unique fetish, but I suspect that’s partly because I am turned on by unique fetishes, and I’d be drooling at the thought of getting to test one out. There are some suggestions people have made to me to which my ‘game’ response has been to weave their fantasy into a dirty story while I jerk them off: I don’t want to actually do the thing in question (usually for practical reasons), but I’m game for talking about the idea and bringing it in somewhere.

To come back to Marmite: you might really want to spend an evening rolling around in it with your other half. They might decide that they don’t want that, but they’re happy to watch you rolling, or happy to smear a little on their tits so you can lick it off. They might not want to touch the stuff and compromise by smearing chocolate spread and pretending.

Ultimately, though, while your partner may be ‘game’ in some areas, there will be others that are fully no-go zones. No, I don’t want to eat/fuck a jar of Marmite. No, I’m not comfortable with this. No, your kink is not my kink.

So how do you ‘get’ your partner to do something you like? You don’t. You communicate with them, and you can do your best to ‘tempt’ them. But something can only be really tempting if you remove all semblance of obligation from it- if you make it clear that your fetish is fun, hot, exciting, but never ever compulsory.


  • You make many excellent points here.
    To me it begs the question: is there a correlation between liking marmite and being a game girl?
    I love marmite!
    And I’m happy to give most things ago even if there not really my thing because:
    1. I might discover the bext sex yet and this new activity is MY thing after all.
    2. I’d like to do it for my partner for many reasons, especially watching them getting THAT turned on.

    So I’m up for anything with the right person and I think to turn your relationship into one where your partner is will to do stuff for you means you have to reciprocate and Do Stuff for your partner too (first).

    Who else likes marmite?

    • Girl on the net says:

      Haha, if only there were a simple way to tell if someone was your ‘type’ in bed by what they ate for breakfast =)

      TOTALLY with your number 2 as well – that’s often the reason why I get horny about weird stuff. It’s less about the stuff itself and more that a partner really REALLY wants to do it. Unngh.

  • rare deeds says:

    Love marmite, natch.

    I make you right with pretty much all you say here, gotn…& yet, the night before last, my partner showed me how “Ideally not in the middle of sex” might not necessarily be the case – we were in a new room, with lots of floor to ceiling mirrors, having passionate & very loving sex, when my partner suddenly started to tell me about fantasising about watching me watching her in the mirror, being fucked from behind – not a particularly extreme fantasy, but my partner is usually not at all “visual” in this way, so suddenly surprising in the moment…& exquisitely arousing.

  • i would not be sad if jon hamm did want to try any of those things either, but if he did want to wear a suit? i would be gutted! i love the theme of this, post because there is no one size fits all in getting your partner to try out something with you…but you can play with the idea and see what happens next!

    • Girl on the net says:

      I actually cannot imagine Jon Hamm in anything *but* a suit. I feel like it is probably his second skin. If he were your husband, he would wear a suit at all times. Like, you’re lying around in your PJs on a Sunday morning, Jon brings you breakfast in his suit. Meeting your friends for a drink? Jon’s in a suit. Going to Disneyland? Suit. He’d be the most dapper husband in the world =)

  • I like marmite on spam sandwiches, but Peter hates it. He likes English mustard on sausage sandwiches and I hate that! This usually means that picnics need to be thought out to avoid ruining the chance of both enjoying al fresco fucking, although a nice Sauvignon Blanc will often defuse such situations.

    I’m game to paint his cock with marmite and remove it orally, but I have a sneaky suspicion English mustard would not feel good on my clit and even he couldn’t remove it all without his eyes watering.

    We did do the chocolate ice cream thing once, but, then, we both like that and the sex which followed was scrummy!

    • Girl on the net says:

      Ooh blimey – I’d be game for the Marmite thing too, although English mustard sounds terrifying! I also have a feeling that actually using Marmite, given it’s a yeast extract, could potentially cause a yeast infection? Not sure – I’m not a doctor. I reckon chocolate’s a safer bet from a flavour perspective anyway =)

  • Sadie says:

    I hate Marmite and yet there are very few things I won’t try sexually if presented in a genuinely adult way rather than the equivalent of the blow job head push that some men try.

    I quite often don’t want to do very specific kinks again if they don’t do anything for me or if my partner gets so wrapped up in them that they forget I’m there rather just faciliating their desire coming true. I’ve been on the receiving end of sulks and tantrums from partners whose fantasies weren’t quite ‘right’ when they transferred it from their mind to reality.

    So I’d also say try not to have too set an idea of how things will go (unless giving very precise orders is your kink) and don’t make your partner feel like there’s a right way or a wrong way to do things if you’d like them to do it AGAIN.

    • Girl on the net says:

      That’s a really good point Sadie – and great advice. Throwing a tantrum when your fantasy doesn’t go quite how you’d planned is the quickest route to not getting it fulfilled again, and I’m gutted for you that some people have done that to you! Gah. I don’t think anything I’ve done has ever lived up to exactly how it happens in my head, but that’s partly the fun of experimenting. Sometimes things might be a bit disappointing, and sometimes people will do it in a way I didn’t expect and it blows my mind.

  • SpaceCaptainSmith says:

    I sympathise with people in this situation, but sometimes want to respond: “If loving Marmite is really that important to you, if it’s an actual dealbreaker, you should probably have mentioned it in your online dating profile. Or used a specifically Marmite-based service, such as”

    • Girl on the net says:

      That’s a good point. I think there’s way more scope to do that now that we have the internet, and having specific kinks is becoming less and less secret. Although I think there are still plenty of people for whom it’s tricky to be open about their kink from the get-go, either because of shyness/fear of being outed or shamed, or maybe from the fact that their kink is quite extreme and it may turn people off if they launch into it. There was a guy a while back on a kink forum I was on who used to message all the women (well, maybe not all, but I spoke to a lot of women who got the same message) saying ‘can I be your toilet slave? I want someone to pee and poo in my mouth and use me as a toilet.’ That was quite a… ummm… bold intro. But yeah, I totally get what you’re saying, and I think it’ll be a much more fun world when we can be more open about this stuff, and hopefully erase some of the shyness/fear that comes with some people’s kinks.

  • Jo says:

    Partner: “I’m really into butt stuff; I think it’s super hot. I’d love to put some lube on my finger and gently caress your anus so you can see how that feels, and you can do the same to me… would you be into that?”
    Me: “Yes, please! Let’s do all the butt stuff!”

    Partner: “I’m really into Marmite; I think it’s incredibly delicious. I’d love to put a little bit on my finger and just have you lick it off while staring hungrily into my eyes… would you be into that?”
    Me: “You dirty pervert. I’m game, but not THAT game.”

    Have you by chance heard the Amanda Palmer song about Vegemite? It’s hilarious! …at least as an American who’s never been able to get into Marmite or Vegemite.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.