Talking about and playing out fantasies (even in small doses) can keep sex exciting in long-term relationships.

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If you have difficulty tapping into your seduction fantasies, look for other sources of inspiration. Ask you lover(s) and friends to share their stories and fantasies. Read erotic fiction or think about some of the ways you’ve responded to sex and seduction scenes you’ve read about in books or seen on screen. You may also want to consider if your beliefs or the feelings you associate with sex (e.g., shame) are stymieing your fantasies. 

Ditch the guilt

You need not feel guilty about your sexual fantasies—what- ever they entail. Even if your fantasies fall outside the boundaries of your real-life relationships, they can improve the quality of your sex life and deepen connection. Not only do your fantasies help you to learn more about yourself (and your partner, if you share and discuss), but they also prime your body and mind for arousal. Most folks find that the more they fantasize, the more sex they desire.

It goes both ways

You will likely benefit from sharing your fantasies with your partner and encouraging them to do the same. This not only intensifies your connection, but the mere discussion of sex can also lead to arousal. You don’t have to share every detail of every fantasy (you’re allowed to have private thoughts that are just for you!), but if you can discuss the themes, settings, and feelings associated with your seduction fantasies, it can help your partner to better understand how to approach you when they are in the mood. 

If sharing your seduction fantasies leads to feelings of tension or insecurity, that’s okay too. Tension and insecurity occur in all relationships. It can be hard to accept that your partner fantasizes about people and scenarios that are beyond the scope of your relationship. But it is perfectly normal. Researchers at the University of Vermont discovered that 98 percent of men and 80 percent of women have fantasized about someone other than their current partner in the past few months.

Dreaming it doesn’t (necessarily) mean doing

These fantasies tend to increase over time, which makes sense, as we have a natural desire for novelty and often use sex as an escape from reality. It is important to remember that indulging in a specific fantasy does not mean that you have a desire to try it out in real life. This is what makes fantasies so powerful: they allow us to play alternative roles in make-believe worlds, and though we can get lost in the moment (if we want to), this does not interfere with our ability to differentiate between fantasy and reality. 

Inspiration is everywhere

If your partner is reticent to open up and share their fantasies, consider turning to popular culture as a source of inspiration and conversation. When you watch movies or television shows, ask them how they feel about a specific sex scene. Ask them if they like it and probe a little deeper to understand why or why not. Most shows and movies depict sex via seduction, so you will likely encounter a variety of scenarios to discuss. Oftentimes it’s easier to talk about other people’s interactions (e.g., fictional or historical characters) before you start discussing your own feelings, desires, and fantasies. 

If you’re nervous or cannot find the words to describe your fantasies, turn to art as a means of communication. 

Draw the seduction scenes you would like to try and enjoy a good laugh trying to decipher the visual representation of one another’s fantasies. since laughter helps to ease tension, deepen connection, and lower inhibitions, this exercise offers a series of corollary benefits. 

Go ahead and get your crayons, pencils, or paint (or digital application if you are tech fancy) and bring your seduction fantasies to life through art. 

Make your fantasies a reality

Playing out your fantasies in small doses helps to keep sex exciting in long-term relationships. You might simply try on a new accent, role, location, prop, or scenario. You do not have to act out your fantasies in their entirety—choose one element and try it on for size. 

For example, if you fantasize about spontaneous sex with a stranger in public, you might role-play one small element with your partner—after your regular date-night dinner at a restaurant, “bump into” one another at the bar, introduce yourselves, and then sneak off to your car (or a washroom stall, if they’re private with locks) and make out. You don’t have to go all the way in public, but experiment with pieces of your fantasy, bearing in mind that you can build on it the next time around. 

Another option is to start with talk alone. While you are making out or having sex, whisper some teasing and vague one-liners in your partner’s ear. For example, if they fantasize about having a threesome, whisper, I want to share you. If they fantasize about being ravenously desired, remind them, Everyone wants a piece of this. If you feel embarrassed, play loud music or porn in the background so that your voice is not the only sound they hear. 

Note that you do not need to bring your fantasies to life in order to use them as a source of arousal, intimacy, and pleasure. You may want to simply talk about your fantasies. Sometimes fantasies are more powerful in your head than in real life. 

You might also be interested in this great article on talking about sex with your partner.

Author: Dr. Jessica O’Reilly is a teacher, author and sex educator whose doctoral research focussed on brief interventions designed to improve teachers’ knowledge and comfort level with sexual health education. Her practical relationship advice reaches millions each month and she travels extensively across the globe to work with couples to transform their relationships. You can find her online here.

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