The Attraction Doctor

How persuasion research can help you get a date

Getting Kinky: How to Share Your Fetish or Fantasy

How to discuss a fantasy, fetish, or kinky request.

Welcome back to The Attraction Doctor

Let's be honest... Most everyone has some type of secret fantasy, fetish, or kinky desire. They have something in the back of their mind (or tucked in the back of a closet) that they are just dying to share with the right partner. But, bringing up the topic with a date or mate can be difficult. How do you go from "sexual fantasies" to "reality"?

Like most things on this blog, we can find the solution in persuasion and influence! So, break out your kama sutra, BDSM gear, or that little nurses outfit, and read on. Below are 5 steps to introducing your partner to what really turns you on.

How To Get Kinky

1) Realize that Fantasies and Kinks are Normal

Before you discuss your desires with anyone else, you first must be comfortable with them yourself. You may well be your partner's first introduction into the topic. As a result, you will be leading them. If you are comfortable, they will be comfortable. Besides, despite the often sexually-repressive culture, everyone has something a bit "kinky". So, embrace your inner desires.

Getting comfortable with your desired fetish or fantasy serves two persuasive purposes. First, you end up modeling the type of positive behavior you hope your partner follows. Second, you "normalize" the behavior and request, making it easier for your partner to accept as part of their worldview. When they see you discussing it comfortably, they come to feel that it is a normal and comfortable topic to discuss (and later take part in). So, to be persuasive, get comfortable with your fantasy and accept it...then share it.

2) Communicate that Your Desires are Intimate and Special

There is an unfortunate misconception that fantasies, fetishes, and kink necessarily "objectify" and "distance" lovers from one another. Usually, just the opposite is true. Sharing your secret sexual cravings with a special partner can increase trust and intimacy. It is a special, private piece of who you are that you are giving to someone else.

As a result, be sure to communicate that you want to share your fantasies or fetishes as "something intimate and special, with a special person". Highlight the fact that your partner is unique, special, and you desire to share the behavior as an intimate experience with them. This operates on the influence principle of "scarcity" - where individuals value more what is special, rare, or unique. So, when you make the request intimate and special, you also make it scarce...and irresistible.

3) Demonstrate that Others are Enjoying It

Pretty much anything you are into has some coverage in movies, magazines, videos, etc. For some reason Netflix movies seem to be a goldmine for fantasy, fetish, and kink. In any case, lightly expose your partner to a bit of that "culture". Casually comment about an article you read. Select a movie that features that type of fetish. Show them a video online that a "buddy" happened to send you. Begin to expose them to positive representations of the activities you like.

Yes, this does follow another influence principle - the principle of social proof. Individuals often choose to do what they see other people doing (especially when those people enjoy it). So, showing or discussing positive examples of "other people doing" what you desire will make your partner more interested and agreeable to it.

4) Appeal to Your Partner's Self-Image

We all have different "sides" or "selves". The "self" that we have at work is different than the "self" we have with friends. Our "sexual self" is no different...and it changes over time.

To ensure your partner's comfort and agreement with a topic, make sure to align it with aspects of their sexual self. If they believe they are "adventurous" in bed, then praise their adventurousness and suggest your kink as an adventure. If they believe they are "intimate" in bed, then tell them you love their intimacy and suggest a fantasy as a further way of getting intimate.

The appeal requires that you first get them to "commit" to a certain self-image, where they say the type of person they are. You may do this in the form of a leading question (e.g. "are you adventurous?"). Next, you affirm that self-image with an attribution of your own (e.g. "that's what I love about you, you're so adventurous"). Finally, you present your desire in a way consistent with that self-image (e.g. "let's try something adventurous together").

This process works on the self dynamics of your partner. It helps them "see themselves as the kind of person" who would engage in a fantasy, fetish, or kink. It also employs the influence principles of commitment/consistency and attribution. Individuals are motivated to remain consistent to a self-image they project (consistency) or an image that others have of them (attribution). Therefore, when their image is in agreement with a behavior...they do it.

5) Start Small and Work Up

When you introduce your partner to a fantasy or fetish, start SMALL. Don't bring out the latex suit and full body harness, or the entire clown outfit, on the first night. Ease them into it. Just the small toy. Just the handcuffs. Then work your way up!

Starting small allows your partner time to ease in, adjust and get comfortable. It also makes a "yes" to larger requests later more likely. The principle is called the foot-in-the-door effect - where individuals who say yes to small requests initially are more likely to say yes to big requests later. So, be patient. Let your partner ease in, then introduce something more, until you get to the whole fantasy.

Conclusion

Sharing your fetish or fantasy with a partner can be a positive (and persuasive) experience. You don't have to keep quiet. Just get comfortable with what you want, to ask calmly and confidently. Make your partner feel special and unique to share your desires. Show them positive examples of others enjoying what you like. Align the request with their self-image. Finally, start small and work your way up. Follow those steps...and you both will reach kinky bliss in no time.

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Until next time...happy dating and relating!

Dr. Jeremy Nicholson
The Attraction Doctor

 

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© 2011 by Jeremy S. Nicholson, M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D. All rights reserved.

Jeremy Nicholson, M.S.W., Ph.D., is a doctor of social and personality psychology, with a focus on influence, persuasion, and dating.

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