A lot of us harbor unspoken desires, fetishes, and kinks. Things we’d like to do in the bedroom but never had the courage to share with our partners. And even if we think of ever sharing them, we wonder: is there a way to talk to your wife about your fetish?
Consider Justin Lehmiller’s research, for example. Mr. Lehmiller is a prominent social psychologist and researcher at the Kinsey Institute, specializing in the science of sex. In 2018, he published his book with a very long title, but a very enticing topic – Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life.
And while doing the research for this book, Lehmiller interviewed more than 4,100 Americans, aged between 18 and 87, from all genders and sexual orientations. He asked them about their sex lives – their fantasies, their hidden desires, the frequency of their occurrence, the context of their occurrence.
In addition to this, the book also touched upon historical, cultural, and institutional stigmatizations of sexual desire. With this, Lehmiller managed to ultimately produce one of the biggest and most extensive studies on sexual fantasies to this day.
How often do people act out their fantasies?
Why am I telling you this? Well, one of the biggest insights from the book turned out to be the following: most people’s fantasies actually don’t get to be enacted into real sexual behaviors.
According to the research, reported in Vice magazine, less than a third of Lehmiller’s study participants reported actually acting on their biggest sexual fantasies. The Vice article also talks about kinks that occur in sexual fantasies the most:
- Group sex;
- Various sexual novelties (things individuals and couples haven’t tried before);
- Sex taboos (stuff like voyeurism, exhibitionism, various fetishes);
- Non-monogamous encounters and partner sharing.
Isn’t it sad that people get to act out only less than a third of their sexual fantasies? Why do we spend so much time hiding them, instead of figuring out ways to communicate them with our significant others? These and similar questions prompted me to write this article.
People fear having conversations about sex for different reasons
The answers are numerous. It has to do with how you were raised, the moral values your family upholds, societal expectations, and norms. It also depends on the kind of relationship you have with your partner (along with their own moral judgments, opinions, etc.)
In one word – talking about sex stuff, and especially sexual fantasies is tough. It’s embarrassing for a lot of people. They feel vulnerable, exposing their innermost desires and projections. There’s also fear involved – what if I hurt my partner? What if they think bad of me? What if they get repulsed, fall out of love with me, what if they never again want to have sex with me?
Having these fears is normal. We all have them, more or less. Sex is always a delicate subject because it’s so intimate and so personal. We’re all different when it comes to sex. Even people living on the same street, in the same family will often have different conceptions, wants, repulsions, opinions, moral judgments about it.
But, there’s only one thing worse than running into a bad reaction from your partner when you decided to talk about kink and fetishes. And that is – not talking about it at all.
Fetishes and kinks are often still a taboo topic among couples
Even though the times we live in are probably the most emancipated they’ve ever been, there’s still a long road ahead. Sex-positive thinking is not yet the familiar term it should be.
Couples and society at large still often stigmatized fetishes and kinks and considers them taboo. This is, in part, because there’s a cloud of mystery and danger all around them. Not much is known about these sexual phenomena in the mainstream media and popular culture (besides Fifty Shades of Gray, that is). This, on the other hand, makes them all the more attractive and seductive.
But because of this double nature, even the most confident and open-minded people are often scared or ashamed to talk about it openly, fearing they’ll be judged by their partners and the public.
However, there are ways you can do this without coming out (overly) weird. You can talk about your fetishes and kinks with your partner and not make each other feel gravely uncomfortable. Although a certain level of initial uncomfortableness is okay and pretty common, in fact.
So yes, here I’m going to show you how you can do this without fear or shame.
But before I get to the “how to-s”, and “how not to-s” when you talk about sex, kink, and fetishism with your partner, I want to clarify a few things regarding the terminology.
What’s a kink and what’s a fetish?
Yeah, I know the title of my article only says fetish, but I do mean to include fetishes, kinks, and the like. And I want to clarify the difference between these two sexual categories so we can avoid any confusion.
I mean, if you’ve read similar articles on the internet, you’ve probably noticed that the words “fetish” and “kink” are often interchanged. They are, however, different.
Sexual fetishism refers to sexual arousal by an inanimate object or a body part that’s not usually considered sexual or that doesn’t have to necessarily do anything with the genitals. And so those objects and body parts are called “fetish(es)” and the person who’s aroused by them a “fetishist”.
Kink, on the other hand, is a wider term (an umbrella term) that signifies sexual practices (but also fantasies) that escape normative sexuality and sexual behavior.
And, yes, fetishism can be a part of kink, kinkiness, and kinky behavior/practice. I may sometimes use them in this article interchangeably, for the sake of brevity and writing style, so forgive me for that, please.
How to Talk to Your Wife About Your Fetishes and Kinks
Okay, so now that we set things straight in terms of terminology, let’s get down to business.
Let’s see how you can talk to your wife about your hidden fantasies and fetishes without freaking her out or coming out a weirdo.
Stress the Notion of Trust in Your Relationship
It’s not like you can do this with anyone right? So the notion of trust in your relationship is a good place to start when discussing your deepest sexual desires.
