By Barbara Zuschnig and Beatrix Roidinger
Fantasies can enrich sex
Fantasies are beautiful. They are journeys within our mind and are exciting. Creativity enriches our sexuality. Initiates stories. Creates images and expands our erotic language and thus our erotic potential. This blogpost shall encourage you to express your feelings and desires in a creative way. Maybe you will write stories or take pictures. Possibly a sculpture will emerge, or you’ll paint, make music or even do a performance.
From unequivocalness to ambiguity
Being able to talk about fantasies often requires some patience. Fantasies do not lie in our fully conscious minds. Experiencing a fantasy-journey is easier when we are encouraged by people who inspire and invite us to let our thoughts run wild. What will you discover, which erotic idea are you en route to?
Fantasies produce erotic suspense…
…through the inclusion of ideas into an erotic script. You can assign yourself a role in the imagined scene, or act as a viewer. The people involved can be familiar, strangers or even faceless. The images may feed on things you have seen, read, remembered, heard, experienced, or they can just be made up of thoughts. Perhaps the choreography of the scene mixes content from different sources; a real childhood experience might be crossed over with a picture from a porno and cast with your lover and your best friend as performers at the same time.
What´s your turn on?
The functions of fantasies can vary and differ from person to person. Sometimes a certain person can bring a range of fantasies to life because they have various intentions or feelings depending on the situation. In fantasies, we can change the balance of power, take on roles, try things risk-free and ignore or overcome taboos.
There is one thing that almost all fantasies have in common: they create or increase arousal, be it during masturbation or while having sex. Fantasies cast a spotlight on how we really tick erotically, sensually and emotionally. They also reveal where our development potential and solutions for possible sexual conflicts lie.
The turn-ons of people are as diverse and different as the respective sexual plots. Some of us have a whole repertoire of fantasies right away and are able to turn each of them on and off as they please, play them back and forth, simultaneously or alternately, or freeze them as individual stills.
Others have one certain fantasy that has not changed over the years, perhaps even remained the same since adolescence. However, it is always the one fantasizing who determines the dramatic composition – from timing, atmosphere and frequency to repetition and, of course, plot and content, along with actors and roles.
Where does the substance for sexual fantasies come from?
The reasons why a certain situation arouses us sexually depends on our sensory and emotional experiences and the meaning we attach to them. If you ask people what arouses them, most will describe inner pictures and scenarios that they do not experience in real life. It is rarely the case that we fantasize about the well-known “everyday sex”. Rather, the stories deal with overcoming an obstacle and the experiencing the forbidden.
You can indulge in longing for a person to whom you have a physical, emotional or geographical distance. The uncertainty, hope and the unknown increase excitement. That what you don’t have gains importance and is symbolically more significant. Another obstacle is fantasizing about something that is forbidden, both socially and societally. Even at the relationship level where you risk breaking values and norms. Like for example having sex with your boss or your partner’s best friend. “Classics” are also the subjects of power and powerlessness. Many fantasies are about status (injuries), humiliation, pain, domination and submission.
Even the unknown and strange provides material: it may be a new sexual practice, a role that you have never played before, a different cultural background, a person that you do not know well, etc. Often, it’s also about ambivalence and overcoming it. In your fantasy, you may safely hesitate – again and again. You can try and then back down. Balancing at the thin line between wanting and not-wanting leads to suspense which in turn leads to arousal.
From trauma to triumph
Trauma to triumph is about giving things that once tormented you a new meaning. Overcoming the problem is the erotic kick. Excitement often arises from the oscillation between anticipated danger and overcoming it. For example, a man who considers himself ugly, impotent and old can fantasize about five women who have an insatiable desire for him, can’t control themselves and seduce him at once. Numerous possibilities present themselves in a fantasy. You either take on an active or a passive role. The tension between fear and pleasure is where the erotic lies.
Fantasizing is lustful and creative
Fantasizing can be simply beautiful. It can stand for itself. At first, fantasies are journeys in our mind. To play with them, we can also get them out of our heads and into reality. By doing and talking, new stories emerge which can be both surprising and exciting.
An essential element for eroticizing a situation, for yourself and your partner is talking. Words and stories are catalysts for suspense. Telling each other your fantasies and developing your own way of talking can be very stimulating and exciting. Essentially, it’ s about relinquishing control over what may and what may not be said. Even censorship, which we all practice, is set aside. Close your eyes and start by whispering in your partner’s ear. You will see, it works.
In the realm of the senses
Role-play games are an effective way to activate your fantasy. How’s about a visit to the Kingdom of the Senses? Here, as in any royal household, you’ll find the king, queen, servants, jesters, cooks, maids, servants, stable boys, nobles and the master of ceremonies.
