Q: I have many strange fantasies and ideas that I want to experiment with my partner. I am afraid to even bring them up because she would think I am so weird. How can I find out if my fantasies are abnormal? How do couples expand their sexual boundaries without harming the security in the relationship?
A: Fear of our own sexuality is the other side of the extreme exhibitionism that runs our culture promotes and sells as sexuality. Indeed the first question that people ask when they go see a sex therapist is usually ďIs this/Am I normal?Ē† The range of normal when it comes to sexuality is wide and deep. This fact was confirmed by the Kinsey research that was conducted in the 1940ís and published in the 1950ís. The research was originally funded by the Rockefeller foundation but the study lost its funding when the results fell so far outside of the anticipated. If you havenít already seen the Kinsey Report, rent it.
That said, exposing our sexual curiosity and preferences is an act of great intimate courage. In our porn drenched culture finding a language to explore our own sexuality is challenging. I donít think any other part of ourselves is as mysterious, even to ourselves and so itís disclosure depends on relationship safety.
Yet, learning to express our desires and explore our sexuality with our partner is also the most bonding exercise we can engage in. The book that I always use as a reference point in this work is by Sex therapist Tammy Nelson in her book Getting the Sex You Want.
Although I canít say I have tried every exercise in the book, every time I have used one of her exercises in my own sexual exploration with my husband of 25 years the results have been remarkable. Based on the work of imago therapy where you listen and repeat what your partner says, it has proven effective in the emotional interaction of couples. Freeing your relationship to explore this most mysterious part of what it means to be human is also a key into developing a sustainable loving relationship.
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Wendy Strgar is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love and family. Wendy helps couples tackle the questions and concerns of intimacy and relationships, providing honest answers and innovative advice. As her online presence continues to grow, Wendy has become a trusted and respected source of information on lasting and healthy relationships. “I feel like I am inventing a language to give intimacy back to the people, take the fear away and open a space for physical love to serve as the glue that holds relationships together.” Wendy lives in Eugene, Oregon with her husband, a psychiatrist, and their four children ages 11-20.