Start by telling your partner or wife that what you want to share with her is very intimate in nature and that it requires trust. It means that you consider your relationship as one filled with trust, understanding, openness, and lack of judgment.
Using “I statements” is always a good idea. So, instead of trying to ease the tension by asking your wife something like: “Mmm, so has your ex ever talked to you about their fetish?”, try the following: “I just wanted to tell you how much you mean to me and how much I trust you. I really appreciate the kind of relationship we have and I love our sex life. All of this makes me comfortable to share my sexual desires and fantasies with you.”
Be sincere. Don’t flatter them if there’s no room for that, your partner will smell that from a mile away.
And, make sure to reassure your wife right away. This is easier to achieve when you tell her that your first reason for opening up is because you trust her. It’s much more likely for her to take you seriously immediately, and to be open (and not dismissive) to whatever you’re gonna say.
Be Emotionally Open and Tell Her You’re Worried She’ll Judge You
People often get defensive, and even angry in situations where they’re vulnerable, where they share their most delicate secrets. It’s quite common behavior.
But in order to avoid a potential fight, it’s a good idea to share your fears with your wife for what you’re about to tell her.
If you had a bad experience in the past, tell her something like: “I brought this up once with an ex-girlfriend, and she went bonkers. She made me feel like crap, and after that, it was incredibly hard to make myself talk about it again. So you have to understand that now I’m also pretty worried and afraid you’re gonna judge me too.”
Communicating your fear and anxiety about the conversation is a good thing. It doesn’t make you look weak, on the contrary, it makes you look human, it makes you look like you care about your wife and that you appreciate her opinion.
Everybody feels fear during difficult conversations and delicate topics. And your wife knows this very well. By telling her this it’s very likely that she’ll be (even) more considerate and understanding in the course of your talk.
Work on Demystifying Fetishes and Kinks for Your Wife
You can do this once you get deeper into the conversation. There are a number of ways you can demystify your kinks and fetishes for your wife.
You can both find some literature to read on the subject written by professionals or people who’ve been doing it for a while. Or, you can watch some porn or erotic movies that include them. You can reach out to the wider kink community out there and ask them to share their opinions, their first steps into a particular kink or fetish.
It might seem awkward at first, sure. But, it’s also going to help your partner realize the whole context, background, the details surrounding the fetish/kink, and understand that it’s nothing to be afraid of. By seeing, getting in touch with, and reading about real-life people doing this stuff, she’ll see that these people are also made of flesh and blood. They also have regular jobs as you do. Heck, they might even be your colleagues and best friends!
In short, these people aren’t the perverts others usually make them be.
Giving the backstory of your kink or fetish to your wife/partner can help you make it more “normal” in her eyes and make the whole transition easier for both of you.
Start Small and Start Slow
When you share something of a delicate nature with your partner, it’s important that you’re not pushy. Give them some time to absorb it.
If you’re just lying in the bedroom and you tell her out of nowhere: “I get really hard just by thinking about you putting hot wax all over my body … you think you can do that tonight/one of these days?”
This can come out as really direct and it’s very likely that it’ll scare her off. She might become dismissive, and she’ll probably shut you down.
So, instead of being a bit too direct, try this: “All of this must be very new to you. I understand if you need a bit of time to take it in. And I just wanted to tell you it’s okay. We can talk about it again later/in a couple of days’ time.”
Just try and implement the “stages approach” (yeah, I just made that up). But really, introducing stuff like fetishes or kinks to your partner in stages is a really good strategy. It gives them some time to get used to the whole thing.
Also, don’t get discouraged if after some time they still end up uncomfortable with the idea and refuse to participate. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can bury your fantasies forever. Maybe you can try doing them by yourself, or, if your partner is ok with it, trying them with another person as well.
Ask About Your Wife’s Fantasies/Kinks as Well
Even if your wife is the most straight-edge, vanilla sex type of person in the whole world, chances are she still has her own handful of secrets underneath.
And this can be a great opportunity to share both of your secret worlds of sexual fantasies and kinks.
If your wife realizes that her fetish/kink can be played out without fuss, she’d probably be more open to playing out yours as well. And if you’re really, really lucky, who knows – they may even overlap!
Besides, even if she doesn’t have anything special on her mind, it’s still a very thoughtful thing to do.
Once you start talking about your fetish or that you have one at all, you can also ask your wife something like: “I’m really glad we’re having this conversation now. Is there something you’d like to do together that you haven’t shared with me? Something that you’ve been wanting to do for a long time but never had the chance or the proper partner to share it with?”
This openness and non-dismissive attitude might really encourage her to share whatever she’s been harboring all this time. Maybe it’s not gonna be some special kink, but even if it’s just a new sex position or the introduction of sex toys in your sexual routine, it’s a win-win situation.
The most important thing when it comes to new kinks is to be attentive and to listen to your partner, above all.
Indicate that It Won’t Affect Your Relationship
The key here is not to make it sound like your “secret” fetish is something that defines you and something you’ve been keeping from your wife/partner all this time.
You should let your partner know that sharing your kink won’t change or otherwise affect your relationship in any (significant) way.
