I was speaking to a client this week about fantasies. We were working on her discomfort with talking about sex in general. I asked her to tell me about one of her favorite past lovers, and the way she felt when she was with him.
“He was adventurous and was very open about sex. I didn’t have any shame or shyness when I was with him. He encouraged me to share my most exciting fantasies with him.”
“Having a conversation about fantasies was extremely liberating for me, and we used fantasy during sex to turn each other on. It felt playful and creative. I told him that I’ve always fantasized about having a threesome with another woman. I’d never shared that with anyone before.”
We never actually had a threesome, but talking about it, and even planning it at one point was really exciting in and of itself.”
This woman had the experience of being with someone who opened her up. He led by example, and in so doing gave her permission to overcome her shyness and share her threesome fantasy. He helped her connect to a part of herself that felt free and willing to take some risks in revealing herself.
Who we are sexually is often influenced by the partner we’re with.
We effect each other’s level of sexual freedom and authenticity.
In order to support each other’s sexual growth and learning, ask your partner if they’d be interested in sharing their sexual fantasies, for the purpose of deepening your sexual connection and expanding your erotic experience. When we’re tuned into our partner’s erotic mind, we can support them having the experience they’re drawn to.
Sharing our erotic fantasies with our partner is the 2.0 level of sexual communication.
Take the Leap
Letting our partner into our erotic mind is scary. We’re trusting that they won’t shame us, judge us, or bottom line, stop loving us. It feels risky. Maybe you’re worried that they’ll share your sexual fantasies with their friends, or worse, use this very personal information against you in some way during conflict.
When you sit down to talk about sharing sexual fantasies, make an agreement with your partner, that unless otherwise stated, sexual fantasizes are kept between you. Be a trustable confidant to your partner and honor that agreement. This creates the feeling of safety that allows for honest sharing.
Like any conversation about sex, be sensitive in your timing. Wait for your partner to feel relaxed so they have the free attention to give to this conversation. You might even plan a time to sit down and share fantasies. Planning for a conversation about fantasies can give you time to think about what you’ll share and build some anticipation for a playful conversation.
Remember that it may be hard for your partner to share some of their fantasies. Listen attentively, never judge, never shame.
When you understand your partner’s inner experience, you can help support and even create the kind of sex that lights them up, whether it’s sensual and romantic or kinky and complex, we can learn to meet our partner’s core erotic needs.
“Sometimes I fantasize about _______. Is that normal?”
Clients will often look for reassurance that their fantasies fall within an acceptable norm. They sometimes feel confused about the fantasies that arouse them.
Fantasies are born out of a lifetime of experiences that have both opened us up and closed us down. Our erotic minds draw from all of it, and in the throws of sexual desire, these thoughts, imaginings and scenarios can flood our brain.
Talk openly about your fantasies, and stay curious and accepting about whatever those fantasies are.
Self-acceptance is the first step in being able to share sexual fantasies with your partner. There’s nothing sexier than a confident lover who is sexually self-aware and shame-free when it comes to their desires and fantasies.
Tell the story
Pick your favorite erotic fantasy to share with your partner. If it doesn’t have a particular story line, consider what that story line might be.
Flush it out in all its detail, location, conversation, feelings. This helps your partner understand why you find it exciting.
Our fantasies are clues to how our arousal system is wired. Our erotic mind is communicating to us through imagery, which is indicative of the subconscious mind. Images evoke feelings, and if those feelings are eroticized in our brains, we’re seeking those feelings to enhance our arousal. There’s no limit to the types of feelings we can eroticize.
Invite your partner to ask questions and explore the origins of your fantasy. When do you remember first having this fantasy? Was the fantasy born out of a happy experience or a challenging experience? Be open to whatever information comes out of this investigation, and the reason why this fantasy has taken its place as one of your favorite.
Fantasy vs Reality
In my e-book, Your Erotic Menu, I have a checklist of erotic activities and have columns for yes, maybe, and fantasy. I gave fantasy it’s own column because there may be many activities that turn us on mentally, that in reality we would never want to actually do.
This is an important distinction, not only for our own investigation, but it’s important for our partners to know that we can be excited by a fantasy without ever expecting or even wanting to play it out for real.
Taking action on fantasies is another conversation. In the life outside of our brain, we take things into consideration, like our values, morals, belief systems, and accountability to others.
Cause and effect may be the law outside of our mind, but in our heads we have free reign to explore.
I don’t fantasize and never have.
