You’re working up a sweat in the sack –- and not necessarily in a good way. Stomach churning, heart pounding, knees trembling ... you’re about to “sexpose” yourself, and you’re not sure how your lover is going to react.

For a lot of people, sharing your sexual fantasies can be one of the scariest, most intimidating of erotic exchanges. Not for the faint of heart, such offerings require a leap of faith, given that people’s fantasies may involve scenarios like:

— Breaking the law ... for example, having sex in public;

— Scandalous sex ... think Mrs. Robinson;

— Being dominated ... for example, by that sexy police officer who just pulled you over for speeding;

— Multiple partners;

— An abuse of power, such as a therapist sleeping with a client;

— Sex with a forbidden partner, like a nun;

— Engaging in a taboo, like being a sex worker.

While the aforementioned and then some are quite common, it can be terribly difficult to admit that you’re among the many titillated by these lewd, obscene, or sensuous scenes. The rewards, however, can be great, with the act of divulging your sexual desires being “hot” in and of itself. It’s quite endearing and flattering to get even just a sneak peek into your lover’s libidinous thoughts.

Plus, there’s much to be reaped in sharing your fantasies. The benefits include:

— Spicing things up (which makes for more passionate sex);

— Adding variety and expanding your sexual repertoire;

— Feeling closer to your lover, helping you to understand each other a bit more;

— Eroticizing safer sex.

But before you take the plunge and share, consider there are some very important questions to ask yourself ...

1. What’s my motivation?

Why do you want to share this fantasy? What turns you on about sharing? Do you hope the sharing can be a form of foreplay or something more? Are you hoping that your fantasy will be fulfilled? Will it be advantageous to your relationship to share, revving up sex for the both of you?

2. Will sharing diffuse my own pleasuring?

Many lovers like to have a few tricks up their sleeves in bed, and their private fantasies are often what makes or breaks the sexual moment. Whether it’s getting through a sex act or working your way to orgasm, will sharing take away from how your fantasy benefits you now? Will you be able to enjoy having the cat out of the bag?

3. Am I in the right kind of relationship for sharing?

Not every relationship can weather such intimate sharing. You need to be in a secure, trusting relationship. Your sexual union should be able to provide you with the support and safety needed to get over any nervousness and anxiety, and to field any reactions. Lovers need to be able to withhold any judgment. They need to make each other feel accepted and emotionally safe. This includes being able to refuse a request to act out a fantasy without putting the other down.

4. Can my partner handle my fantasies?

Some lovers can’t handle hearing about certain sex acts, especially if they involve “who” you’re fantasizing about. Partners who are sex negative or uncomfortable with sexual intimacy in general are not going to be the best candidates for such sharing. So consider what your lover may be open to and which types of fantasies may cause more harm than good.

5. Am I ready to hear my partner’s fantasies?

Lovers tend to expect reciprocity when sharing fantasies. It’s usually not a one-way street, so you have to consider how you might react to your partner’s fantasies. Can you go there? How can you provide the same safety you’re hoping for?

All things considered, if you’re still willing to share your mind’s carnal concoctions, think long and hard about when to open up. Exposing a fantasy after a hot romp may not be received as well as one meant to arouse desire.

In talking about your fantasy, let your partner know that there’s something that you want to share — and perhaps do. Explain your reasons for wanting to share, even citing some of the aforementioned benefits.

Reassure your partner there is no pressure to act out the fantasy. Explain that couples enjoy titillating each other with the details of their fantasies. The storytelling itself eroticizes their sex lives.

Be sure to start with your “tamer” thoughts, being sensitive to how your lover is receiving everything. If it’s easier, write down your fantasy, describing the sex act and/or scenario. Or make it more of a game, asking that each of you reveal one of your innermost sexy thoughts.

If that’s still too intense, suggest that you create a shared fantasy. Write your own erotic story together. Or read through a comprehensive sex book like my latest, “Pleasuring: The Secrets to Sexual Satisfaction,” which can provide you with the excuse to talk about sexual desires and fantasies. Sometimes reading what others have written or fantasized about alleviates any anxiety a lover may feel.

Lastly, remind your lover that your relationship means more than any fantasy. In being able to share more, you need to make sure that your lover feels nothing less than desirable.

Sexpert Q & A: How can I tell I tell if I'm crushing on a co-worker? Click here to read Yvonne's answer.

Dr. Yvonne Kristin Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."

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