Sexual Fantasies

Jan 9, 2014

Sexual Fantasies : Understanding What  They Are And How The Help Our Sex Life

What are they? Does everybody have them?  Why do we have them? How do we use them in our sexual lives ?   Do they help us somehow?

There are so many questions we all have regarding sexual fantasies, so let´s begin defining and understanding them.

What are they?

There are a myriad of definitions, but we could summarize them saying that sexual fantasies are mental imaginary representations that stimulate and accompany our sexual acts. It is important to enhance the term we are using: sexual act, because sexual fantasies maybe present during a shared sexual relationship or they can nurture our excitement on the solitude, such us during masturbation.

There are unconscious fantasies which emerge in our dreams and are a product of the weakening of our own mental censorship and defenses and there are also conscious ones. Today we will be focusing on conscious ones.

Conscious fantasies are thoughts that  not followed by actions, they are a mental activity whose  purpose is to fulfill  an unsatisfied desire.  They are a product of our imagination and we are all capable of creating them in different degrees. Within conscious fantasies, we have those called conscious projects, which substitute reality but also anticipate action, they increase sexual desire by anticipating the joy of upcoming action.

What do we do with our sexual fantasies?

Many times, or most of them, we use them to induce or augment sexual desire, which can happen in solitude or during shared sexual activity. The real fact is that fantasies can increase both physiologic and psychological sexual response in many ways:

fighting boredom back, focusing thoughts and emotions (allowing us to avoid distractions or pressures) and meliorating our self-image.

They promote an ambiance of security that let our imagination flow and our sexual instincts emerge with more strength. Sexual fantasies give us a sense of security since they are private and fictitious,  as long as they are private they will not be discovered. Fantasized scenes are adventurous journeys of our minds that let us find excitement, self-confidence and pleasure, but we can always stop them  if they are leading somewhere we don´t like or we can them take a turn.

Within our fantasies, we recreate scenarios we already lived or create new ones we desire but we do not actually make because we do not dare, or because we are afraid of them or simply because we just want them to stay there, in the imagination.

How do sexual fantasies help us?

They intensify sexual pleasure, satisfying our conscious desires and even our deepest and most hidden ones.

Sexual fantasies work as substitutes, they substitute our reality, they make anything possible within the imagination, but they may have a symbolic value for us, or they provide the necessary stimulus for masturbation.

They liberate us. In our fantasies we fulfill our unsatisfied desires, since we are able to sexually do anything with anyone without any censorship, they work a transgressive sexual stimulus.

Reality sometimes is poor or routinized, while  fantasies take our imagination to total satisfaction.

With them, we spice up our sexuality and enhance desire. Individuals with a low libido find on them a source to augment their sexual desire which helps the lonely ones during masturbation as well as established couples who after falling into sexual routine need added stimulus to recover their lost passion.

We can say that sexual fantasies are necessary in the sexual life of most people. Giving up on them or escaping from them is like escaping from ourselves.  They contribute to let us live our sexuality in plenitude and they spice up sexual relationships among the couple.

A reputable south-American sexologist named Mancini (Chile, 1986) said that sexual fantasies allow any individual to potentially or effectively live in the form of images a universe of erotic possibilities  and alternatives. They let us transcend our limited reality and in many cases to transgress  our cultural values.

It is not about denying reality or giving on it, it is about giving to our sexual reality and sexual pleasure the color, spice and beauty that make our sexuality a greater experience. .

Different Types Of Sexual Fantasies

Sexual Fantasies are mental representations whose main issue is sex. Freud defined them as mental representations not destined to be executed, even though nowadays many sexologist recommend to settled couples to take them to action. They take place within our mind, voluntarily and involuntarily too and their purpose is to express our most intimate sexual desires, increase libido both individually or within the couple, they function as substitutes of our reality allowing us to break monotony and they can also be a way of experimenting sexual conducts that we never took to action, functioning in this case as a mean of rehearsal (like teenagers do before they actually start having sex).

The capability of our mind to create a virtual reality is a purely human characteristic, the same way that we can induct and enhance a sexual encounter. Our fantasies have the great advantage that no one but ourselves put limits to them, and those limits can vanish as long as we keep enjoying our fantasy. What is more, not only we break our boundaries and cultural prejudices, but also we trespass the limits of our own bodies. In our fantasies, erectile dysfunctions do not exist, fear of getting pregnant dissipates, and any kind of physical limitation is kept outside of our erotic fantasies. We can do all and enjoy it all.

