A Step-By-Step Guide To Discovering (And Exploring!) Your Hottest Fantasies

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sexual fantasies
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Alone OR with a partner. Shame-free!

Sex coaches, sex therapists, and relationship counselors often give clients permission to explore their sexual fantasies with a partner or partners. Sometimes this feels a lot like when people tell you that you have to let go of your feelings or let go of the past when you have no idea how to let go. It isn’t that you are unwilling, you just don’t know how to do it.

I’m writing this step-by-step guide for everyone who doesn’t know how to explore or doesn’t find it easy to explore a sexual fantasy — even when they have been given permission.

I have been giving people permission for 30 years and 50% of the people I see still find this difficult.

Here are seven steps on how to embrace and explore your sexual fantasies:

1. Determine what are you interested in exploring.

Here’s the first place where people get stuck.

Many aren’t sure what really turns them on. Some have long standing fantasies but are completely unsure if they want to explore these further. Even if you have long standing fantasies and know you want to explore them, I encourage you to start with this step.

Dedicate a journal or a pad of paper to this exploration unless you hate writing longhand. Allow yourself 10 minutes without distractions.

Put on background music if that helps you settle into a good head space. Close your eyes and take three slow deep breaths in and out. Open your eyes and spend the next 10 minutes writing down any sensual or sexual fantasy that comes to mind. No censoring. There is no one here to judge you.

Fantasies are just that — fantasies. You do not have to act on any of them. When you reach 10 minutes, stop writing.

If you got stuck on that exercise, use erotica (visual, film, audio or written) to help you come up with a list.

Still stuck for ideas? Explore movies that are seriously sexy but not pornography, using this guide, or take an erotica test. Once you have an idea or two, start writing and see what else comes up.


Related: How To Uncover Your Deepest, Sexiest Fantasies (For The Hottest Sex Of Your Life!)
 

2. Tackle the self-judgment and any shame.

Do you feel embarrassed about your fantasies? Are there some you feel are just wrong?

Most western cultures still educate people into feeling shame about anything to do with their bodies, sex, sexuality, gender, and desire. We are taught that being open about these topics is shameful. We are often taught that to acknowledge our desires and to seek to get them satisfied is the most shameful thing of all.

Just look at what we call women who have strong sexual desires and who actively seek to get these needs met. We call them sluts.

We tell them that showing off their bodies is shameful and wrong and that having sexual desires is shameful and wrong and that getting their sexual needs met is the most shameful thing of all. Men are taught a conflicting message. They are taught that sexual desires and sexually active women are hot and desirable but they are also taught that these are shameful and that they should be kept hidden. 

What happens when we are ashamed of our bodies and sexual desires? The pleasure becomes tainted with shame. For some people, this develops into a central part of desire. They learn to get off on shame. For most people, it means that when they feel pleasure, they also have an icky feeling and often don’t allow themselves to fully connect with the pleasure.

For some, it is so bad that orgasm becomes impossible. The other thing that happens is that people find it hard to talk about their bodies, their fears, and their desires and find it impossible to feel safe enough to raise issues and desires — often even with their partners. So they don’t get the information they need to be sexually healthy and to maximize pleasure AND they don’t ask their partners for what they need most. They learn to suffer in silence.

Here are some shame-busting statistics about common desires:

Current stats place up to 44% of people interested in BDSM (fantasizing about and/or are trying). Recent research from Quebec placed being dominated as the second most popular fantasy with more than half of the 1517 participants saying they fantasize about being dominated. This was listed as the most popular fantasy for this subject group (primarily heterosexual, with a mean age of 30). In my clinical experience, BDSM is a popular area for fantasy across genders, sexual orientation, and amongst all age groups.

Many people report having had BDSM fantasies (like being overpowered or being bound or being spanked) since they were pre-teens. 

Being forced to have sex was endorsed by 30% of respondents. This corresponds with other research that places rape/ravishment fantasies as one of the most popular fantasies. This is also the fantasy that creates the most shame.

Rape victims and victims of sexual abuse and assault often blame themselves if they had any rape or ravishment fantasies prior to the experience. The fantasies described never look anything like the reality of rape.

Women don’t fantasize about an ugly total stranger attacking them and violently penetrating them. The ravisher in their fantasies is someone they find attractive in some way. In the fantasy, they always have a degree of control and in many rape and ravishment fantasies, the perpetrator falls in love with the victim. This bears no resemblance to a real rape situation. 

