NiceDay blog: sexual fantasies

Sexual desires; they are often seen as taboo. If you have sexual desires that you are afraid to express, you can of course fantasize about them. Psychologist Esther Perel explains that sexual fantasies show us the desires and scenarios that may make our lives more enjoyable and intense. In her sessions with clients, she noticed that they dared to talk openly about their sexual fantasies in therapy. However, outside of therapy they did not seem to feel the freedom to discuss them with their partner. This reluctance is partly due to the taboo surrounding it and because fantasies are often seen as immoral, forbidden and perverse. But why are sexual fantasies often taboo? Aren’t sexual fantasies completely normal?

Why do we have sexual fantasies?

Justin J. Lehmiller researched 4175 Americans for his book “Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life“. He asked them why they have sexual fantasies. The most common answer was that fantasies increase sexual arousal; it is exciting. But there can be much more behind a fantasy.

If you’re curious, fantasizing allows you to think about new sexual experiences and sensations. It is also possible that a fantasy can fulfill a certain need. You can escape reality for a while in a fantasy. For example, you can fantasize about a possible future sexual encounter. Or maybe there is a taboo on something you would like to do and you start fantasizing about it. In other words, sexual fantasies can have different functions.

Common sexual fantasies

The same study by Lehmiller also looked at the most common fantasies. The following seven sexual fantasies were often mentioned:

  • Sex with multiple partners such as threesomes and orgies. In the survey, 89% indicated that they regularly fantasize about this.
  • BDSM activities involving power, control and rough sex. The survey showed that 65% fantasize about this. The appeal of this is the combination of pain and pleasure.
  • Adventure and innovation. The fantasizing can be about sex with someone else, in a new place or about new positions. For example, someone who has been in a relationship for a long time may fantasize about having sex with someone besides their partner. Or someone who always has sex in bed can fantasize about having sex in public.
  • Non-monogamous relationship. Fantasizing in this case can be about having an open or polygamous relationship. Fantasizing about this shows the need for adventure.
  • Passion and romance. Fantasizing about sex in which you are very loved.
  • Sex with your own gender. There is also a lot of fantasizing about having sex with your own gender. This is mainly because people tend to push the boundaries, also when it comes to sexuality and identity.

Sexual fantasies provide depth

Due to the taboo that surrounds our sexual fantasies, according to Lehmiller, we speak too little about them to our sexual partner. His research shows that three quarters of those questioned hope to be able to fulfill their greatest fantasy one day. It also appears that partners who do discuss their fantasies score higher on “happiness” than those who keep it a secret. According to him, it would therefore be good if fantasies were made more discussable.

Fantasizing about sex can give more meaning to our lives. According to Perel, sexual fantasies give us insight into our emotional needs, and according to Lehmiller, discussing these fantasies with our partners makes us happier. So we should no longer see sexual fantasy as taboo, but as enriching. It is very normal to have sexual fantasies. They can take us out of reality for a moment and increase our happiness. See it as an opportunity to expand your sex life!

Did you like this article and would you like to read more on the importance of talking about sex? Take a look at this article.

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Maaike van der Kaaij

My name is Maaike and I am a psychologist at NiceDay. During sessions with my clients I find it really important they feel free to tell me everything. I am interested in people's behaviour and enjoy helping people gain new insights! Besides my work, I love my family, travelling, working out and going out to dinner.

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