Every role has certain characteristics, powers and assignments. When you slip into a given role, you leave, for the whole duration of the game, your identity behind. You are free to pick a role that you would never play in real life. Dominant people may slip into the role of the servant, women can assume a man’s role and vice versa, and shy people can become a king or a queen.
The new experiences that arise with role-play are felt on all sensory levels. Do I feel lust while massaging the feet of the queen at her behest? Or when combing her hair? Which emotions arise? Can I totally give in to the situation? Do I consider the role of a servant sensual? What would it be like for me to wish for something as a baroness?
Ask yourself: Have I ever had wishes and if yes what are they? Am I ashamed of them or do not wish to impose them on anyone? How do I deal with my boundaries getting crossed? When certain actions trigger emotions that I cannot control?
Barbara & Beatrix
“Getting out of the comfort zone, venturing to the limits, experimenting and being curious. This is what makes encounters and our work as sex counselors so exciting. Festivals are the best setting for us. We are happy to be part of the Sexolution festival team. There, together with the other participants we will dive into a special form of intensity and diversity.”
Image: Pop E. Popp (Creative Commons 3.0 License)
This summer, in a secluded area of Austria the first ever “Sexolution” festival will take place. The New Frontier spoke with Reinhard Gaida, founder of the “Schwelle Wien”, Vienna’s first sex positive location and one of the main organizers of the festival to find out more.
TNF: Reinhard, how are you feeling about the Sexolution festival and what will be the highlights?
RG: The whole team is already full of anticipation and of course we’re all really looking forward to this big event. It will be like a dream come true: a wonderful holiday with added value and even with a message. One of the highlights will undoubtedly be the fact that the whole event will happen in a very remote area of Austria in and around a hotel which we will have completely to ourselves. Have you never dreamed of having a whole hotel, a whole camping site all for yourself and your friends? And, what’s more, having a festival where togetherness, tenderness and lust play a crucial role! Add to this full catering, leaving you with absolutely nothing to worry about. Participants will have access to various workshops covering a broad range of topics around sex positivism and which will be held in the hotel and in big hippie tents. Also, there will be acro-yoga and yoga as well as body work sessions. For each field, we will have renowned international trainers.
Yet another highlight will be the “Soul Space” where you can reflect on experiences made at the festival. If you feel like expressing yourself creatively, you can do so at a designated “Art Space”. Speaking of creativity: the guys from “Porn Film Festival” will decorate two rooms in the hotel especially for those who wish to make their own movie. If you want to just relax, you can chill at our “Chai Place”. For those who love to be close to nature, a small forest will serve as a retreat. Moreover, we even have a pond if you would like to go for a swim. In the evenings, we will have lots of parties and extraordinary events like “Ecstatic Dance”.
The most important highlight of the festival however is the community. Some people have already known each other for some time. These people lay the cornerstone for the festival.
TNF: Will there be merchandising?
RG: There will indeed be a small market place for clothes, adornments and sex toys; inter alia, Liebenswert will have a broad range of sex accessories on offer and X-Factory will display some of their SM furniture. Additionally, Indica will distribute a CBD product which they especially developed for the festival. The Aids Hilfe will be on-site in order to raise awareness. Briefly, the whole event is intended as symbiosis between us as the organizers, the hotel “Natursinne” and the enterprises that offer their sex-positive products.
TNF: If I am new to all this, what are the most important things I need to know about sex-positive events in general and the Sexolution festival in special?
RG: I cannot speak for any event that carries the label “sex-positive”, I can only talk about sex-positive events which are organized by us. For the “Schwelle”, sex-positivity is about providing a space where you feel safe, where you ask before you act and where only a clear and unequivocal “yes” means consent. Needless to say, mobile phones are strictly prohibited. The people who come to Schwelle events have to be empathic and able to perceive other people’s boundaries but also ready to learn how to set their own limits.
TNF: How can I best get to the location?
RG: For those taking the train we will provide a shuttle service that picks people up at the railway station. Members of the Schwelle can take the shuttle bus that will leave on Wednesday afternoon and return to Vienna on Sunday at around noontime. And you can certainly go by car or camper van. Make sure to get your ticket here before we’re sold out.
TNF: Should I plan to stay for the whole five days and if yes why?
RG: I highly recommend staying for the whole duration as the program is arranged in such a way that the workshops build up on each other – which is also why we are selling only five day tickets. On the first evening, there will be an opening where we explain the rules and regulations. In the following days, participants will get to know each other and start having first exchanges. The workshops will become more challenging and as your learning curve goes up you will go a bit deeper every day. There will even be a workshop on “exploring deeper” hosted by Wilrieke Sophia during which the participants spend a considerable amount of time in open nature and stay there together overnight. You can read more about Wilrieke and her work on www.wilriekesophia.com.
Essentially, it is all about learning and personal development as well as getting to know new people. On the other hand, it is also about receiving support from the community and last but not least about having a great party and enjoying life.
TNF: What does the price include?
