One thing that seems to weird people out and can be hard to understand is fantasy: how it works, and in which ways it can make our sex lives richer.
Most people who aren’t asexual have some sort of fantasy life. Whether it’s getting freaky with some leather daddies, doing it somewhere in public, or being swept up in the arms of Patrick Swayze circa 1987, if it arouses you and turns you on, it is a fantasy. From the very vanilla to the most explicit, we all have things that get us feeling a little tingly between the legs.
In Alfred Kinsey’s legendary 1948 and 1953 sexual studies, 64 per cent of women and 89 per cent of men admitted to using sexual fantasy as a part of masturbation – two per cent of ladies were even able to reach orgasm by fantasizing alone. Fantasy is not only something universal, but obviously really powerful.
Here’s the thing about our sexual dream lives, though – fantasies can be fraught with meaning or absolutely erroneous. For example, BDSM (bondage, discipline/dominance, sadism, and masochism) fantasies can say a lot about a desire to lose or take control. Fantasizing about having anonymous sex with strangers can be a sign of our desire to break free from our inhibitions and shed the view that others have of us – or it can be a sign that we’re really not into commitment.
It’s hard to know without some pretty in-depth psychological prodding and analysis, but studies also show that people feel a lot of guilt and shame about their fantasies. People who are partners, too, can feel a lot of anxiety around the fantasies of the person or people they are in a relationship with. The fact of the matter is that most people never want to actually make a fantasy a reality. Our fantasies are just that and are even sometimes better left untested. You might have all the hot, steamy ideas of what a threesome would be like, and then find that it is quite a bit less sexy in real life with all of everyone’s parts everywhere and wondering what do with your hands. Chances are you are really in love with and attracted to your partner, but that doesn’t stop the images and ideas of other kinds of people from turning you on.
Fantasy can help us be better in tune with our own needs or inspire different and fun sexual encounters for not only our own solo pleasure, but for the sex we share. Our partner’s pleasure and our own pleasure should be tantamount. We shouldn’t feel shame over the things that make us feel good, and we shouldn’t get upset about the things that turn our partners on – while still respecting our own boundaries and, obviously, the law. In fact, we should be excited that we’re turned on and tuned into our bodies and minds and able to titillate ourselves.
You can confidentially submit a question or topic to email@example.com.