The Right Way to Share Sexual Fantasies With Your Spouse

Let’s face it: Some fantasies are more vanilla than others.

Say you have a fantasy about spending the weekend in a hotel with a Jacuzzi tub and all the room service desserts you can eat before you pass out in a bed as big as Wyoming. That’s an excellent fantasy, and one you might consider sharing with not only your nearest and dearest, but also the coworker on the other side of your cube.


Now ... say you have a fantasy about dressing up like a naughty librarian whose job it is to “punish” that noisy undergrad who happens to look exactly like your husband. Do you tell your best friend? Maybe. Your mother? We doubt it. Your husband? Abso-freaking-lutely. And here’s why ...

It’s true that sharing sexual fantasies with your partner can be risky and take a lot of courage, but if you make the effort and do it right, you just might uncover the relationship of your dreams.

“Sexual fantasies can and should be shared with spouses,” says Dr. Jeanette Raymond, a licensed clinical psychologist who works with married couples dealing with issues related to sex. “In relationships where there is trust and respect, talking about sexual fantasies becomes no different than talking about [an imagined] feast or vacation,” she says.

Dr. Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist on the clinical faculty of UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, agrees, but says couples should remember to take it slow, at least at first. “The best way to begin sharing fantasies with your spouse is by very gradually bringing up the topic in a general way, such as by talking about a [scene from a] movie you’ve just seen or a book or article you’ve just read. Ask your spouse what he or she thinks,” she advises. If the response is, “That’s gross; I would never do that,” she says it’s okay to gently ask why and then look for opportunities to bring up the topic again later, possibly in a little more detail.

Whether you’re talking about something as basic as sex toys or as potentially off-putting as a threesome, Lieberman recommends keeping the conversation breezy, so no one feels pressured. “You can say things like, ‘I wouldn’t mind trying it some time,’ and leave it at that,” she says, a technique that allows the other person to consider the proposition on his or her own before deciding one way or the other. At that point, “if your spouse seems curious or interested, you can feel a little more reassured that you can go a little further with the conversation, but still take it slow.”

For couples who want to explore their sexual fantasies but are having a hard time getting over the hump (*cough*) of actually talking about it face to face, fear not -- technology can be a great go-between. Mojo Upgrade is an online quiz you both take that allows you to check boxes indicating which sexual exploits you’re specifically interested in. After each person fills out the survey, it compares your answers and -- here’s the fun part -- only reveals the ones that match. For example, if you’re both down with 50 Shades and might be into a little role-play, those responses would pop up. Et voila, now you know what you’re each game for, from the mild to the freaky-deaky.


However you go about it, Lieberman warns that the stakes are higher if you’re considering sharing a sexual fantasy with a spouse as opposed to someone you’re just dating. “If you share fantasies with your date and they become frightened or repulsed or think you’re weird, you can simply go your separate ways,” she says. On the other hand: “If you don't tread carefully when sharing with your spouse, the impact can last.”

Then again, not broaching the issue can lead to misunderstandings, too. “I was with my girlfriend for seven years before we got married and then I waited a few years after that to share some of my sexual fantasies with her,” says Brian,* 39, from East Lansing, Michigan. “Big mistake. The stuff I was interested in trying was pretty tame, but she got totally freaked out and, long story short, she’s now my ex-wife.”

On the other hand, Charlotte*, 35, from Ojai, California, dove in right from the beginning. When she started dating her first boyfriend, at age 18, they were both virgins, and their mutual attitude of openness and exploration made it easy to say, “Well, we know that neither of us have done XYZ, [so] let’s do THAT and see how it goes,” she says.

She says she’s always been honest about what she wants and isn’t easily shocked or offended, and those qualities are also what she values in the man she ended up marrying. “It’s awesome. As long as you’re both adventurous and open-minded and have a sense of humor,” she says. “No regrets, no holds barred.”

How do you and your partner talk about sexual fantasies with each other?

*Names have been changed.

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