We all seem to have our own image of what sex is “supposed to be.” When sex sways too far away from that image it become unacceptable, or in some cases amoral and sexually unethical. We use words like freak, disgusting, weird, and other words, I rather not say, especially toward women, to oppress those things that do not fit society’s notions of sex.
In return, we hold back from our partners because we fear their reaction. We withhold this information causing sex to become routine since experimentation requires communication, especially when sex is involved.
Overcoming this is a two-person job because it takes courage from the sender of this information and empathy from person receiving the information.
Here is how this can be done in a way that will enhance your relationship
Often how people react to a partner describing a sexual fantasy, kink, or desire can create a safe space to share or shut the lines off completely.
A person who reacts in a way that makes their partner feel rejected, judged, or perverted, that person will fear talking about these things in the future. This then creates a block to the couple’s intimacy since it sends an “I accept you but…” message. The “but” creates a doubt about their full safety in the relationship, especially when sex involved.
To react in the right way, the person listening needs to do that above all else. One reason couples get into a pattern of fighting is that neither party is listening and end up shouting at each other. We talk, but if no one is listening things just spiral downward from there.
Listen to your partner and don’t react until you can fully understand these questions
- What is the desire or fantasy being discussed by your partner? In other words, what is your partner talking about?
- What is the underlying need that the desire fulfills? For a dominant person it is good because they gain a sense of power and control they feel they lack outside the bedroom.
- Does your partner actually want to act on the desire? Your partner might just be sharing with no expectation or wish to take it out of their minds and into real life.
- What are you are feeling now that your partner has told you this? We often suggest couples try and fulfill each other’s desires unless you really object to the sexual desire or fantasy being discussed.
Once you can answer these four questions then respond.
Hearing the big picture and knowing the full story may change that initial “you want me to what now?” feeling since you have a deeper understanding of the sexual need. Once you do respond, respond with empathy, kindness, and honesty. Respond in an empathetic way, even if deep down inside you are horrified. Remember never yuck, someone’s yum. In other words, just because it’s not your thing, doesn’t make it bad, disgusting, or amoral.
It’s ok to not dig all of your partner’s desires or even be able to fulfill all their needs. Some may be too beyond your comfort zone to try, that’s ok. Reassure your partner you understand and accept them, and thank them for sharing because expressing these things initially can be horrifying, not knowing how your partner will react.
If they want to do it in real life and you are unable to satisfy that specific desire, see if there is another way for you to satisfy that underlying need that drives that desire in other ways more acceptable to you. If not, well that’s a topic for a later date.
As for the person describing their desire. Trust your partner will react at least respectfully and empathetically. Be honest about how important the sexual behavior in question is to you or even if you just want to try it. Just because you may fantasize about being slapped on the ass so hard sitting the next day will hurt, does not mean you have to live it. It is ok to talk about fantasies, even if you don’t want to try it.
Lastly, if you want to try it understand your partner may not be able to provide for you in the way you want it, nor are they obligated to fulfill that desire.
Have more questions about how fantasies and desires impact your relationship? Please contact me with your questions.