In this study, fifty-five fantasies were measured and only two were found to be rare (with only 2.3% of participants registering an interest) and nine were unusual (with 15.9% of participants showing an interest). The other forty-four fantasies were seen to be common.

The most recent statistics come from a twitter poll done by OK Cupid of 400,000 members. 71% of respondents said they were "into kink." 75% of the men and 62% of the women said they liked "rough sex." 

One of the interesting facets of this research was that OK Cupid did a similar poll in 2015 when 50 Shades of Grey was released. This poll was done after 50 Shades Darker came out. There is a steady upward trend for interest in BDSM and kinky sex.

The most popular fantasy for men, according to the statistics I could find, still remains a threesome, and the one right after that is watching two women have sex. Watching two women having sex is also a highly-ranked fantasy for women. 

If you are still feeling shame after having a look at these statistics, consider a session or two with a coach to focus specifically on shame busting. 

One of the best ways to eradicate shame is to talk with someone about your fantasies and not be judged. An even better outcome is when you talk with a partner who finds your fantasies exciting.

3. Explore your fantasy alone.

You can read erotica related to your fantasy, watch movies that contain your fantasy, or even write about your fantasy.

Once you have done this, try self-pleasuring while fantasizing. Some of you will already have been doing this since the fantasy took shape. You may have felt fine about masturbating to the fantasy or you may have felt ashamed. Once you have completed some shame busting, try self-pleasuring again.

Notice how much more exciting the fantasy is when you are not wasting energy on negative thoughts and shame. If masturbation or self-pleasure is an area that causes you intense shame, this is something you can work on with a coach or a therapist. (By the way, 80% of men and 70% of women over the age of 18 admit to masturbating. People who are having more sex tend to masturbate more. And masturbation continues through the entirety of adulthood.

4. Share a fantasy with a partner

This may seem like a big step, particularly if you and your partner don’t usually talk sex. If it feels too scary to start by sharing the fantasy that you have had since childhood, try sharing a fantasy that doesn’t seem as important to you. If even that feels too difficult, here are some ways you can subtly introduce a fantasy to a partner:

Give your partner erotica that is in line with your fantasy to read.

Read erotica to your partner that features your fantasy.

Watch a movie with your partner that includes your fantasy material.

Set a time to have an intimate talk with your partner and ask them about THEIR fantasies. Give them your full attention. Talking about their fantasies can often provide the opening to talk about yours as you play "show and tell."

5. Research your fantasy and how you could explore further.

Once you have talked to a partner about the fantasy or if you are without a partner fleshed the fantasy out in writing on your own, it’s time to look at the practicalities to figure out how you might explore further.

The research stage can be a lot of fun. For example, if my fantasy were to go to a swinger’s club and to enter into a threesome, I would first research local swingers’ events and find out who they cater to, how often they have events, what events include, how much they cost, and the rules for each venue and/or event. I might talk to the event organizers. I might even talk with people who have attended recent events. During the exploration, anticipation increases desire.

6. Once research is finished, decide to take the first step to physically explore the fantasy.

Sometimes the step before enacting a fantasy can be talking about the fantasy or describing the fantasy when you are in bed together.

Tell the story to your lover. If you are without a partner, tell the story to yourself during a self-pleasuring session.


Related: Here's What Guys Find So HOT About Rough, Hard Sex
 

7. Take the first real world step toward the fantasy.

In the swingers’ club example, my first step is to choose the event I am going to attend and book a ticket. If you are doing this with a partner, there will be negotiation at this stage. You should discuss the plans to realize the fantasy and make sure to cover things like boundaries and limits, what to do if the fantasy is not going well, or what to do if you are both simply bored.

If you have decided to role play as part of a fantasy, this is the point at which you also gather materials so that you create a realistic role play. You might want to make costumes or rent them. Often the process of getting ready to explore the fantasy leads to exciting sex.

If at any point during this process the current step feels too tough, move back a step until you are really comfortable. Then move forward to try again. 

If you want more structured support during this process, reach out to a sex coach or therapist. There are many ways to learn and explore your fantasies, so have hope!

Dr Lori Beth is a sex & intimacy coach and psychologist who works with individuals, couples and polyamorous groups to help them explore sexuality, recreate a healthy sexual identity after trauma as well as deepen their awareness and understanding of intimate relationships. Why not join her at her free tele seminar: Intimacy & Authenticity With Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey 3 Secrets To Comfortably & Confidently Explore What Arouses, Excites, & Ignites You (In & Out Of Bed!) on 20 September 09:00 PST/12:00 noon EST5:00 pm BST.

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