For better and for worse, the internet has exposed us to all the kink there is in the world. Nothing is really taboo anymore when it comes to online fantasies. Yet when it comes to explaining those desires to real-life partners, many people are too shy.

What turns a person on is not necessarily static. We can have pre-conceived notions of what we like, but they may (and likely, will) change and develop over time. Some people develop new kinks and fantasies altogether. Others find the stuff they used to be into doesn't do it for them anymore.

It's almost an oxymoron that the person you're closest with could be the person you're most afraid to share intimate thoughts with. Humans aren't conditioned to talk about "non-standard" sex with anybody. We're even taught to be ashamed of it; something that ultimately leads to sexual dissatisfaction and the yearning to seek out fantasies in secret, completely cut off from your normal life.

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Bringing up new or existing kinks – i.e. things that might be out of the ordinary that you'd like to try – can be embarrassing. You might fear being shut down, laughed out, or made to feel perverted. We think we might alienate our partners and even scare them. We worry they'll forever think differently about us and continually ponder our supposed "dissatisfaction" with a current sex life.

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You must explain that your fantasy is not to objectify your partner, or distance yourself from them. Rather, it's the opposite: a desire to take what's existing even further and become even closer to a partner. This is the first hurdle to get over when discussing a kink or fantasy with a partner. Wanting to try something new does not mean you're unhappy with your current expressions of physical and emotional intimacy. You want to explain that your fantasy is unique to them – it's something you want to do with them, not with someone else. They are the reason. They are special.

Second is having the inner acknowledgement that kinks are normal. Everybody has them. They are not sick, and you must have the confidence in yourself to know that before proceeding to talk with your partner. If you're comfortable and confident, there's more likelihood they will be too.

When you first discuss kinks with somebody, you should make the upmost effort to make them feel safe. Kinks and fantasies must be articulated in a pressure-free way. Use language such as "I've been thinking about...", "I've be wondering about trying..." and "Would you be interested in...?". To ensure your partner's emotional safety, let them know that you don't want/need to try this kink now, it's just something to put on the back-burner. It's something to think about.

It can also be beneficial to show others enjoying that kink or fantasy in a movie or TV show. No, not in explicit pornography – that's a little threatening to begin with. It's easy to find most kinks illustrated in regular cinema or television and Google can help you find them. By seeing that fantasy played out by actors, both you and your partner will have a more objective appreciation for trying it – call it the "50 shades" effect.

If and when your partner agrees to try something, take baby steps. If you're into, say, leather or lycra, start with something simple and non-alarming like a pair of underwear, not a full bodysuit or mask. It's vital that your kink it explored at your partner's pace, not the speed you'd prefer.

After-care remains paramount. Sometimes people experience an emotional low in the hours/days after trying something new in the bedroom. You must continually ask your partner how they're feeling, and really listen to their concerns if they have them. If they say "it's just not me", accept that and move on – there are more kinks out there to explore.

As with ALL types of sex, consensual is key when exploring kinks. You'll never see any kind of fantasy realised if you don't get enjoyment reciprocated by your partner.