Everyone experiences sexual fantasies. Some people even start to experience sexual fantasies before they even know what sex is. Fantasies can be a healthy part of a fulfilling sex life. But sometimes sexual fantasies can get in the way of our connection with our partner. Sex is about being present with another person. And sometimes, fantasies can pull you out of the moment or keep you preoccupied. On one hand, you do not want fantasizing to block intimacy. But on the other, you do not want to try to suppress yourself and keep a part of you from your partner either. So what can you do?
Talk about Each Other’s Fantasies
It is very important to talk about sexual fantasies in long-term relationships. Our culture gives us a lot of mixed messages about sex. Many people experience shame around their sexual fantasies, particularly if this fall outside of what society has deemed to be “normal”. That shame can lead to a lot of fear. You might get scared that your partner would think that you are weird or freaky. You might be scared that your partner would reject you. The body often tells our sex drive to shut down when it experiences fear, because our instincts tell us not to be in a vulnerable position when we are scared.
Instead, openly discussing your fantasies will allow you to build intimacy with your partner. By doing this, you allow them to know a part of you that very few people ever get to see. You can reach even greater depth of intimacy. Not only that, but you and your partner can decide what parts of each other’s fantasies you would like to experiment with. True intimacy opens the doors for exploration. And being able to explore keeps our sex life from growing stale or disconnected in long-term relationships.
Ask Yourself What You Like about a Fantasy
So what if the two of you can not get into the same thing? Sometimes, you might find that particular fantasies are a hard “no” for your partner. For instance, maybe you fantasize about being tied up. What do you do if your partner is too uncomfortable with that. What then? I hear this phrase thrown around a lot; “You don’t want to yuck anybody’s yum.” Even if you are not into the same things, you want to make sure that your partner feels accepted. You want to make sure that they know you are glad they told you. Regardless of whether you are into it, your partner took a big emotional risk by sharing their fantasy.
So how do we explore a fantasy that only one of us is into? Talk with each other about what you like about your fantasy. Just as an example if you fantasize about ropes, you may find that you really find the idea of giving control over to your partner to be exciting. You and your partner can explore other ways that they might feel more comfortable with you giving up that control. Fantasies are about exploration. And too often we can get stuck in te details to a point where we lose our sense of wonder and fun!
If you are looking to explore more in your sex life, give me a call at The Marriage & Family Clinic.
About the Author
Ryan Hicks is a licensed therapist and marriage counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in working with couples in high conflict and working with couples in the LGBTQ community. When he’s not working with couples, you’ll find him rock climbing or taking in the great outdoors of Colorado