How to Explore Your Sexual Fantasies in a Relationship with Chantelle Otten

by Chantelle Otten

on Oct 12, 2022

And what to do if your fantasies don't match up.

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Sexual fantasies – we all have them, and they all differ from one person to another. While the main purpose of delving into sexual fantasies is to explore our desires and the scenarios which bring us pleasure, sometimes they may not align with our partner’s.

So, how can you help to fulfill fantasies in a relationship if they differ from your own? Firstly, let’s explore what sexual fantasies are and how to figure out yours.

A sexual fantasy is about creating an imagined arousing scenario. They are completely normal and give people the opportunity to explore sexual activities and relationships which might not be achievable in real life.

Take sex in the doctor’s office for example... it sounds great in your head, but it might not necessarily be achievable in real life. The fantasy gives us the ability to enjoy the idea on its own without consequences.

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Role play can be a great way of acting out our fantasies! There are different ways of interacting with fantasy and role play. It might stay inside someone’s inner thoughts, be shared with a partner or even played out inside or outside of the bedroom.

Take a moment to think about your own fantasies; scenarios and desires that are unique to you. Consider the correlation between fantasy and your real life, especially around intimacy and sexual stimulation. Are there any similarities or differences?

When you have looked at the different themes and elements of your fantasy, ask yourself:

  • What parts of them would you like to use to enhance your sex life? What stories recur in your fantasies?

  • What do the sensations or images remind you of?

  • What makes the story erotic? Expand on your intentions and desires and as you do, focus on what your needs are in the present.

  • What are my sexual limits or boundaries within this fantasy?

You can use the information from this exercise to expand your fantasies to include more of what you want in your real life. You can change and develop the plots, go in and out of the fantasy, or stop it if you feel it is detrimental.

A good place to start is using a fantasy during masturbation instead of partnered lovemaking so you can explore the pleasure it may bring on your own. If you feel there is a sufficient level of emotional safety, sharing your sexual fantasies can bring you closer to your partner.

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Sometimes simply taking a couple of elements or rules from fantasies and acting them out can add a new and stimulating dimension to lovemaking or an element of erotic fun and playfulness. The roles you take on can be based on fictional characters – like Superman and Lois Lane, Robin Hood and Maid Marion, Batman and Robin. They might also be based on classical real-life roles – for example, soldier and officer, nurse and patient, animal handler and dog, fireman and arsonist, prostitute and client, customs officer and drug smuggler, or office boss and secretary.

Fantasy role play can also involve changing gender, cross-dressing or being a different age. The sexual tension in role playing is based on eroticizing the interactions between characters. Once you get into a role you might find this is very easy to do.

Most people do have a secret erotic fantasy, and this can often be what a lot of us think of when we are masturbating. Some fantasies are just too elaborate or even dangerous to re-enact, but many could playfully be incorporated into sex with a trusted partner. Once you start talking about it, you might also be pleasantly surprised at the sort of fantasies your partner has locked away.

If your partner shares their sexual fantasy and wishes to act this out in the relationship, encourage discussion and compromise so you feel that you can reach a pleasurable and happy medium which sits within both of your boundaries.

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Before you re-enact any fantasy, discuss it thoroughly with your partner. Do not wait until you are in the middle of acting out a fantasy to negotiate it or you could find the whole experience not working for either of you. Decide on what the limits are together.

How far are you prepared to go into your role? What sexual and non-sexual acts are off-limits? How will you signal to your partner that you do not want to continue with the fantasy? What will your safe word be?

Putting the time in beforehand to ensure you do not cross each other’s emotional or physical boundaries will help you have a safer and sexier experience. Do not be pressured into acting out any roles which make you feel embarrassed or ill ease. The point is to have fun, not to get upset or offend anyone.

Try these looks to find your fantasy...

Chantelle Otten

Written by Chantelle Otten. Lovehoney Australia's Resident Sexologist
Helping to ensure empowerment, sexual wellbeing and pleasure are at the center of all your sexual experiences

Originally published on Oct 12, 2022. Updated on Oct 13, 2022