If you're one of those people who's seemingly always been well aware of what turns you on — whether that's naughty role-play, dirty talk, certain toys or kinkier deeds — consider yourself lucky. Feel free to return to your bedroom! But for the rest of us, sex fantasies don't always come easily or even naturally. It doesn't mean you're not a sexual person or even that you don't have special things that turn you on... you just may not have found them yet.
Understanding your sexual fantasies can help you to understand your "core erotic feeling," or the feeling you associate most strongly with sexual desire, arousal and satisfaction, says Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, sexologist and founder of The Sexual Pro Series Webinars. “It’s the feeling that helps get you into the mood for sex and facilitates sexual excitement and fulfillment — it's essential to your erotic 'script,'” she says. Once you tap into that feeling, you can communicate it better to your partner and actually get the sex you’ve been craving, whether you realized it or not.
So, how do you actually figure out your fantasies? Well, you can go looking for them through targeted research (which may not sound hot, but it's effective): Pay attention to sex scenes in movies or books and see what turns you on the most. Then, find a way to start bringing that into your own sex life — which experts say is actually easier than you think.
Casually reference your turn-ons
Talk to your S.O. about that hot shower scene you spotted in Fifty Shades Darker or leave a book out that’s open to a particularly spicy moment you’re craving. “Using prompts helps,” says licensed marriage and sex therapist Dr. Kat Van Kirk. “Sometimes all it takes is a mention even when sex isn't afoot.”
Work it into pillow talk
Start speaking up during foreplay and sex. While you’re making out or having sex, whisper some teasing and vague one-liners in your partner’s ear, O’Reilly says. For example, if you fantasize about having a threesome, whisper, “I want to share you.” If you fantasize about being ravenously desired, remind your S.O. that “everyone wants a piece of this.” And if you feel embarrassed, you're so not alone, but there's a fix: "Play loud music in the background so that your voice isn’t the only sound they hear,” O’Reilly says.
Leave out props
Don’t wait to run it by your S.O. — just buy some kinky props and put them in plain view. “There's nothing like a blindfold and feathers left on the bed to shake things up between you,” Van Kirk says.
Make it a date night thing
If you’d rather get your partner’s input, Van Kirk recommends having a date night together and going shopping for something that will get you both going. (You can stop by a wine bar first to help loosen you both up first.)
Use your head
You don’t actually need to play out your fantasies physically to make the most of them mentally, O’Reilly points out. Instead, simply let your imagination wander during sex to indulge without making a big deal about it if you’re not comfortable opening up about them just yet. “Sometimes fantasies are more powerful in your head than in real life,” she says.
It’s important to keep all things fantasy-related unintimidating, Van Kirk says — otherwise, you risk freaking yourself or partner out, which is obviously counterproductive. Try playing out your fantasies in small doses, like trying on one new accent, role, location, prop or scenario at a time. “You don’t have to act out your fantasies in their entirety — choose one element and try it on for size,” O’Reilly says. For example, if public sex is a fantasy of yours, but you don’t want to risk getting caught, have a serious make-out with your partner in public, but head inside for the actual event.
Above all, keep this in mind: Having fantasies that don't mirror your everyday sex life doesn't mean there’s anything wrong with your relationship (and if you're still working on pinpointing what your fantasies are, that's fine too.) “It’s perfectly normal to desire both novelty and variety,” O’Reilly says. “It’s a sign that you’re human and open-minded.”