We make a point of never discussing our dreams—and that’s especially true when it comes to sex. But if we did divulge our top between-the-sheets fantasies, our friends would understand—they probably have the same ones. In a recent study of 1,516 adults, researchers from the University of Quebec found that many sexual fantasies are more common than previously thought. Here, the five desires most women admit to, plus expert advice on how to take the moves for a real-life test drive.
This fantasy is especially common in longer-term relationships, says Laura Berman, Ph.D., sex and relationship therapist and Durex’s resident sex expert. That’s because trying anything new—whether that means going to a different-than-usual brunch spot or getting busy outside the bedroom—actually stimulates the dopamine centers of the brain, enhancing feelings of pleasure and excitement.
Try it: The worst place to test out your guy’s feelings about fooling around in the back row of the movie theater is when the lights start to dim, says Berman. Bring it up during a neutral time (read: not when you’re having sex or in your lusty locale of choice), and be prepared to negotiate. He might hate your idea of having sex in a public park, for instance, but be open to going at it in a private corner of your backyard, says Berman.
Try it: As with public sex, BDSM fantasy. It’s one of the 5 Secret Male Festishes That Are Actually Totally Common.)
Berman says it’s totally normal to crave at least some degree of variety, especially if you’ve been with your guy for years. While humans may be programmed for monogamy, a yearning for a change in scenery isn’t so abnormal.
Try it: Berman doesn’t recommend actually having sex with another partner, even if your significant other is on board. “It opens up a Pandora’s Box,” she says. “Someone’s bound to feel jealous or insecure.” Instead, try roleplaying. Have your guy—in the role of a stranger—pick you up in a local bar, or ask him to wear a wig or costume to bed. Trying a new-to-you position, playing porn while you fool around, or using a sex toy during the act can also fulfill your desire for a change.
Despite finding it sexy, “a surprising amount of people are uncomfortable with oral sex,” says Berman. They either worry about their technique (if they’re the performer) or stress about their significant other’s comfort (is his jaw getting tired? Do I smell okay? Am I taking too long?).
Try it: If concerns over not “doing it right” are holding you back, Berman suggests simply looking up online tutorials—you might feel silly, but in this case, knowledge is your best weapon. If you’re anxious about being on the receiving end, on the other hand, try baby steps. “Start by asking him to go down on you for just three minutes. Next time, try five,” she explains. Then focus on staying in the moment until the time is up. Just tell him about the experiment beforehand, or he might assume he’s doing something you don’t like when you stop him, resulting in performance anxiety for him.
Women’s most common fantasy was one of the least risqué on the list—wanting to feel romantic emotions during a sexual relationship. “It underscores how important that emotional connection is to intimacy,” says Berman. “Because I could give you 365 things to try for spicing up your sex life, but if you and your partner don’t have that internal intensity, nothing’s going to work.”
Try it: To feel emotionally closer with a bedmate, try tantric sex techniques, which emphasize tapping into that emotional connection, suggests Berman. One easy exercise: Sit cross-legged face your partner, then place your right hand over his heart. While looking into each other’s eyes, synchronize your breathing to his. “This helps you center, tune out the rest of the world, and create more intensity between you before you become physical,” says Berman.