What's your secret sexual fantasy?

Couple in bed

Everyone has sexual fantasies, even if they think they don’t. You might not actively have one, but all sorts of sexual imaginings can come out in our dreams. The truth is, a healthy fantasy life is one part of a great sex life. They can make solo sex or masturbation more powerful and enjoyable as in our minds we can be anyone in any situation.

Fantasy isn’t the daydreaming of the forlorn frustrated loner. In fact, research shows that people with active fantasy lives are more sexually satisfied, more sexually responsive and more adventurous about sex in general.

Although sexual fantasies are normal, too many of us feel guilty about them. It doesn’t help that we’re taught from a young age that explicit thoughts and sexual fantasies are not something to be encouraged. And of course we don’t like to admit we dream about someone other than our partner. We can also be ashamed of our fantasies if our imagination runs wild with behaviour we’d never condone in real life.

So, what if you fantasise about someone other than your partner or about a sexual act that you don’t do with your partner – are you being unfaithful? Sex therapist Brett Kahr describes this as having an ‘intramarital affair’ as opposed to an ‘extramarital affair’. He believes fantasies shouldn’t jeopardise an otherwise happy relationship.

“In a healthy marriage it’s quite all right to have areas of privacy. It’s only when those private fantasies turn into deception, or produce shame or guilt, that they threaten a partnership and problems occur,” he says.

It’s worth remembering that just because you fantasise about something, it doesn’t mean you’ll actually do it or that you want to do it in real life.

Should you share your fantasies with your other half? Some experts think it’s a great way to breathe new life into the bedroom. I’m not convinced. Fantasies have the power to be sexually inhibiting as well as liberating. Do you really want to know that your husband secretly dreams of being whipped by a busty female bodybuilder or fantasises about the woman behind the checkout in Tesco? And what if you confessed your darkest desire only to be laughed at? It’s a huge gamble.

Taking offence at a fantasy is all too easy, and there’s a danger in taking our fantasies too literally. They’re never straightforward so just enjoy them for what they are: a happy private space and a way of keeping desire alive.

Who's thinking what?
Studies show that men have more fantasies. American researchers found that 98% of men and 80% of women had sexual fantasies about people who weren’t their partner. Women were more likely to fantasise about an ex. Men’s fantasies were more explicit, involved more sexual partners and had themes of dominance. Men were also more likely to fantasise about their partners being easily aroused. The longer people had been in a relationship, and the more partners they’d had, the more likely they were to fantasise about someone else.

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