Opinions

Get your freak on

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You and your partner have been together for a while now and intimacy is becoming slightly too routine. Not to worr­y--this is an issue many couples face sooner or later. It can be an excellent time to strengthen your relationship and forge a trust that will carry you into the coming years, or conversely, to realize irreconcilable differences sooner than later and go your separate ways.

Incorporating a "kinky" suggestion is often uncomfortable, as it forces aspects of the relationship that you or your partner may prefer to ignore into the open. Sex is a medium where people reveal their most uninhibited selves-- if you don't like what your partner has revealed to you, your relationship and ability to have orgasms will be compromised. Even talking about kinky sex in the abstract makes people nervous.

The truth about kinky sex is simple in that if both partners genuinely enjoy the activity--be it dressing up, talking dirty or spanking--then you can take it as far as you like. Your fantasies enable you to act out things you wouldn't do in real life. A customer once told me she enjoyed fantasizing that she was an escort. She said it was a turn-on to pretend she was experienced and that it gave her more confidence in her body and her abilities.

It can seem difficult to work out the difference between a suggestion that's simply daring and one that may be perceived as perverse. According to relationship expert Tara Barker, what makes something perverse or not is whether it furthers the relationship or attacks it. Does it bring you closer? Or do you feel betrayed or controlled?

A friend of mine suggested to her partner that they try dressing up. He responded by telling her that she was weird, combined with a facial expression that she says still haunts her. The relationship fell apart soon after. She later told me that she had felt embarrassed and let down by his comment and had lost all interest in being intimate with him.

It is important for both partners to be accepting of each others' desires. This doesn't necessarily mean that you are forced to act out any bizarre fantasy your partner may have, just that you meet their suggestion with enough maturity to openly and confidently discuss your feelings about it.

When the idea is not forced, both partners can retain control. It is a lot easier to act on a kinky suggestion when it is presented along the lines of "This is how I feel... Are you interested?" or "How would you feel about trying this?"

If you are concerned, ask yourself how the suggestion fits with how your partner usually treats you.

Remember: sexual fantasies are a sign of a healthy, happy sex life and a fundamental part of human nature. Sex generally starts in the brain, so an active imagination can mean you're ready for sex before anything physical even happens. Therefore, desire is heightened and arousal is much quicker.

Got a burning question for our Sexpert? Email sexpert@gauntlet.ucalgary.ca. She'll solve your sexual dilemmas in her column bi-weekly. But if anything else burns, go see a doctor...

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