Sexpression is the key to satisfaction
Livia Cockerrell explores the benefits of being open about fetishes and sexual fantasies.
Us Brits are huge prudes. We know sex is happening all around us but none of us want to talk about it, and even less so when it comes to kinks and sexual fantasies. Sex and money persistently rank as the top causes for arguments between couples, arguably as a result of this conservative strait-laced attitude. But is this lack of communication simply resulting in our sex lives leaving us feeling unsatisfied and frustrated?
Toe sucking, bondage, wax play. These are just some of the most common fetishes in the UK, and they are much more commonly desired than you would imagine. In fact, 74 per cent of men and 67 per cent of British women would describe their sexual preferences as ‘kinky’. However, despite the majority of us fantasising over kinky sex and having particular sexual fantasies, we shy away from talking about it due to embarrassment and the fear of being ridiculed.
We are uncomfortable when people are unashamedly upfront about their sexual desires
Take Jake from Love Island who openly communicated his foot fetish to both the viewers and his partner, Liberty. In classic British style, he became a meme, a headline, the butt of a joke. We are uncomfortable when people are unashamedly upfront about their sexual desires, but I believe that we actually have a lot to learn from this level of frankness.
In his Ted Talk, relationship and sex expert Dr Mike Anderson shared the benefits of communicating our sexual fantasies with our partners. Needless to say, his studies showed that these couples were more sexually satisfied (obviously a big bonus). But interestingly, his results also suggested that discussing fetishes also improved communication in other areas of the relationship and the vulnerability created through discussion resulted in an overall closer bond between the couple.
Positive dialogue is an important step in ensuring that sex is something inclusive that we can all enjoy
However, despite the clear benefits of this openness, fetishes and kinky sexual fantasies are still a taboo topic leaving many of us feeling embarrassed for wanting to move away from anything more than vanilla in the bedroom. Although over the past decade we have seen significant progression for the LGBTQ+ community, this form of kink and sexual shaming ultimately favours hetero-normative relationships. It stems from a place of discomfort. I would also argue that this discomfort is still ever present when talking about female sexuality. Even in 2021 it so often seems that women are encouraged to supress their sexual desires; there is an awkwardness in acknowledging that women have fantasies and enjoy sex too. But quite contrary to this outdated fabrication, recent studies show that the highest ranking sexual fantasies and fetishes for women included sex outdoors, body piercings and blindfolded sex.
Opening up the conversation about fetishes and sexual fantasies is not only going to help us all leave the bedroom feeling more fulfilled, but this positive dialogue is also an important step in ensuring that sex is something inclusive that we can all enjoy. We all know that communication is key in any relationship, and this could not be more important when it comes to sex. Sexpression is certainly the key to satisfaction.