While society is transforming into an ever-freer sex-positive community, sexual fantasies, and kinks aren’t deemed as “taboo” as they once were. Still, many people remain shy or embarrassed about their desires, putting off discussing them with their partners.
However, exploring various fantasies and kinks can be a healthy, exciting way to enhance connection and intimacy, provided it’s performed safely and consensually.
What Are Sexual Fantasies and Kinks?
Since a large part of exploring sexual fantasies and kinks involves clear communication, understanding the differences between the terms is very important. Despite often being used interchangeably, the two are not the same.
Kinks are sexual activities that are considered to be a deviation from the social norm of sex. Anything that doesn’t qualify as vanilla sex (i.e., penetration, hand stimulation, and oral sex) can be deemed a kink, including BDSM, anal sex, role-play, and choking.
On the other hand, a fantasy is a thought pattern or mental image that is erotic or sexually arousing to somebody. It isn’t necessarily something a person enjoys in real life.
Some people may choose to play out such fantasies through role-playing. Although, more often than not, they remain firmly in the imagination (and maybe their browsing history).
Communicating Sexual Fantasies and Kinks: The Importance of Respect, Consent, and Boundaries
The idea of discussing kinks with partners often elicits feelings of fear that the other party may judge. After all, it’s a conversation that bears the soul, leaving people vulnerable and ultimately exposed.
However, it can be exceptionally gratifying once aired, allowing couples to reach new dimensions of pleasure and satisfaction.
Communication is the first step in exploring any sexual activity. It’s the key to unlocking the non-negotiable doors of respect, consent, and boundary-setting — all of which are imperative in vanilla and kink-filled sex.
Experts encourage all kinky beings to talk openly and clearly about their desires with their partners, following a few top tips to make the process easier:
Building Comfort and Connection
The connection between the couple should be just as deep as the kinks shared by one party. Feeling safe with a partner is the first step to communicating sexual desires.
While such safety is often built over time, trust and transparent communication are more important than the length of the relationship. But the importance of discussion couldn’t be more evident; waiting for kinks to be discovered can cause conflict, misunderstanding, and destruction.
Dipping Toes in the Kink Pool Before Pencil Diving Straight In
Individuals unsure of how their significant other will respond can bring the conversation up casually by saying somebody they know has the kink. By observing how they react, this tactic helps the kink-haver determine how their partner will perceive them.
To get to this part of the conversation, informed and enthusiastic consent must be obtained. People should ensure their partners don’t feel pressured into trying something they aren’t happy with. Both sides of the partnership should feel completely comfortable voicing their discomforts, dislikes, likes, and preferences.
Outlining boundaries before beginning is recommended to establish things individuals absolutely will not do, things they want to try, and things they love. Think of a less dramatized version of the scene in 50 Shades of Gray, where Christian and Anastasia go through and negotiate the contract.
On top of that, developing a safe word is a must when exploring kinks of any kind. Either party can use this code word during sexual activity to express discomfort and/or stop the occurrences immediately.
Ultimately, this is the key to safe, consensual, respectful kink-based play.
Exploring Common Sexual Fantasies and Kinks Safely and Healthily
Countless kinks and fantasies exist, but among the most common are BDSM and exhibitionism. Each kink can bring otherworldly pleasure when practiced consensually, healthily, and safely. Thus, learning techniques to enjoy them is integral.
BDSM (Bondage, Discipline/Dominance, Submission/Sadism, and Masochism) involves a myriad of fantasies and kinks; it’s a whole category within itself and cannot be distilled into one act or type of play.
However, it isn’t just a red room with chains, whips, handcuffs, and spanking benches — that’s what films may lead people to believe. Instead, its spectrum boasts everything from psychological dominance to breath play to impact play.
While props play a (sometimes major) role in the experience, beginners should start slowly and follow these tips:
- Always acquire consent (without this, it isn’t BDSM, as it’s a consent-based system)
- Negotiate and agree on roles, expectations, safe words, length of the scene, and hard and soft limits
- Use the traffic light system to check in throughout the scene (green = continue, yellow = pause/slow down, red = stop immediately)
- Play in a setting where both parties feel comfortable (i.e., the bedroom, a room reserved for BDSM, a hotel room, etc.)
- Dress up and bring in toys if both people like the idea
- Go slowly to avoid crossing boundaries
- Understand there’s no need to try everything at once
After the scene, couples should engage in aftercare (a pre-agreed practice after playtime that meets the involved’s emotional and physical needs). Since kinks and fantasies don’t necessarily correlate to who people are in everyday life, aftercare is essentially a relationship “recalibration,” returning normalcy to the pairing.
Exhibitionism is when somebody derives sexual pleasure from the thought or act of being watched while they’re having sex or performing a sex act. There is a dark side to exhibitionism (i.e., non-consensual), but when consensual, all sides of the engagement receive enjoyment and pleasure.
Consensual exhibitionism involves somebody showing themselves in a sex act to a consenting viewer (or viewers). And there are many ways to explore it safely, legally, and consensually:
- Going to sex clubs, parties, or dungeons after reading up on the etiquette of such events
- Practicing role-play wherein the scene involves a partner walking on the exhibitionist masturbating
- Trying a cuckolding fantasy with a partner after deep communication, established consent, and understanding of their wants, wills, won’ts, and boundaries
Minimizing Risks When Exploring Sexual Fantasies and Kinks
The very nature of kinks like impact play, bondage, breath play, role-play, and many others exudes risks, but the tips above help individuals minimize problems and maximize pleasure.
Those exploring their kinky limits are in for a satisfying, oh-so-enjoyable ride, provided everything is practiced with a trusted partner who provides informed, excitable consent. And always remember — the activity stops when the safe word is spoken.
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