Almost everyone has sexual fantasies of some description, from seeing a lover in stockings and suspenders to more complex scenarios with kinky accessories galore. While some fantasies are best kept to yourself (group sex involving your partner's best friend...) sharing some of your more intimate desires can be a great way to bond with a partner.

Turning fantasy into reality

Communicating your desires with your partner can take many forms: if you're too shy to talk face to face, exchanging saucy texts, chatting over the phone or instant messenger, or sharing erotic materials can all broach the subject. Whichever method you choose, start with your mildest fantasies and work your way up based on your lover's reaction.

While a respectful lover shouldn't judge you for sharing your fantasies, different people like different things and there's no guarantee you'll both want the same things. If a partner rejects an idea, don't blame them or sulk: instead, see if there's any middle ground - or consider trading fantasies: I'll do yours if you do mine.

Start with your mildest fantasies and work your way up based on your lover's reaction.

If you decide to live out your fantasy, make sure you're familiar with any safety guidelines, and consider the potential emotional as well as physical effects. With some fantasies, you may decide to use them to inspire talking dirty but leave it at that.

Also, consider your partner's reaction. Just because they're willing to try something, it doesn't mean they'll necessarily enjoy it: don't let your arousal make you selfish and over-ride your lover's desires in favour of your own. Conversely, don't feel obliged to say yes to something you don't really want to do. It's better to be honest- without being disrespectful or judgmental - than ignore your own needs.

Living out fantasies can be fun but if things don't go to plan (or even if they do, sometimes) you may find the power of the fantasy fades in the light of reality. Think about whether you're willing to risk losing a surefire arousal builder for the chance to make your dreams come true.

If you decide you still want to make your fantasy come true, take it slowly and check your partner's reaction throughout. Stop if you see they're not into what you're doing - and don't leave your sense of humour at the bedroom door. Relax, communicate clearly and be honest and who knows, you could add a whole new dimension to your sex life.