RG: The price includes the admission fee for the festival and either a hotel room or a space on the camping site according to what you have booked. The price covers all workshops, events and parties of the festival as well as the “Chai Place”, “Soul Space” and “Art Space”. Not included are the meals and drinks.
TNF: Is there something you would especially want the participants of the festival to know?
RG: We are just in the middle of laying down the rules and regulations and will upload them soon as it is of utmost importance for us that everybody knows and abides by them. This is a prerequisite for sex-positivism, allowing for everyone to live, develop and enjoy their true sexuality and gain new experiences without being judged, no matter whether it is tantra, BDSM, kink or something else. We want everyone to look at sex as something positive, beautiful and healthy. There is no space for stigma, discrimination or taboos. And as said, everything has to be based on mutual consent and played safe. So if you are interested in experiencing this first hand then join us!
To learn more about the Sexolution festival please visit www.sexolution-festival.com/
What questions do you wish we’d asked? Please post a comment below!
By Nicola di Trevi
Sex and marriage. Karl Lagerfeld, the German fashion designer who recently passed away at 85 once claimed that marriage was invented when people died at 30. “Now they marry at 30 and have to do it for 60 years.”
60 years of having sex with only one person? 60 years of wanting only that one person? Of even only thinking of that certain human being while masturbating? That is what society might expect of us – at least one that does not shudder at the thought of people making love at 90.
I have been married for more than ten years and can safely say that I still love my partner as much as I think I can ever be in love with someone. Also, my partner and I are still enjoying having sex with each other; I even believe that we have managed to steadily improve this part of our relationship over the years while at the same time maintaining a satisfying average frequency of “it” per week.
And yet I want more. I want variation. I want something new. By “new” I do not mean a new position; I think that by now my partner and I have figured out the ones that give us the most pleasure. Also, I am not thinking of a different location; maybe it’s utterly uncreative but I really like to do it in our warm bed or on the cozy couch in our living room. And lastly, I am also not talking about sex toys, although there are some which I should finally try because they might take my intercourse sensations to a whole new level and increase the intensity of my (already quite satisfying) orgasms.
And yet I want something else. I want someone else: a different beautiful mind to explore; a different body to touch, feel and taste; and a sexual experience that I won’ t have with my partner even if we tried every possible position, location or sex toy on earth. Because we already know each other.
Having said that, of course you never really know everything about anyone else, and with a small variation in the way you are making love you can spice things up for a while. But I simply want to get between the sheets with someone new. Not every day and certainly not as a replacement for my long-term partner. Should I really have a bad conscience for wanting something that is not accepted by society? Isn’t it a sad truth about human nature that we get used to even the best things in life after a while? And isn’t it part of our permanent pursuit of happiness to be searching for the next “kick”?
You do not eat your favorite dish every day, nor do you wear your favorite shoes or listen to the same music all of the time. So why would you want to have sex with one and the same person every day for all of your life? I have no doubt that indeed couples exist where the partners sexually desire only each other all through life (Remark: if you belong to this group of people then you can stop reading here). After all, nature (or for that matter: god) created all varieties of sexual orientations and preferences. But if you – just like me – are one of those who are in an actually healthy relationship and yet dream of having sex with someone new every now and then, then you have what I call the “infidelity dilemma” as you can pursue only one of the following pathways:
You remain faithful. Downside: you condemn yourself to an unremarkable sex life and you might start thinking of someone else while you’re doing it with your partner (I would call that “mental infidelity”).
You have sex with somebody else without prior agreement with your partner on “opening” the relationship (aka “cheating”). This approach is very dangerous as you risk destroying the trust your relationship is based on if your partner learns the truth.
You and your partner agree on “opening” the relationship with or without the promise of telling the partner everything immediately afterwards (but with the mutual commitment of always playing it safe). The agreement itself is the relatively easy part. The hard part is how to deal with jealousy. How will you really react when you find out (or suspect) that your partner is having sex with someone else? If you think you are immune to that kind of emotion let me remind you that even the famously promiscuous French author Catherine Millet fell victim to it.
Are you also faced with the “infidelity dilemma”? If yes, how do you deal with it?
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the “Schwelle”.
If possible please comment in English.
Image: Pop E. Popp (Creative Commons 3.0 License)
“The New Frontier” is a blog that addresses sex positivism in various aspects and forms. By sex positivism we mean both a positive attitude towards sex and mutual consent between everyone involved (including those not actively “involved” at the given location). Our blog posts shall always be formulated in a positive manner, i.e. the wording must never be disparaging, no comparisons shall be made with the aim of putting others down or displaying some kind of “superiority”. No generalisations shall be made (e.g.: “everybody who does x must therefore also be y”). Anything that deals with religion, children or politics is by all means strictly forbidden, including references to governments or forms of government. We do not promise to “heal” anyone, and we are not part of any revolution or movement.