Understanding Your Sexual Fantasies and When to Act on them
When we think of sexual fantasies, our immediate association is often with thoughts of a particular person or enticingly naughty situation. However, not all sexual fantasies involve a specific person or overly-explicit scenarios. In fact, most fantasies remain deep in the realm of our imagination and seldom see the light of day. Nevertheless, our sexual fantasies can provide important insights into our sexual desires, our interests, and even our overall contentment with the sexual aspect of our lives. In this article, we will explore the different types of sexual fantasies, why we have them, and when it may be appropriate to act on them.
Types of Sexual Fantasies
Sexual fantasies come in all shapes and sizes. While some might involve one or two people in a physical encounter, others might involve a more emotionally-charged scenario or a larger group. Additionally, sexual fantasies range in intensity from subtle to explicit. Here is a list of some common types of sexual fantasies:
• Voyeurism – fantasizing about watching others in intimate situations
• Exhibitionism – fantasizing about being the one watched
• Group sex – fantasizing about engaging in sexual activities with two or more individuals • Sex with a stranger – fantasizing about an anonymous sexual encounter • BDSM – fantasizing about dominating or being dominated • Power play – fantasizing about being in control or relinquishing control to another • Threesomes – fantasizing about simultaneously engaging multiple partners • Adventure and taboo – fantasizing about engaging in what may be considered unusual or forbidden activities
Defining Your Sexual Fantasies
Before delving further, it’s important to define what exactly we mean by sexual fantasies. In a broad sense, sexual fantasies are mental images that offer us a peak at our subconscious sexual desires. These can, of course, range from the tame and fleeting images that pass through our mind while daydreaming to much more powerful and intrusive fantasies, like those that can at times be impossible to shake off or might leave us feeling ashamed or embarrassed.
More specifically, sexual fantasies involve an arousal process that starts in the brain. When something or someone sparks our interest, our brain triggers our body to produce testosterone, oxytocin or dopamine – hormones associated with sexual arousal. The more present or vivid the fantasy, the greater the release of these hormones.
Why We Have Sexual Fantasies
Sexual fantasies fulfill a variety of needs. For many, they provide a way to explore and indulge secrets desires without feeling judged or ashamed. It also offers those in committed relationships a way to experience a sense of variety and novelty within the safety of their own minds that either partner may not be comfortable introducing into the relationship.
Sexual fantasies can also offer escape. Especially during times of stress or unhappiness, our fantasies can provide brief respite from the hard realities of daily life. Additionally, psychological studies have shown that people who fantasize more have higher self-esteem, stronger relationship satisfaction, and better overall mental health.
When to Act on Sexual Fantasies
Having sexual fantasies is perfectly normal and often quite healthy. But before acting on those fantasies, it’s important to consider some key questions. Here are few things to think about when contemplating turning your fantasies into reality:
• Will acting on this fantasy cause harm to myself or someone else? • Do I really want to pursue this or am I just curious? • Does the fantasy involve seeking pseudo-nurturing or strengthening which I’m not ready to pursue or use as a basis for a genuine relationship? • Could my fantasy have a negative effect on my current relationship(s)? • Does the fantasy involve activities that are against the law?
Our sexual fantasies provide a window into understanding our own unique desires and interests. While most fantasies remain in our imagination, some can become a powerful force that motivates us to seek out sexual experiences beyond what we already know and enjoy. Ultimately, it is important to remember that sexual fantasies should only be acted on when it is in agreement with our own moral compass and doesn’t do any harm to ourselves or others involved.