A lot of people are hard at work right now trying to find the perfect holiday gift for a significant other. Allow me to make your job a little easier and suggest a gift your partner is sure to love: give them the opportunity to share and fulfill some of their sexual fantasies. Let them tell you what they want—what they really, really want.
I studied the sexual fantasies of more than 4,000 Americans for my book Tell Me What You Want and one of the key things I found was that most people (about 4 in 5) said that their favorite sexual fantasy of all time is something they want to act on. In other words, for most people, their favorite fantasy is a desire. However, only about half of my participants said they had even shared this fantasy with a partner before, and even fewer (about 1 in 5) said they had actually acted on it. In other words, there’s a pretty sizable gap between fantasy and reality.
A big part of the reason for this is because many of us feel shame and guilt about our fantasies, due to restricted ideas about what’s “normal” when it comes to sex. When people have fantasies that make them feel uncomfortable, they tend to repress them rather than express them. Unfortunately, thought suppression is a terrible way to take your mind off of something because, paradoxically, trying not to think about sex just makes you think about it even more.
Tell We What You Want. Image courtesy Hachette Books.
We need to stop repressing and suppressing these sexual thoughts and, instead, acknowledge and come to terms with them because, odds are, the things you’re fantasizing about are the same things that everyone else is fantasizing about, too.
The truth is that when it comes to sharing our fantasies with our partners, most of us are going to have a lot in common—and that’s good news! In fact, this is probably why I found that most people who decided to share their fantasies with a partner reported positive experiences. Further, they said that it improved their relationship, too. Sharing fantasies is a great way of building up intimacy and trust, in addition to being a form of dirty talk that can be used to spice things up in the bedroom.
Those who decide to go the extra mile and act on their sexual fantasies have the potential to take their sex life to another level. I found that most people who acted on their sex fantasies reported that it either met or exceeded expectations and, further, that it benefited their relationship. People who have acted out their fantasies also reported being the most sexually satisfied and had the fewest sexual difficulties. Plus, women who share and act on their fantasies report more frequent orgasms, which suggests that getting in touch with our fantasies might be one of the keys to closing the orgasm gap!
Of course, just as there are potential rewards of sharing and acting on our fantasies, there are potential risks that need to be balanced here, too. In order to maximize potential rewards and minimize potential risks, you need to choose the right time, place, and icebreaker for starting a conversation about fantasies. This is something I deal with extensively in Tell Me What You Want. This book will not only help you to better understand your own and your partner’s fantasies and the deeper psychological meaning behind them, but it will help you to begin more productive sexual conversations and tell you what you need to know if you’re thinking about acting on your fantasies.
Tell Me What You Want makes a great stocking stuffer and conversation starter. So do something good for your relationship this holiday season and help each other bring some of your fantasies to life!
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