It’s normal, common, and healthy to have sexual fantasies. We all have at least one. Most of us have many.
You may think your sexual fantasies are strange or unique. And while they may feel like a one-of-a-kind experience to you, you probably share the same sort of fantasies with millions of other people.
But knowing your fantasies are not so uncommon means you aren’t so “weird” or “abnormal.” In fact, many people suffer from guilt or shame as a result of their sexual imagination. Understanding that you’re not alone in the way you imagine sex can lead to a more liberating and positive sexual experience.
What are your sexual fantasies?
Do you fantasize about past partners? Do you fantasize about dominating your partner? Maybe you imagine being submissive. It’s all quite a normal and even healthy part of our personal sexual journey.
Just because you fantasize about it doesn’t mean you want it to become reality.
Yes, we all have fantasies – sometimes they’re quite dark and scary. Our fantasy life isn’t limited to sex, either. Who hasn’t fantasized about throwing a dart at their boss’s head? You wouldn’t do that in real life, however.
As a licensed marriage and family therapist, one of the more common issues my clients raise during our sessions is the feeling of guilt and shame surrounding sexual fantasy. Fantasy is an expression of our human capacity for creativity and imagination.
Sexual fantasies are gifts that allow us to escape the confines of our structured and rule-oriented daily lives.
“The rarer people think their sexual interests are, the more shame and guilt they tend to feel about them. And when they feel that shame and guilt, that prevents them from talking to their partner about them. And ultimately that prevents them from getting what they want when it comes to sex.”Justin Lehmiller, AASECT certified sex therapist and author of the book “Tell Me What You Want.”
Shame about sexual fantasy creates a cycle where people are dissatisfied in their relationships because they aren’t getting what they want, but they don’t feel comfortable asking for it.
If you’re fantasizing about something sexual and are curious about whether these thoughts are helpful or harmful, here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Why is this fantasy appealing to me?
- Does it do anything for me?
- Which problems does it help me solve?
- What risks would I face if I act on this fantasy?
- Are there negative consequences for me (financially, physically, relationally, emotionally)?
- Are there negative consequences for others?
Even if your fantasies involve dominance or submission, when imagined (or practiced) with an enthusiastic, consenting partner, there’s nothing unhealthy to worry about.
If you’d like to better understand your sexual fantasies or would like to start a conversation with your partner, I can help.