SIGHS & moans.  By Ralph Greco

SIGHS & moans. By Ralph Greco

. 12 min read

When the Lid Scrapes Off Of Old Pandora’s Toy Box

A new column on love, sex, and kink in relationships from the host of the podcast Licking Non-Vanilla, who has spent a lot of time contemplating all of it in his sixty years of being alive. “This series started with “How To Stop Worrying About What Your Fantasies “Mean” and Start Loving Your Sexual Imagination”. That’s below (in case you want to start at the start of the series).

Introducing a Fantasy To Your Lover That Doesn’t Go So Great

Paraphrasing the old saying “The best-laid plans…don’t always get you laid”; when it comes to the delicate dance of our bedroom escapades, sometimes things move swimmingly. Other times, even with a long-term partner, one or both of you might just be a little “off” for the evening.

The dance can even be more delicate when trying to make a fantasy real.

Even when you have downloaded the exact dialogue for your role play, bought the high-end Swiss chocolate sauce, finally found a WW1 French commandant uniform on eBay that fits you like a glove, there are a bunch of hurdles one can experience when plucking a fantasy from one’s head and trying to make it real. So, what do we do when we introduce a little off-center playtime and things do not go exactly how we Imagined? Do we just ignore that chalk-on-blackboard “squeech!” when the old lid off of our Pandora’s toybox slides a little too far off its mark? Do we have to throw the baby out with bathwater if we introduce a fantasy to our lover and the fantasy all but fails?

Here are some tips:


I encouraged you to share your fantasies and even suggested the best ways to do it, but still, communication after the fact, especially with our most intimate, will serve us well.  

This particular elephant curling up under your sheets will grow to quite the sizeable old pachyderm if you fail to chuck some peanuts in its maw. Don’t let the hiccup of a moment become bigger than it need to be. Often what goes wrong in enacting a fantasy is something as simple as a momentary misunderstanding where to place what limb or a playful word taken the wrong way, especially if what you are presenting to a lover is far afield from anything either of you has ever tried.

Especially when introducing something new into the bedroom, a little preamble, in the way of maybe showing your partner some porn with your fantasy front and center or bringing up your idea well before you try it, can make the idea easier to unroll, as it were, when the time comes.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Just because some sexual romp didn’t work out the first time doesn’t mean it will fail the next. A little extra English on the ball for your next time up an at-bat, a few minor adjustments, or maybe just a more liberal application of lube, and you could find yourself well in sync for another go around.

Sex is one of those activities that we never care if practice makes perfect because the practice can be so much fun.

Great Expectations Lead To…

Fantasies lay pristine in our minds; proceed with the best lighting; all participants acting and saying exactly what they should say at the exact right moments: the silk ties never cutting into your flesh; nobody having to run to the bathroom. Real-life, though, intrudes on our XXX scenes and slightly-to-the-left naughty scenarios.

None of us live in a PornHub loop. The more you expect here, the further from reality your fantasy (and they are supposed to be far from reality, that’s why they are called “fantasies”) will fall from your expectations. Just remember, the longer you may have been considering (“considering” = masturbating over) something, the more import you put into it. You’ve built it up, and again, built it up perfectly. This alone could lead to unrealistic expectations and tripping down that great chasm between what you wanted and what really happened.

Go With The Flow

Things might start as you plan/want, but suddenly your partner takes the fantasy down a different path, you two find yourself switching roles (if your fantasy involves role-play); an adult toy you’ve brought to bed with you might suddenly serve a whole other purpose than you intended. This doesn’t mean your fantasy has stalled, that all bets are off, that you’ve failed to execute.

Your lover is going to have their own reactions, good or bad, cold or scalding hot, to what you are presenting. It’s best to go with the flow--or at least be open to horses changing course mid-field, as it were.

So, you tried something new and it didn’t turn out to be a tiptoe-through-the-tulips of sexual fulfillment, for either you, your partner, or you both. This can happen when you try something new: The old arrow doesn’t exactly hit the bullseye. But what they say about other “hard things” is equally true here. What’s important is not just how it went, but how you and yours respond to how it went (“responding” meaning “communicating” with each other, most importantly in this context). Consider how everyone is doing after you try what you try, and if appropriate, even tickle in some humor about it all. Even if the attempt really wasn’t all either of you expected, try and focus on those moments that did work for you, and explore why they did. And mostly thank your partner for being game enough to give what you were wanting a try and remember, that this is play and play, even when it's not the best game in town, is still good.

