If you’ve started a new relationship recently and found out your partner is a bit on the kinky side, it can be quite daunting.
Many people have a fetish in the bedroom – including spanking, roleplay or dressing up.
However, if you don’t have much experience, it can be quite overwhelming for some.
To help with this, Dr Laura Vowels, principal researcher and sex therapist at the UK’s leading dedicated sex therapy app, Blueheart, has shared her top tips on how to embrace your partner’s fetishes.
These include speaking openly about fetishes and using a safe word.
Have a read to get more clued-up on fetishes and how to deal with them…
1. Understand what fetishes are
Dr Vowels says: “Fetishes usually refer to sexual excitement in response to objects or body parts that aren’t typically sexual.
“Almost anything can be perceived as a fetish – from stockings or high heels, to role-playing and spanking.”
While fetishes are very common, the expert admitted many people can feel “ashamed” for having them.
She recommends not making your partner feel “weird” or “wrong” for having a fetish.
The expert concludes: “Fetishes can be part of a healthy and playful sexual life for couples, so it’s important to listen to your partner’s preferences with an open mind.”
2. Talk freely about fetishes outside the bedroom
Dr Vowels says that speaking to your partner about their fantasies is the first step to introducing fetishes into your sex life.
She says: “By sharing your likes, dislikes and expectations outside of the bedroom environment, you can learn more about how to please each other.”
The expert warns that your partner may initially find it hard to talk openly about their sexual fantasies, but says that “there’s a lot to gain from doing so”.
She adds: “In fact, people who openly discuss their fantasies report the happiest sexual relationships.
“Research reveals that people who share and act on their sexual fantasies achieve more sexual satisfaction, have less sexual problems, and are happier in their relationships.”
3. Find common ground
If you don’t feel comfortable participating in your partner’s fetish, Dr Vowels says it can be helpful to find common ground in other sexual acts that can give both of you satisfaction.
She says: “It’s still worth figuring out what mutually appeals to both of you, and agreeing on similar alternative options can enable both of you to find pleasure in a new and exciting way.”
4. Try a safe word
Dr Vowels says a safe word is “not always necessary”, but says you may want to incorporate one into your sexual activity together, depending on what the fetish is.
She says: “A safe word is used to immediately stop whatever sexual act is taking place, and it is usually unrelated to the sexual situation.”
The expert says safe words are a healthy way to establish boundaries and to ensure that you and your partner feel comfortable when trying new things in the bedroom.
She added: “With the comfort of knowing you can stop it all with one word, you’re both more likely to enjoy exploring each other’s fetishes and fantasies more openly and with trust.”
5. Start things small
Dr Vowels says: “No matter how long your partner may have fantasised about their fetish, this may still be new territory for both of you and not something that should be rushed.
“It may seem daunting to try something you’ve never done before, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to completely commit to their fantasies on your first try.”
She recommends trying out smaller activities together first, before working your way up to fulfilling your agreed fantasy, as this takes away any pressure and allows both of you to get used to the activity.
The expert says this will make the encounter “more playful and fun”.
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