Every body has fantasies, men and women equally. What happens though, is that male fantasies are more known since it has been very common for men to talk about them openly or publicly while having conversations at the club, in bars, or just while sharing some time with other men. In fact, most men have no taboo in sharing their sexual fantasies with women. They do not find anything wrong about it. Women, on the contrary, have always been more discrete and it took a lot for them to admit they have fantasies too. Fortunately, now women not only admit they have sexual fantasies but also maybe willing to share them with their partners.

For a sexual fantasy, there is no need of a complicated script. Their efficacy does not depend on it´s sophistication or time length. Sometimes a certain scene, a series of erotic images, a smell or a touch can be stimulating enough to awaken the libido and make us feel pleasant sensations.

Some people have fantasies much easier than others, but fantasizing can be exercised and as the individual starts to nurture it´s imagination, it will be easier for him/her to later develop more and more fantasies that will help to enhance his/her sexuality. Fantasies can be shared within the couple talking about them, which will favor intimacy and sexual understanding while enhancing sexual desire among them. Sometimes couples keep their fantasies to themselves, but still utilize them to feel a major passionate arousal and a more intense sexual desire. Sexual fantasies are enjoyed by many on solitude, sometimes while masturbating, other times to nurture their sexual desire to later have a more intense sexual encounter with the partner.

Shared or not, sexual fantasies are healthy tools to improve our sexuality and to allow us experience new gratifying sensations. There are as many fantasies as individuals, there are no limits. Nevertheless, there are common fantasies that most of us share.

There have been several attempts to classify the different types of sexual fantasies, but now let´s overview one of the most accepted ones.

1 Triangulation fantasies.

Are the most common ones both for women and men and refer to those fantasies that bring a third person´s image into the sexual activity of the couple. This sexual fantasy emerges voluntarily or not, and may be as the image of an ex lover, an unknown person or someone the individual knows.
The fantasizer can bring one or more than one person into the fantasy, and can include group sexual activities or they can incorporate new participants in the roles of spectators or active participants as well. These fantasies are very stimulating and increase sexual excitation even though in some cases they may unwillingly inhibit the sexual response if an involuntary fantasy that is not sexually desired for the individual emerges.

2 The fantasies during masturbation.

Most people have sexual fantasies while their masturbate. 80% of women and a 75% of men have fantasies with their couple or sexual partner. Studies conducted by Hunt (1977) demonstrated that women do not excite themselves with fantasies as much as men do. The most common fantasies that people recur to while masturbating are:

  • having sex with strangers – 47% men, 21 % women
  • having sex with more than one person of the opposite sex simultaneously – 33% men, 18% women
  • performing sexual practices that they would not perform in real life- 19% men but 28% women
  • being forced to have sex (masochist fantasy) – 10%men, 19% women
  • forcing someone to have sex (sadomasochist fantasy)- 13% men, 3% women
  • having sex with someone of the same gender (homosexual fantasy)- 7% men, 11% women.

3 Sexual fantasies of homosexuals.

Masters and Johnson (1979) specifically studied the sexual fantasies of the homosexuals of both genders. Their studies showed that homosexual men and women had different fantasies.
Homosexual men have fantasies of:

  • Images of sexual anatomy, mostly involving the pennis
  • They fantasize about being victims of sexual assault, being raped or beaten
  • They have fantasies regarding heterosexual intimate encounters, where they are forced to have sex with a woman or they force another woman to it
  • Homosexual men fantasize they are having romantic encounters with unknown and idealized men
  • Many have sexual fantasies that involve group sex, being mostly observers than active participants.

On the other side, lesbians more common sexual fantasies are:

  • They fantasize about sexual aggression, in which they are forced more by social pressure than by physical means.
  • While homosexual men have fantasies idealizing an unknown person, homosexual women are more prone to have fantasies involving their established partners in which they are idealized.
  • Lesbians tend to have fantasies in which they remember past experiences
  • They have fantasies that include destructive images of reproductive organs, with sadistic images involving known women and unknown male as well.
  • 1 Replacement of the established partner
  • 2 Sexual assault
  • 3 Observing other´s doing any sexual activities
  • 4 Intimate heterosexual encounters
  • 5 Group sex experiences

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