When British author E.L. James launched 50 Shades of Grey onto a libidinously deprived generation of readers, millions of middle-aged women fell into a collective orgasm. Domination, bondage, masochism — oh my!
Part of the book’s titillation was its supposed naughtiness. James tapped into what had heretofore been banished to the wicked world of erotica, or even (shhh...) soft porn. But the book’s quick adoption by mainstream North America tells us something about ourselves: We’re naughtier than we’d like to admit.
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And why is that? What is it about sexual fantasy that has us hiding in bathroom stalls and huddling under thick blankets furtively turning pages?
I’m here to tell you that erotic fantasy is completely normal. Everyone does it. In fact, your erotic flights of fancy may just be the best thing that ever happened to your sex life. That is, if they’re played out appropriately.
A Peek Inside The Tickle Trunk
The first step in (safely) introducing some fantasy into your sex life is to determine your preferred flavour. I polled some of my colleagues, and we put together the following top-five fantasies list:
1. Threesomes (a mostly male preference);
2. Uniforms (a mostly female preference);
3. A little 50 Shades of Grey action;
4. The danger of getting caught in the act;
5. Forbidden locations (ergo the mile-high club).
Making Fantasy Reality
Rule No. 1: Nothing and no one is "bad." Drawing upon your "dirty" dreams is a great way to spice up your sex life. In fact, giving voice to your deepest desires is essential to sexual health. What goes unspoken may also go underground — and the last thing you want in your relationship is secrecy or covert operations.
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Rule number two: It’s Ok to not be OK with your partner’s proclivities. Mutual consent is mandatory. Honouring your mate’s fantasies doesn’t necessarily mean acquiescing to them. Just because your partner’s always wanted to do it in his parents’ bed doesn’t mean you have to want it, too. Striking a sexual balance may require creativity and compromise. If off-limits locales are his thing, maybe the dining room table will suffice. You may not be down with a French maid’s outfit, but, hey, Halloween is coming. What would you consider?
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Rule number three: Keep it safe. It’s imperative that at any time, any party can order it to "stop." In order for fantasy to have a positive effect, it has to feel good. The moment one of you starts to feel uncomfortable, it needs to end. Many couples have a safe word that, when uttered, brings sex to an immediate stop. (Interestingly, one online survey found that foods are frequent safe words; who knew “pineapple” was so sexy?) Having a code word is particularly important if there are others involved, or within earshot.
So, play safe, get creative and have fun...!
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