"You could say, 'What did you think about that scene in the movie?'" Even when both partners willingly reveal their sex fantasies to one another, says Maltz, there's no guarantee that the outcome will be a positive meeting of the minds, or bodies. It can really enhance the sexual experience, or destroy it.
But when it's only inhibition, not guilt, that's keeping you from sharing your fantasies from your partner, it might be mutually beneficial to let those feelings surface, say experts. "Life's too short to wait for your partner to figure it out." For many couples, sharing erotic fantasies may be a matter of remembering how things used to be when your relationship was new.
"A lot of happily married people with good sex lives never share their fantasies. One good reason to remain mum, says Bartlik, is that the majority of people in long-term, fulfilling sexual relationships do not necessarily think about their partner when they're at the height of sexual passion.
But even though both partners might routinely think of something other than each other, revealing this may result in hurt feelings.
An open exchange of erotic fantasies can help rekindle the flames -- or can they? Many sex experts advise couples to use caution when revealing private sex fantasies.
"It often backfires," says Wendy Maltz, MSW, sex therapist and co-author of the book Private Thoughts: The Power of Women's Fantasies.