As humans, we are highly sexual creatures. We enjoy connecting on a physical level. It helps to establish trust, and it helps to bond us, too. That’s a powerful thing, and it can unite us in moments of challenge – or in the space when we don’t have the words to express what we feel. Inside of that space, sexual fantasies can help us to improve our connection with one another. Want to get that passion back? Find the fun in your partnership again? It may be time to open up about your sexual fantasies.
How sexual fantasies can improve your relationship.
Despite our naturally sensual natures, we spend a lot of time denying ourselves and our fantasies out of a self-imposed sense of shame. As our relationships build in time and intensity, we can find that we bury these fantasies down more-and-more. But according to a series of studies conducted by Gurit Birnbaum, that’s the worst thing we can do. In fact, research by Birnbaum and his colleagues has revealed that engaging more with our fantasies can help to improve the overall quality of our committed relationships.
Primarily, Birnbaum’s study revealed that couples who engaged in fantasy play saw an increase in overall desire. It was like bringing the original spark back into the relationship. Participants reported seeing their partners in a different light. They were able to re-imagine them as sexual beings, even after spending considerable time together. To increase desire, share your fantasies on a regular basis (and a candid way).
Because desire increased in the relationships with engaged fantasies, the studies also found that these relationships saw an increase in overall engagement. Partners were better able to show up for one another outside of the bedroom. Communication came easier, and higher levels of trust were fostered. It’s a powerful bonding agent that makes it fun to connect with one another again.
Fantasizing about other people can be just as powerful as fantasizing about your partner. But there’s an extra edge the studies discovered in centering your fantasies on your partner. According to Birnbaum’s studies, perceptions of one another were improved when fantasies included real-life partners. In laypeople’s terms, people who fantasized about their partners were better able to see their real partners in a better life.
Let’s face it, a relationship with a lot of (healthy) sex is appealing. And that’s why couples who engaged with their fantasies viewed their partnerships as more appealing. A sexual connection is important. And it remains important throughout the width and breadth of our time together. Looking to give your love that extra boost? Fantasize about your partner in the best possible ways.
Making the most of fantasies in the bedroom.
You and your partner need to make the most out of your fantasies in the bedroom. Bring back that spark and that sense of levity, by getting back on your wild sides (together). Sex is a powerful bonding agent, and it comes with a lot of other benefits as well. It’s time for you and your partner to let loose on one another, and to engage with those fantasies that ignite the fire in your love for one another.
1. Figure out your fantasies
Where do the core of your fantasies lie? Do you know what they look like? How they feel? Until we figure out how to honestly face our own fantasies, we can’t possibly share them with our partners. Figure out what gets you going, and then you can put your partner in the mix. Getting there can take some time, however. Feeling weird? You can use a substitute partner (like a celebrity) to get started.
Take some time on your own to figure out what your fantasies really look like to you. A lot of us aren’t in touch with our inner sex kitten anymore. To plug back in, we have to give ourselves that permission first – then ease back into the waters slowly. You can journal. Talk to your friends. Look for literature, erotica, and films.
Explore our body and your mind. Look back at old relationships and how you connected intimately with partners who couldn’t make it work. Pin point what it is (exactly) that gets the blood running hot. We are all different. And when we question our sexual natures, we often discover deep facets of our passions and also our personalities. Don’t shy away from these truths. Figure out your fantasies so you can graduate to the next step of training those fantasies and sharing them with your partner.
2. Invest in fantasies training
Dyadic fantasies are key in making these fantasies work (though any fantasy can be a good starting point). When you are using these opportunities to see your partner in a more exciting (and sexual) light, it changes the association you have with them in the real world. It can take some work getting down to the core of these fantasies, though. Once you figure them out for yourself, you have to then share them with your partner and leave space for them to do the same.
Invest in some serious “fantasies training”–both with yourself and your partner too. On a superficial level, this is about creating an artificial image that turns you on or stimulates you. These fantasies increase desire, and they increase your willingness to connect with your partner. Sit down and imagine the things that turn you on. Imagine your partner in all the ways you’ve never had them.
Your partner should take some space to do the same. And when you feel ready, you should come together and share those fantasies and visions with one another. Until you reach that point, journal about your experiences. What are the visions you imagine? What do they feel like? What are you doing? How is your partner responding to you? Lean into the fantasy and don’t tone yourself down or criticize yourself. The sky is the limit. Use your imaginations and be creative.
3. Don’t limit your inner animal
Too many people have chained up the inner sex animal inside of them. This is a visceral act. It’s the ultimate place of vulnerability; an-almost ritual that unites people in unknowable ways. For many reasons, though, we come to associate this act with shame. Over time, it takes a backseat to the “noble” relationship aspects we’ve been told to pursue. In the end, however, we end up miserable. Because we’re not having our needs met, and we’re not letting that inner passion inside of us out to discharge.
Don’t limit your inner animal (short of harming your partner or violating their consent). The only way you’re going to find your limits is by exploring them. So you must let that sexual part of yourself out and give it permission to play in the places that excite you and captivate you.
Now is the time to shed all those outdated hangups and outdated beliefs that are cloaking you in guilt. They are holding you back. They are keeping you from being happy and feeling fully connected to the person you’ve chosen to share your life with. There’s a real healing in the act of sex, too. Once communication has reached its limits, it can be the bonding agent that helps to close the wound. Know this part of yourself. Love it. And incorporate it into your love life whenever you can.
Putting it all together…
Sexual fantasies can be incredibly beneficial for our relationships when used in the right way. According to a 2018 study, couples who used fantasies in the bedroom were more connected. It made it easier for them to see one another as equal and passionate partners. Not only did it change their perceptions of one another, but it made their relationships more appealing as a whole.
There’s no denying that the physical connection we share with our partners is important. You deserve to have a healthy and thriving sex life, in which both you and your partner are getting what you need. Fantasies can often hold the key to this information. So face your fantasies, then get invested in some fantasy training with your partner. Imagine them in all the ways you want to connect, then share those fantasies with one another. Explore your boundaries and explore one another. Don’t limit your inner animal when there’s so much more fun to be had.
- Birnbaum, G., Kanat-Maymon, Y., Mizrahi, M., Recanati, M., & Orr, R. (2018). What Fantasies Can Do to Your Relationship: The Effects of Sexual Fantasies on Couple Interactions. Personality And Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(3), 461-476. doi: 10.1177/0146167218789611