As anyone in a committed relationship knows, the inner dialogue of passion changes once you've been together for a while. Your partner is no longer "new," and touch may now feel more comfortable than thrilling—but that doesn't mean that your sex life can't still inhabit that exciting, novel space of a new relationship. Keeping your erotic imagination active is they key to great sex within a long-term relationship. While your partner doesn't change, your approach, attitude and desires around what you want in bed can and certainly will.
I can't stress enough how important it is to share and explore your fantasies with your partner. It's a guaranteed way to keep the voice of your erotic imagination loud and clear in your relationship, especially when so many routines and responsibilities threaten to drown it out. Here are three simple steps to identifying, sharing and exploring your fantasies together:
1. Figure out what turns you on.
Where to begin? Start by turning yourself on, noticing what thoughts, images and fantasies speak to you. Do you think of your partner, previous partners, the stranger you passed on the street, a celebrity?
I also recommend movies and erotic reading. When it comes to fantasy, one size doesn't fit all. Watching movies with erotic scenes and reading fantasies is a great way to notice which themes, sex roles and practices speak to you. You might even find yourself shocked to notice what turns you on! Not to worry, enjoying the freedom and exploration of putting yourself into fantasies of places you would not want to go in real life is common and often part of the excitement. Have fun with it.
2. Start sharing—thoughtfully.
This can be tricky business and is an area that most couples struggle to communicate about — so end up avoiding it entirely.
First ask yourself if this is the right relationship to share your fantasies. Sharing fantasies can greatly enhance your sexual relationship or put a big wedge between you. Does your partner make you feel emotionally safe and accepted when you take risks and share from the more vulnerable parts of yourself? Will they entertain your fantasy with you even if they are not totally enthused about acting it out with you? Most importantly, make sure you both understand the intention of your sharing. Is it simply to learn more about each other's turn-ons and private erotic life? Or are you putting on the table new menu items you'd actually like to try on?
Next, test the waters. Drop hints of what really turns you on, or ask questions about what they think of a particular scene in a movie. I also find it's great to make a list of sexual fantasies, rank them as "yes", "no" and "not for now" and then switch lists. Definitely add all of the "yes" items to your sexual menu and revisit the "not for now" a few months down the road.
3. Make your fantasy a reality!
Exploring fantasies in real life can be both exciting and scary at the same time. In the mental fantasy, you are calling all of the shots and direct the whole scene including who does what, where, when and with whom. Not so in reality. Some fantasies translate to steamy, hot sexual encounters and others can flop.
If you are thinking of including a third partner in your relationship, for example, you might want to start by putting your big toe in the water. That might look like seeking out that new partner online together, having a meeting, maybe even public PDA. Go slowly and respect your feelings. If it's a green light for you both, rock on. If it's a red, STOP and if it's yellow, slow it down and see if it turns green or red.
If you want to try some submission and domination, you might want to start with a blindfold before bringing out the flogger. If you introduce your fantasies slower in the beginning, they will find a flow once you both get used to reading your signals in this new play.
Learning, stretching and growing together as a couple is the way to have great sex and a great life. With your partner, you have the safety to let go and explore — sexplore. The possibilities are limitless. Stay curious about each other and experiment. There's no telling what your next peak sexual experience will be.
In partnership with YourTango