Ness Cooper


Sex & Relationship Coach

Sex Writer

Ness Cooper


Sex & Relationship Coach

Sex Writer

Blog Post

Sexual Desires and Bucket Lists

July 13, 2022 Ask Ness Cooper
Sexual Desires and Bucket Lists

Searching for Desire at the Bottom of the Bucket List

We often think that being adventurous in the bedroom is fuelled by desire, but in fact, there’s more to it than just desire.

Many couples and individuals explore things in the bedroom for various reasons, and they’re not always based on desire.

The “bucket list” has been used by many to track certain sexual activities that sound interesting to someone. As they work through their list, they tick them off as personal achievements. Most of the time the itemised sex acts aren’t returned to, and whilst they may lead to the feeling accomplished sexually, it doesn’t mean that the sex acts themselves were based on what the individual and or couple desire sexually.

What is desire?

Sexual desire is what we feel when we are emotionally invested in trying out a certain sex act or sex toy. It makes us motivated to explore the sex act but also with the aim to fulfil the emotions attached to it. In doing so it can lead to sexual gratification that can feel more rewarding than simply just ticking off your bucket-list sex activities.

Why aren’t sex acts desires alone?

Sex acts by themselves can be classed as wants. Wanting to do something doesn’t mean you have the desire behind something that leads to fulfilment and gratification when you do give it a go. When you want to do something it can simply be something you haven’t explored before, are curious about, or heard about it from others and think it’s worth a go. Wants don’t have as much risk when it comes to exploring them, as desires often have more intense feelings and emotions around them which can lead to rejection, disappointment, and hurt.

When trying out a want, such as “I want to try doggy style position.” There’s no context to it, other than it’s something that’d be cool to try, but if it doesn’t work out there are loads more positions to add to the bucket list and work through. When trying a certain sex position because of a desire and not just a want, it can become more relational and filled with emotions and goals, “I want to try doggy position as I think it’ll make me feel X emotions and sensations during sex and lead to gratification that only can be felt by performing this position.”

Basically, desire has layers that go beyond the tick-boxes. It has emotions that can feel intense, it can have social-psychological influences that are unique to you, and it can have goals that can lead to disappointment.

And because desires hold emotions in them, it can lead to more rejection and hurt when someone says no to them. Unlike like when someone just says no to a “want” or a bucket-list sex act where you can then just move on to the next one and go, “No problem, there’s always something else to try.”

How do I find my desires?

Exploring fantasies can be a great way to dive into what is and isn’t a desire. It’s easy to get fantasies and desires confused with each other as often they’re mistakenly placed as interchangeable, when in fact they differ.

Fantasies are when something occurs in the mind and stays in the mind. It has the ability to be explored in ways that aren’t humanly possible. A fantasy can also explore things that are turns in someone’s mind, but won’t necessarily feel comfortable about if it happened in the real world.

Some fantasies can have desire attached to them where an individual wants to explore their fantasy in the real world to gain a certain level of gratification that is tied heavily with emotions. Generally, it’s not the whole fantasy that leads to desire, but a particular part. There are many who overcomplicate bringing fantasies into reality as they try and match all of it, when often they need to take a moment and mindfully explore what it is about a fantasy that leads them to want to act it out.

When someone has identified the desire that’s driving them to explore something, it also allows them flexibility when exploring the fantasy, and this can mean that it can be shared easier with another in a safe and consensual way. It also allows sexual parts to be present and involved with the process and even share their desires too when exploring together.

When we try to stick to a solid roleplay script based on fantasy, it can be difficult for us to be present with our partner when exploring it in the bedroom together. You’re thinking too rationally and about the logistics rather than the intimate and emotional.

Ness Cooper

Can bucket list still help?

Yes! Bucket lists can help and they can allow you the opportunity to explore and grow your sexual knowledge and experience. From knowledge and experience desire to explore sex acts can be formed as long as you’re willing to take a moment afterwards and explore the emotions and deeper connects you felt during them.

Sexual aftercare can allow for the opportunity to explore whether or not something you tried may hold the desire to explore it more in the future. Taking a moment to think about the sex acts whilst reregulating your nervous system back to its unheightened everyday state rather than the heightened sexual state can allow you to reflect.

If using a bucket-list style system you can then state on a scale of 1 to 10 on whether or not you’ll like to try something again in the future. If you head over to The Sex Consultant, there’s a printable bucket list you can download for free and use.

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