Not everyone identifies with having a fantasy life. Some people are less visual in their mental imaginings. Their erotic experience may be more physically focused. Scenarios or stories may be harder for them to identify. Don’t force it. But rather let yourself daydream. Give yourself the actually space and time to do nothing but wander in your mind. It’s a rare indulgence these days.
If sexual fantasies don’t come easily to you, you might remember past experiences of heightened turn-on, or movies with sexual scenes that stuck with you over the years. Erotic literature can also lead us into exciting scenarios, and it leaves lots of room for our imagination to fill in the rest.
For many people, masturbation can lead us into mental imagery and scenarios that heighten our arousal. Next time you’re having solo sex pay attention to where your erotic minds leads you as your body moves toward orgasm.
I don’t want to betray my partner in my thoughts.
Fantasies don’t have to involve other people (real or imagined). Many of my clients tell me that their favorite fantasies are about their partner. They imagine a past sexual experience that was full of passion. They may fantasize novel ways of relating to them, like dominance and submission. They may enjoy imagining their partner with a stranger, or you might imagine yourself as someone else they’re having sex with.
You don’t have to leave your partner behind in your fantasy world. Bring them along and give them a starring role in your story.
What if our fantasies are different?
Chances are the nature of your fantasies will be different from your partner.
You may get turned on by romantic love-making, and your partner may get turned on by power exchange and kink. That’s ok. We can learn to acknowledge our differences without making our partner wrong.
Once we understand the feelings and desires that we hope for from sex, we can take turns visiting each other’s preferred sexual experiences.
If you’ve gone through the exercise of sharing your erotic fantasies with each other, you now have the information you need to feed their fantasy back to them during sex. Part of being a good lover is being able to expand beyond our preferences and meet our lovers in their world as well.
If you know your partner is turned on by romantic seduction, step into your inner seducer to give them that energy. If your partner’s fantasy involves being dominant, set the stage for them to take charge, and connect to the part of you that wants to let go and surrender.
I want to be present when I have sex.
Sexual fantasies shouldn’t be a replacement for presence. If you’re checking out from your partner by getting lost in your mind, they’ll feel it. Don’t abandon your partner in the bedroom. Share your fantasy with them. Make one up together just for fun.
Use fantasy as a tool that can be used strategically to ramp up your turn on when the time is right. Some people use fantasy in order to reach orgasm or heighten their orgasmic experience. Some use fantasy to get them in the mood for sex, when their minds are elsewhere. We can move in and out of fantasy in ways that work for us, without abandoning our partner.
Explore Your Erotic Mind
By bringing attention to our sexual fantasies, we’re investigating our erotic minds, and the reasons we turn to sex in the first place. Our fantasies point the way to our core desires, and our core desires point the way to a fulfilling sexual life.
Start by first investigating your favorite/familiar fantasies
Accept your fantasies without shame or apology
Share your fantasies in detail with your partner
Get curious about your fantasy’s origins and embedded feelings
If you want a sure fire way to initiate this conversation with your partner, download my free e-book, Your Erotic Menu, to use as a tool to help you talk about your desire and fantasies with your partner. Your Erotic Menu is a guided communication exercise that leads a couple into conversations about sexual styles, erotic fantasies and the feelings we hope to find in our unique sexual experiences.
If you need guidance in how to create deeper intimacy, a fulfilling sex life, and a connected relationship, contact me here for private coaching programs that are designed to meet your desires and goals.
You may not identify with having sexual shame. You may be quite liberal when it comes to the sex you see on screen and in advertising. You may support honest and truthful sex education, and have a tolerant, accepting attitude toward less conventional sexual expressions. The shame I’m talking about is found less in spoken opinions and more in unspoken feelings and beliefs. Not wanting to talk about sex in our relationships is how we carry forth our ancestor’s sexual doctrine, and I see it in many of my clients.
Teri and John (we’ll call them) came to see me a few months ago. They described their 15 year relationship as compatible and loving, except when it came to sex and intimacy, neither of which they were able to figure out how to change for the better. They reached a point where they could see three roads ahead of them...
You may think that having a threesome would be exciting, but the truth is, you’re already in a threesome. There’s you, your partner, and your relationship.
When we begin to view our relationship as the 3rd in our threesome, it’s easier to see how we are either feeding it with attention and nurturing care, or we’re literally ignoring it to death.
Savoring is more than mindfulness. Mindfulness brings us to a razor’s edge of awareness that has qualities of neutrality and acceptance. Mindfulness teaches us to
be with what ‘is’.
Savoring brings an additional layer of experience with it. It brings a depth of noticing that is filled with feelings of gratitude and appreciation, and even a sense of preciousness.