I am often asked how to go about discussing fantasies with a partner. Aside from clarifying rules and coming up with safewords, how do you even get the conversation started? The simple answer is finding your courage and making a leap of faith that the world won't end if you tell your lover you'd like to be spanked for your birthday. Yes, you'll feel vulnerable, and most of us also feel a bit silly taking about what we want sexually. Our desires are a very intimate aspect of ourselves, and if someone has laughed or made you feel bad about it in the past, it can feel risky or even dangerous to open up again. Opening up is a challenge.

But this is your life, you know, and if you don't ask, you'll never get what you want. Hopefully the person you're opening up to, your lover - casual or not - is trustworthy. If it's a casual fling, then who cares what they think of you in the long run? If it's serious and long-term, hopefully this is someone you can trust with the vulnerable parts of yourself. At the very least, you should have enough respect for each other to not have your view of the other person totally change when they reveal that they'd like to try on your underwear. Sure, you might want to talk about gender roles at some point, but it doesn't suddenly mean your relationship is doomed.

Chill out. Take a deep breath. Remember that often the best sex is fun and joyful and includes a lot of laughter.

Next, don't forget that Getting the Sex Life You Always Wanted does involve the ability to compromise. You don't have to give your lover whatever he or she asks for, and you don't have to answer right away. In fact, if your immediate response is not a resounding, "Heck yeah; I've always wanted to try that!" then I encourage you to think it over before you respond. Consider their fantasy for a while. Your lover was brave enough to share their desires with you, and you owe it to your relationship to think about what your reasons are for saying no. Unless their fantasy is something that actually repels you and you feel that you could not do, then what's the harm in it?

Likewise, simply asking does not entitle you to get what you want. Maybe your harem boy/sultana fantasy is smokin' hot to you, but your lover got picked on all through elementary school and the idea of anything with a power imbalance makes him feel horribly uncomfortable. Our subconsciouses are full of stored hurts and wounds to our psyches, so tread carefully. Be aware that however innocuous whatever you want in bed may seem to you, your lover may have a different perspective.

Now that I've scared you away from asking, and scared you away from saying "no" to sexual scenarios that aren't a turn-on, consider this: what's the worst-case scenario? Maybe you talk about something in your past that you've never discussed before with your lover. Maybe you just say that something traumatic happened in your past and you're not ready to talk about it, but the idea of enacting a particular fantasy makes you uncomfortable. See? That's not so bad, is it?

Also, be creative. You can always discuss options or variants if a fantasy doesn't appeal to your partner: how about if the harem boy turns the tables on the sultana and makes her his love slave? How about if you both dress up in silky, gauzy clothing and worship each others' bodies for hours? If a particular act or scenario doesn't make you feel sexy, try to think of some variant that would. But also be willing to try things out -you're never going to discover that you have a kink for spanking until you try it! Maybe it will make you feel sexier than you think, even by osmosis; your lover being so terribly turned on can be contagious!

Of course, as I've said before, even if you both agree and give a new fantasy a try, things could go wrong. It's not ideal for your dominatrix to get the giggles in the middle of a scene, but it's not the end of the world either, is it? Neither is getting a phone call from work that you really must accept while you were in the middle of some fabulous sex, and don't even get me started on all the possible physical accidents that can happen during sex - some positions are exciting but also a bit dangerous for those of us who aren't yoga masters.

The most critical part of trying out new things in your sex life is being playful, going into it with an attitude of enjoyment. Like any game, discuss the rules and the intended outcome before you get started. How will you know when you're done? Orgasm? Passing out from the adrenaline rush of almost being caught by the principal at your kids' school? Be sure to cover the basic safety issues, too.

Finally, never forget to thank your partner for having the balls to say something about their fantasies. Never forget that you can't get what you want unless you ask for it; I know very few people who are truly psychic. Your lover is probably not one of them.

In closing, I give a Wanton Hussy Seal of Approval with standing ovation to all of you willing to grab your courage and leap. You are inspiring!

(c) 2009 Julianne N. Bentley All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Julianne Bentley, the original Wanton Hussy, works with individuals (and couples) who want to bring the passion and joy back into their bedrooms. Drawing on over fifteen years of experience discussing the ins and outs of sexuality, in all its forms, Julianne brings compassion and energy to the process of supporting you in making the changes you need in order to have the sex life you want and deserve.