“Ok, So I Had This Idea We Might Turn the Bedroom Into a 19th Century One-Room School House and You Can Dress Up In”…

A new column on love, sex, and kink in relationships from the host of the podcast Licking Non-Vanilla, who has spent a lot of time contemplating all of it in his sixty years of being alive. “This series started with “How To Stop Worrying About What Your Fantasies “Mean” and Start Loving Your Sexual Imagination”. That’s below (in case you want to start at the start of the series).

How to introduce your fantasy to your partner.

So, you are entertaining some thoughts that have led you on some late-night Internet searches, stuff you have been thinking about even when rolling around in bed with your lover? Stuff that you really can’t get out of your head? What should you do with these fantasies? If you have been with a partner for a bit or might like to show off your adventurous spirit with somebody new, is it safe to spill the beans on your naughty inner-most thoughts? Out your fantasy, as it were, and make it a reality?

In the end, how does one introduce their fantasy to a partner? Here are some thoughts:

The Irony of Familiarity

Ironically, those closest to us, a spouse or even a friends-with-bene’s partner, could be the hardest to tell your fantasy to. Set against your usual manner of making love, suddenly revealing some sexual desire you have kept hidden from your partner or opening your imagination enough for them to take a peek inside, ironically can be scarier the closer you are to someone.  You have lots to lose if somebody you really care for is taken aback by your desire to play naked fireman or house inspector, or by you revealing your clutching fascination with your lover’s sneakers.  After all, if they don’t take too well to your “can’t-un-ring-a-bell” moment, it’s going to hurt.

So, don’t be surprised that you become tongue-tied when it comes to revealing a fantasy to someone you love and trust above all others.

But muster your courage and proceed. The best part of mining a deep intimacy with someone is knowing that this person, out of all people, has your back.  Accepts you.  Appreciates and respects your act of vulnerability and trust.  And really, if this is someone you’ve known for years, they may have suspected a thing or two about your naughty little noggin anyway.

Hell, you’d be damned surprised (and eager) to learn what’s in theirs, wouldn’t you?!

How to Spill the Beans

Although it might seem like the best time to talk about sex is when having sex, for revealing a fantasy for the first time, it’s probably best instead that you and your partner have your wits about you. So, what are some of the best (safest ways) to tell your lover your fantasy? Some suggestions:

  • If you and your partner are inclined to watch porn together or even talk about the porn you both might be watching solo, maybe slip in a description of a scene, even if it's just your fantasy and not something you ever watched.
  • Take the onus off of you for the moment (hell, this fantasy is about you, you will be the center of attention soon enough) by asking your partner, in the multitude of ways that you can: “Hey, is there anything you have never tried you might want to get into?” Or, if this is a new partner, prod them lightly about the wildest, funnest, most enjoyable things from their sexual past. There is nothing sexier than showing interest. Besides, this simple inquiry could open up a whole evening of tit-for-tat revealing. And wouldn’t it be something if both of you had the same fantasy? Kismet!
  • You could simply bring a toy, an article of clothing, hell, even a book to bed. So much can hint at your lusty hidden thoughts.
  • You might attend a local “munch” (get-togethers of like-minded kinky people, “lifestylers,” as well as novices, who gather at some location like a restaurant or bar, to socialize and break bread, not to play simply…just yet). Even in these unusual social times, munches still happen, or they occur digitally even, and you might be able to introduce your lover to people and ideas that lean in your fantasy direction.

Feeling awkward or shy about revealing your fantasy, even to someone you love and know well, is expected. You are turning your head to one side, letting gooey naughty stuff spill out of your ear, into your mouth, to hopefully see your fantasy bounce positively across your fourposter. Sharing this intimacy--making yourself vulnerable--empowers you to be your most authentic self and the choice to be honest with yourself and your partner (and they being honest with us) brings couples closer.

And growing close to someone, especially with someone over the long term, is certainly one of the reasons we have sex in the first place, right?

How To Stop Worrying About What Your Fantasies “Mean” and Start Loving Your Sexual Imagination.

A new column on love, sex, and kink in relationships from the host of the podcast Licking Non-Vanilla, who has spent a lot of time contemplating all of it in his sixty years of being alive.

Even though lots of folks won’t admit to masturbating, we know a lot of people do. It’s healthy. It’s fun. It’s a great way to spend a few minutes not watching another round of Seinfeld reruns.

It’s the same with our sexual fantasies.

We are all pretty much having them, they’re healthy and a great distraction from real life. As we wrote about in The Crush Letter No 8 “The Power of the Erotic Imagination,” the renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel calls fantasies the “essence of creativity and vitality, and a necessity for feeling truly alive.”

