In an earlier blog we talked about why it’s important to talk with your partner very specifically about your sexual desires. We can’t emphasize enough how essential talking about sex is if you want your sex life to last and be fulfilling. Yet, because of our society’s general shaming about sex, just talking about our most mainstream desires for romance or passion can be challenging. For those of us who have less conventional sexual desires, talking about them can feel way more risky.
You might know exactly what turns you on the most, but fear that your partner will judge your desires or even be disgusted by them. In our work with individuals and couples, we have come across people who have all sorts of interesting desires, and you can see references to the wide variety of desires out in the world like this article from the Guardian about a young, slim woman who fantasizes about sex with older, obese men. Before even talking with your partner about your more unorthodox desires, we suggest you clarify for yourself exactly what your desires are and what you want from the conversation. We think it is helpful to look at your desires in terms of three categories.
Do It To Me – Sexy Acts
You might desire a specific act with your partner. For example, as a heterosexual man you might be embarrassed to ask for anal play because you fear your partner might think it is not masculine or is dirty. As a woman, you might want your partner to be more rough with you, like wanting them to slap your face.
Say It To Me – Sexy Words
You might desire to hear specific words from your partner. Maybe you want to feel like you are in trouble: “You are such a naughty boy and I’m going to whip you.” Or you want to hear that you are the queen and receive worshipful words: “I bow at your perfect feet your majesty and am at your command.” If you are wanting your partner to talk during sex, don’t leave it up to chance, give them the exact words that you want them to say and let them try those, as well as experiment with others in the same vein. Make sure that you have an agreement that you can give feedback and update the words if they start to get boring.
Play It With Me – Sexy Fantasies
With fantasies it is important to know whether or not you want to share them outside of sex, share them verbally during more conventional sexual experiences, or play them out. You can share your fantasies simply as a way to let your partner into some of the deepest, most private, and most vulnerable parts of yourself. Even if you don’t play them out, this can be a very connecting experience.
You might desire to say your fantasies to your partner during sex or have them tell you specific fantasies. For example, you might be really turned on by the idea of an orgy, but don’t actually want to experience group sex. Instead, you want your partner to walk you through the fantasy verbally: “Now imagine that we walk into this room full of really sexual people and they are all looking at you, thinking how much they want you. And, you stand there shyly at first, but soon you start to get a little bit more brave and you start seducing them all by slowly undressing.” Finally, you may want to actually play out your fantasies. You might want to play out a rape fantasy or buy a nice flogger, a blindfold and handcuffs and go as a couple to your local dungeon, where your partner can tie you to a cross and whip you and play with you in front of other people.
Bringing Up The Conversation
Once you have a good idea of what you want, it is time to take the very brave step of bringing it up with your partner. Since society tells us that certain desires are acceptable and others are wrong or shameful, it is very vulnerable to share our deepest desires especially if they are unconventional. There are many ways, both direct and indirect, to share. We think the best way is to invite your partner to a sexy conversation where the two of you agree to take an open, non-judgmental approach to hearing all of your partner’s desires and fantasies. Make sure that you both realize how vulnerable and brave to share in these ways.
In order to be open and non-judgmental, it is also extremely important that you remember that you have a right to your boundaries – if you are uncertain about boundaries, check out our series on boundaries. If there is something that your partner desires, first you want to accept and celebrate it and then you get to decide whether you want to participate, knowing that there may be some desires that you want to explore with them and others that you don’t.
Most people judge each other’s fantasies because they are afraid that they are required to meet all of their partner’s needs, however, you will never meet all your partner’s needs. The worst things you can do in the face of your partner’s desires are judge and try to shut them down or engage in activities that are too uncomfortable for you – judging will shut your partner down and having sex in ways you don’t want to will shut you down. If you keep your boundaries, allow yourself to be open to new experiences, and allow your partner to feel disappointment if there are parts you don’t want to do, that is the very best you can do in relationship.