What's your secret sexual fantasy?
We all have one, even if we dont want to admit it, says sex therapist Anna Kingsley
Everyone has sexual fantasies, even if they think they dont. 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 isnt 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 doesnt help that were taught from a young age that explicit thoughts and sexual fantasies are not something to be encouraged. And of course we dont 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 wed never condone in real life.
So, what if you fantasise about someone other than your partner or about a sexual act that you dont 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 shouldnt jeopardise an otherwise happy relationship.
In a healthy marriage its quite all right to have areas of privacy. Its only when those private fantasies turn into deception, or produce shame or guilt, that they threaten a partnership and problems occur, he says.
Its worth remembering that just because you fantasise about something, it doesnt mean youll 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 its a great way to breathe new life into the bedroom. Im 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? Its a huge gamble.
Taking offence at a fantasy is all too easy, and theres a danger in taking our fantasies too literally. Theyre 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 werent their partner. Women were more likely to fantasise about an ex. Mens 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 theyd had, the more likely they were to fantasise about someone else.
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