Sexual Fantasies: Who doesnít have them? But how many people can be honest and open about them? Well thatís a different matter. And what difference will it make if we are open or secret about them? These are all more important questions than you might think.
Fantasies can greatly enhance our sexuality or they can shut it down. It all depends on what our beliefs are about fantasy and how we handle them. Certainly having them can be a great turn on. But feeling like we have to keep them secret from our sexual partner can reduce our sexual functioning over time. Thatís because withholding of important thoughts and feelings in general can create distance in our intimate relationships. And this can be true of sexual fantasy as well.
But the sharing of fantasies can also greatly enhance our sexual relationships if we have the courage to expose ourselves. When we remember that intimacy is enhanced by our sharing feelings in general, it naturally follows that we reduce our chances for intimacy when we withhold our thoughts and feelings about our innermost sexual fantasies.
Unfortunately, the concept of fantasy is greatly misunderstood and consequently our sexual fantasy lives can often become shrouded in secrecy. The culture in which we live has a huge bearing on our beliefs about what is appropriate to think about and what is not. This is unfortunate because my experience has shown me that there is a big price paid for sexual secrets. Our sex lives and intimate relationships can be negatively affected by our secrets, sexual and otherwise. But we usually donít recognize this important connection. Iíll attempt to make the association between sexual secrets and sexual energy more clear in the following few pages.
As with most other aspects of sexuality, fantasy also comes with its share of myths. Here are a few to think about.
There is absolutely no proof of this. People have wild fantasies all the time but do not wish to act out their fantasy in real life. They are a normal and healthy psychological outlet. Fantasy is a place where we do not have to adhere to the morals and rules of the culture. Thatís why we have them!
For everyone but a few extremely mentally ill people, fantasy is simply what we enjoy thinking about. It is not necessarily what we want to actually do. Itís the one place in our lives where we can have what we want without consequence. The belief that others will think that fantasy is what weíd really like to do is one of the things that makes it difficult to share our fantasies with our sexual partners.
Many partners will be turned on by your fantasies and your willingness to share them. Others would simply rather not know. There is no right or wrong way to handle this issue. But find out what your partnerís wishes are in the fantasy department. If you are in relationship with a very judgmental partner, then there may be reason to worry about being judged. But if you are seeking to improve your sex life with that partner, then your feelings about being judged will eventually need to be addressed. In evolving healthy relationships, sharing is a safe thing to do.
Myth: The content of fantasy is self-explanatory and can be taken at face value. For example, if one is fantasizing about a rape scene it means they want to rape or be raped
No, most fantasies are an attempt to satisfy a basic emotional need. In the case of a rape fantasy it could be that the person having the fantasy of being raped may be satisfying a need to be fiercely desired or loved. Or someone having the fantasy of raping may be satisfying a need for more power over their own lives. It may be a conscious or unconscious need, but the bottom line is that fantasy is an attempt to meet our needs and is a normal healthy psychological mechanism. Having a rape fantasy does not mean we are on our way to being a rapist or asking to be a victim!
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