Sexual desires, fantasies, and kinks are a normal part of human sexuality. These are things that everyone has experienced at some point in their life, whether they’re comfortable talking about it or not. According to a 2019 survey, the most common sexual fantasies are linked to multi-partner sex, BDSM, novelty-centered fantasies, and taboo sex.
Imagine walking past a flower shop and finding that one beautiful flower that mesmerizes you. Your body feels different when you have this powerful response to something you are drawn to — and those feelings of attraction lead you back to the store to buy the flower. This is all just an example of how we experience sexual attraction and desire. This blog will discuss the importance of negotiation, curiosity, and self-ownership in exploring sexual interests over time.
What Is Sexual Desire?
Sexual desire is the feeling of want or need, sexually, for an object or an activity. The desire to pursue that object or activity is considered to be one’s sex drive. Sexual desire can also be sparked by thoughts or fantasies. While sexual desire is not always present in all people, or at all times, it does exist within most of us so we can have healthier relationships with others and ourselves.
Negotiation and Communication
Communication is key to any relationship, especially a sexual one. As much as we may think we know our partners, there’s always more to learn about them and their desires. Negotiation and communication are vital components of any healthy sexual relationship. They help us to understand each other better and come together on what we want from each other.
Discussing desires and fantasies with partners should be done safely and respectfully. There is value in encouraging partners to share their interests openly and honestly without fear of judgment or shame.
Curiosity and Self-Ownership
Getting to know one’s desires and fantasies is a journey of self-discovery and growth. Approach this exploration with curiosity and a willingness to learn about oneself. Own your desires and fantasies, even if they are not considered mainstream. Living in a sex negative society is disempowering and the way to reclaim that power to is learn how to own those powerful parts of yourself that lead to health and a sense of wellbeing.
Strive for the feeling of comfort in being honest about what turns you on — even if it initially embarrasses you. Acceptance and learning about what turns you on from blogs and TED Talks will help you become more comfortable with yourself so that you can express your true desires when the time comes for sexual intimacy. This is what Brené Brown talks about in terms of the power of vulnerability.
Be willing to say no when someone tries to pressure you into doing something that doesn’t feel right for you — even if it means possibly hurting their feelings or upsetting them. You owe yourself sexual experiences that leave you feeling powerful and valuable. Sexual exploration can be an adventure that is nourishing, and one you can take myself and with partners. Those that aren’t curious about your sexual boundaries, or aren’t interested in incorporating your boundaries into shared experiences, aren’t communicating a sense of safety that is required for most people to feel truly free in their pleasure. Your experience can be different from this.
Authenticity and Trust
Be true to yourself. Share your likes and dislikes with partners, and allow them to do the same. Remember to listen to your body and know what makes you feel safe, comfortable, excited, or aroused. It is also important not to force yourself into something that does not feel good for you at that moment.
Trust is built over time by being open, honest, and respectful of each other’s boundaries. You can trust someone if they are willing to be vulnerable enough with their feelings, thoughts, and desires so that you can learn about yourself through their experiences and yours!
Understanding the Origins of Fantasies
Our sexual fantasies are often tied to our current lives, needs, unmet needs, and a self-exploration/adventure. Understanding the origins of our desires can help us make sense of them and communicate them more effectively to partners.
The first step in exploring your fantasies is thinking about what you want from sex. What do you desire? What turns you on? How does this feel? What would make it better?
Once you know what turns you on or what feels good sexually, it becomes easier to get clear on what makes other people tick! This is especially important if you’re having trouble communicating with your partner about what turns them on because each partner has different desires that may not match each other’s (or vice versa).
Talk to a Sex Therapist Today
If you’re ready to discuss your sexual desires and fantasies, PNW Sex Therapy Collective is here to support you. Our couples therapy will help you navigate the complex world of sexuality and relationships.
We provide a safe, non-judgmental space for you to discover your interests, understand the origins of your desires, and communicate effectively with partners. Don’t let shame or fear hold you back from living your most authentic and fulfilling sexual life. Schedule a consultation and begin your journey towards sexual self-discovery and growth.