How to tell someone your sexual fantasies (without worrying about judgment)

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Okay, so how do you tell your partner about a fantasy you're into that you're not so sure they'd be comfortable with? Especially if it's something more on the adventurous side?

Or here's an even simpler question: are you even comfortable talking about sex? Do you and your partner talk about your sexual needs and wants often or is it something that you avoid?

If you hesitated at all when reading these questions, it's totally okay. Talking about sex is not a skill we all develop at the same time and talking about your fantasies with your partner isn't always easy.

Talking About It Makes It Easier

Everyone has awkward stories about their sex education classes in high school or the safe sex chat they had to have with their parents. As a result many people feel uncomfortable talking about sex and usually try to avoid it. The bad news is that this is just something you need to be proactive about. The good news is, that like most things, practice makes perfect. The more you talk about sex, the easier it becomes to talk about and at the same time the more you learn about your partner. Both of which will only improve your sex life. Start with a yes/no/maybe list—you can each fill it out and go through it together. It provides the perfect starting point for the conversation.

You Aren’t Alone

Another reason many people feel hesitant about sharing their fantasies is fear of rejection or judgment. While this is a legit concern, the truth is everyone has sexual fantasies, whether they include bondage, toys or costumes. Rarely are you alone in what you want and the more you assert your needs, the easier it is to find people who echo them. Everyone enjoys certain things they worry other people will judge them for, especially if you come from a culture that doesn’t permit you to explore your sexuality. The less you talk about it, the more room you make for judgment.

It’s Important to Be Proactive

Build a relationship based on trust and be proactive with your communication. If you trust your partner, then be open and honest about your sexual fantasies. This may be scary at first, especially if you’re worried about your partner having a negative reaction. The truth is, the best sexual relationships come from ones where everyone is on the same page. If your fantasy becomes a need—and then becomes a deal breaker if it’s not met—this will eventually come up anyway. Instead, be honest and upfront—you’ll not only feel a sense of sexual empowerment but you might be pleasantly surprised to find out that your partner also has some fantasies of their own to share.

It’s OK If Your Partner Says No

If you find that your partner disagrees or says no to your fantasy, that’s ok. Everyone has their boundaries and no one is wrong in this situation. The next step is to talk about how important it is to you to get this need met. If it’s fine just staying as a fantasy, then let it go. If this fantasy becomes a need, then open up dialogue about how you can get this need met inside or outside of the relationship. The main thing here is to communicate thoroughly.

Videos, Books and Erotica Can Help

Lastly, if you still struggle to find the right words to describe what you are into, try using resources like erotica, film or blogs to help. Sometimes it’s easier to use an image than describe the details.

Here are some resources for bondage: The 10 Rules of Wrist Restraint and Two Knotty Boys Showing You the Ropes: A Step-by-Step, Illustrated Guide for Tying Sensual and Decorative Rope Bondage. Check out the sex-positive blog Rocket Erotic, the sex toy comic review site Oh Joy Sex Toy and Autostraddle’s resource on queer feminist porn. We also love the magazine Sex is Pure.

Whether you use other resources or not and in the spirit of building a long lasting and healthy sex life, talk it out. You never know what you’ll discover about each other.