At any rate, you won’t be able to stop your sexual fantasies from coming, so don’t even try. Nor should you. They are normal mind-movie candy all adults enjoy, to a greater or lesser extent, close or far away from one’s real life, sparking high to the front of one’s brain, or slowly idling on one’s kinky back burner, depending on a great many factors.

As you well know, we don’t only fantasize about sex, we imagine possible future work scenarios, or revise past ones. But our sexual fantasies, involving our libido and brain, are some of the more powerful and prevalent fantasies we have.

But what do fantasies mean (if anything at all) and should we worry about it if the ungovernable stories in our heads don’t reflect the values we hold in “real” life?

What Our Fantasies Mean

Who can say what’s going on in that weird little organ you call a brain? The human mind is ever exploratory, creative, and sparking. Good, dirty imagining is what is happening when you fantasize. Maybe your fantasies are telling you about a sexual experience you may want to try. But not necessarily. It’s just as true that we fantasize about things we would never, ever want to be or have to happen in real life. Like being a prostitute or a pimp, having a UPS delivery man or a construction worker, or donning a French maid’s uniform, to name just a few common ones. Just because you fantasize about it, doesn’t mean you really want to do it or be it or try it.

Every day fantasies for many of us involve things we would consider taboo in our real lives.  And that’s okay. Not only is it okay, but it’s also a good thing. Our brains are like an escape valve, a distraction, and creative, unfettered ways to process things. The more we try to control them (if we even could) the less freedom your imagination has to roam. Roaming is the work of your imagination— in other words, it is what it is there for and what it is meant to do.

And since you can’t stop those mind tickles from coming, you should stop worrying over what you are thinking about. Yet we do. Both men and women, for instance, worry about what are called “power fantasies.” In my work teaching and writing about kink I encounter a lot of people whose fantasies involve scenarios where one partner imagines themselves in a particularly submissive role—a servant, or just tied up or spanked submissively. Being ‘taken’ (in any way one wants to define that word) against one’s will is another very popular power fantasy. The classic “rape fantasy” is an offshoot of this, and not uncommon.

According to Donald Strassberg’s 1998 study “Force in Women’s Sexual Fantasies” over fifty percent of sexually active women who participated in his study admitted imagining some variation of “force” fantasies. And as the popularity of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey showed us, within the realm of fantasy, even the most liberated of us enjoy the idea, if not the actual act, of being ‘forced.’ For those who identify as female, particularly from certain conservative cultures, “force” fantasies can assuage how an otherwise modest or nervous lover might feel over sex (you know how terrible most cultures have been historical to women who even show the slightest inclination of liking sex). In power fantasies, a person fantasizing about being forced might simply get aroused by feeling so attractive that their lover absolutely must have them. And anyone whose “day” job involves exercising a lot of power and control may sometimes like the idea of being taken against their will sexually. They like to imagine a moment when someone else is in charge. Consider the character Chuck Rhoades from Billions as a possible example of this.

Anyone whose identity is cisgendered can come up against the same “what does it all mean” concerns and considerations if they discover themselves entertaining homoerotic fantasies. Do they really want to have a same-sex encounter, might they be gay even? But there is a multitude of reasons why we fantasize about what we do, without necessarily wanting to make that fantasy real.

Really, though, we don’t always know the reason for our fantasies. And perhaps the attempt to “reason” with our fantasies, or extract a reason for (or out of) them is fruitless, or at the very least unnecessary. It might be better to just let the erotic imagination spin on its own, doing its job without restraint. What your fantasies signify more than anything else is that you are human. That you have an active imagination, a healthy sex drive, a natural curiosity. All good things. So relax, banish any discomfort (or shame) and enjoy them fully. That’s what they’re there for. Really.

Ralph Greco, Jr. is the devilishly clever nom de plume of Ralph Greco. Ralph is a 60-year-old professional writer in both the adult space and mainstream market. He is also an ASCAP licensed songwriter, published playwright, and kink class teacher at sex conventions across the U.S. And like everybody else, Ralph is the co-host of a podcast, Licking Non-Vanilla, with fellow erotic writer/teacher, M. Christian.

If you love me as much as I love you (and I really do love you!), then please help me grow by forwarding this {love} Letter to a friend!  And I'd love to have you join us on instagram, facebook & twitter.

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The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter curated by Dish Stanley on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. If you’d like to take a look at some of our best stories go to Read Us. Want the Dish?


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