So you can say something like: “Honey, I know this might sound strange at first, but it’s not something that defines me, it’s not central to my identity. It’s just a sex thing that I like, besides the other things I love doing together with you. And I want you to know that it doesn’t mean I’m any different than before. I’m still your loving husband/partner. Nothing has changed, our relationship will remain as strong as ever.
And, don’t feel guilty, at all. Whatever kink you might be having – whether it’s wax play, spanking, being tied up, choking, it doesn’t make you a freak, a perv, a bad person. None of this is an apt reflection of your personality and character. And it also doesn’t mean that even if your partner refuses to say yes to your kink(s) and fetish(es), your relationship and sex life is doomed.
Also, make sure to clarify to your partner that you love and enjoy your sex life. Especially if you’ve been together for a long(er) amount of time (so she doesn’t think you’re bored of your sex life). And even if you are bored, and even if your partner doesn’t like to do your fetish, you can still freshen up your love life with different means: accentuating foreplay, using sex toys, locating the G-spot, doing more oral sex, etc.
Show Appreciation for Their Listening Skills
Recognize your wife’s openness and listening skills by showing appreciation for them. This will further encourage you for any other difficult or delicate conversation you might be having in the future, whether it’s for your sex life again or something completely different.
Say something like: “I wanna thank you for being open and attentive towards me, for allowing me the space to share my most intimate sexual fantasies/desires/kinks/fetishes. And I also want you to know that you can do the same with me – whatever’s on your mind, I want you to know you can share it without fearing I’ll be judgmental and dismissive in any way.”
By telling your partner/wife she can expect the same from you, you’re attempting to build a whole new level of trust where you get to share your most intimate parts.
The appreciation you’re showing will also help her understand that it was very difficult for you to share this in the beginning.
Start By Introducing a “Lighter” Kink
If your wife has never been into contact with something even remotely kinky, then it’s definitely a good idea to start slow. Start with something a bit less intimidating than building a BDSM sex dungeon in your house, for example.
Source: Photo by Andisheh A on Unsplash
So, if, for example, you want to include BDSM in your sex life, and you want to be more submissive, start by asking your wife to tie your hands on the bed, or behind your back. Ask her to blindfold you, before you start the “heavier” kink like making her order you to lick her feet, or putting a collar on your neck and dragging you around the house.
Which means – you gotta meet her half-way, at least in the beginning. If you see she’s easing up to it, and she’s becoming ready for other stuff, then you can start introducing your specific fantasies.
Use Porn as an Introduction to Your Kink/Fetish
Although porn shouldn’t be a proper replacement for sex ed, it can still be a source for discovering what turns you on. That being said, it can be a great way to introduce your fetish to a partner.
If you’re already enjoying the practice of watching porn together, then this will be much easier to do. If not, then consider implementing it into your sex routine, fetish or no fetish, cause it can be a good way to spice up your love life in general.
After you share your fetish, suggest to your wife that she can see how it unfolds in porn. Have in mind, though, that porn is often just another fiction. There are a bunch of editors behind it, and the people in it are called porn actors! So you can imagine it’s not a 100% accurate representation of reality. Nevertheless, it can be a gateway into your fetish, especially if you’re already watching porn together.
Find porn that features your fetish and show it to your wife. In the least, it’ll help your wife understand why that certain fetish or kink is so erotic for you, why it turns you on so much.
Use the Power of Dirty Talk
Let’s just say that the more people are aroused, the more suggestive they are. Also, this suggestiveness may yield an openness towards new experiences, which includes kinks and fetishes.
This is because you’re sharing your kink in a very erotic way. So, even when they recall it in a more mundane setting, the atmosphere of lust and arousal is very likely to remain with them.
Let’s say you have a foot fetish. Next time you’re in bed together, talking dirty, panting and being all over each other, whisper into your wife’s ear: “D’ya know what imagine right now? I see you in garters, your feet ensnared in a black nettle while stroking my hard cock…” Or something of that sort. You get the point.
Also, you might want to compliment her feet on a few occasions before you include your fetish in your dirty talk.
Works wonders, trust me!
Or you can do this instead…
An alternative to this is to use the “dream scenario”. Wake up one morning and tell your wife the dream you just had, which will be your fetish. Tell her how turned on you are just by recounting it and that if she’s up for it, maybe you can try it out sometime.
Whatever the outcome of your talk, once you put your fetish out in the open, you’ll feel a great weight lift off your shoulders. And believe it or not, this will prove beneficial for your relationship in the long run. It can help strengthen the bond of trust and intimacy you have with your wife.
Even if your wife opts out of doing the fetish – it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have to share it in the first place, or that it was for granted. Whatever her ultimate choice, in the end, respect it, and try to communicate with her how you want to manage this.
Maybe you want to drop it altogether or search for a party outside your marriage with whom you can act out your fantasies. Whatever floats your boat! But for this, your wife (and you too) will have to agree on an ethically non-monogamous relationship.
Whatever you do, don’t allow anyone to speak low of your fetish or kink, to call you names, and to downgrade you (except if it’s a part of the kink, then it’s ok 😀 ).
Your desires are valid and you shouldn’t be ashamed for having them.