When it comes to sex and relationships, we're all wacky in our own ways. Of course, one person's particular brand of sexual or fetish desire may not be the same as that of their partner(s), so the next few posts will look at strategies for communicating around and exploring sexual needs with a partner(s).
The first and foremost thing one needs to do is own their desires. What turns us on is what turns us on. Of course, those desires might not be feasible for reasons of ethics, or safety, or physics for that matter. Or they may be feasible, but be something you don't think it'll be possible to find someone to explore with. For that matter, with some interests you might prefer to keep them as yours and yours alone. Whatever your desires, they are yours, and you have to be able to own that part of yourself and be happy with who you are.
Before you can start figuring out how to talk to a partner(s) about your desires, first you need to establish if that's a conversation you are willing to have.
A question that's important to resolve before moving forward is why sharing this desire(s) is important to you. What do you hope to gain?
Perhaps you aren't looking for anything from your partner(s) other than for them to know another aspect of yourself. Or it could be that you're hoping to get some hot (your desire)-related play out of the whole thing. Knowing your own motivations gives you a foundation to stand on when weighing your options.
There are after all, clear risks and rewards at stake in this situation. There's always the possibility that a partner could reject you, for instance. They may reject this particular interest, taking away the possibility that you could get to explore it with them. What's more, there's the nebulous risk that your reputation could suffer if word of your deep inner desires was to become public.
On the other hand, there is an opportunity to share a part of yourself, maybe to get some hot play, explore aspects of yourself you haven't been able to give voice to, and even open the door for your partner(s) to share parts of themselves that they haven't.
Once you've decided to open the door on having the conversation, you want to think about setting and timing.
To be clear right before you want to play isn't the best time to bring up something new and out there. You want to be prepared to give a partner(s) time to mull over what you've told them, ask questions, do their own research and thinking.
Presenting a new sexual desire in the lowest pressure manner possible is important, and if there's an expectation of immediate play, it can leave a partner(s) feeling trapped between rejecting someone or something they may not wish to reject, or diving into some form of erotic play that they don't feel prepared for.
How you present a desire is a vital element of how a partner will receive what you have to say. It's an unfortunate byproduct of our particular culture that it is natural to have embarrassment or shame around one's sexual desires. However, you have to have that under control before you talk to your partner(s).
If you present a new desire like it's a negative aspect of your being, that is how it will be reacted to. Try to keep conversations upbeat and lighthearted whenever possible.
When talking to a partner(s) about your desires, the internet is your friend. The odds that you're the only person out there with your sexual interest is so vanishingly small that I've yet to encounter it in the course of my career. Coming to a conversation with some ideas of how other people have explored and integrated this desire into their relationships and erotic lives can be invaluable.
Other good ways to increase your partners' understanding of your desire can include sharing good erotic or pornography that represents your desire in a way you like; you aren't asking your partner to be titillated, just helping them understand why you are. Likewise, if you or your partner(s) have friends that already play in similar waters, it may be worth getting them involved in the conversation.
You also need to be willing to reveal the "man behind the curtain" as it were. This is difficult for many of us. It is hard work taking an objective look at what gets us off and figuring out why. Moreover, some people feel that sharing the why's of their desires somehow makes them less engaging to play with. That may just be the price you have to pay in this instance.
Through all these steps, it should go without saying that you also need to be listening to what your partner(s) has to say, and be receptive to their opinions and experiences. It is unreasonable to expect a partner(s) to be into everything that we're into, and part of getting to where you want to share with your partner(s) has to be being ready for them to shrug and say "not my thing."
Over the next two weeks we will look at how to move forward with exploring new desires with a partner(s), and by oneself, as well as strategies for working with those desires and fetishes that are for one reason or another, not practical to explore in a literal way.
(img src: "Who Knows What You'll Find When You Ask Questions" by Flickr user Raymond Bryrson)