Is My Sexual Fantasy Normal?
Imagine being in a shop with a friend, choosing a bag of crisps. You go for ready salted, they opt for salt and vinegar. Is one of you a weirdo? Of course not.
Just like our choice in crisp flavours, our turn-ons vary massively from person to person. After all, if we all liked exactly the same things, what a boring world this would be.
The same goes for sexual fantasies. If we all had the same sexual fantasies, sex wouldn't be half as exciting and invigorating.
We wouldn't be intrigued by anything new, we wouldn't ever be surprised by our partners, and there would be nothing about our own sexualities to discover and explore.
So if you're concerned about what your secret fantasy says about you, we're here to put your mind at rest.
What is a sexual fantasy?
A sexual fantasy is a mental image that stirs up your sexual side, making you feel horny or increasingly aroused.
We’ve come a long way in our understanding of sexual fantasies. In 1973, famed American psychologist Dr Alan Fromme, was telling the public that “Women do not have sexual fantasies”.
He just happened to state this in the same month that author Nancy Friday published her seminal work ‘My Secret Garden’, a collection of sexual fantasies recounted to her by everyday women (bit of an awkward moment for Alan there).
We now know that both men and women have sexual fantasies and that there are many different types of fantasies out there.
Some fantasies are common; some may be a little more niche. Funnily enough, it is pretty normal to worry that your sexual fantasy may not be normal. It’s only human nature to want to fit in and be like other people.
What is a ‘normal’ fantasy?
If you’re concerned that your sexual fantasy isn’t normal then it follows, logically, that you must believe that there are some kinds of sexual fantasies that are normal.
Ask yourself to identify what these ‘normal’ fantasies are, and why you feel that these types of fantasies are normal while your own fantasies are not.
Maybe you think a certain fantasy is normal because you’ve seen it portrayed positively on television or in films, like the bondage acts carried out in Fifty Shades of Grey.
On the other hand, maybe you’ve heard people discussing your fantasies in a negative way (sometimes referred to as kinkshaming, causing you to feel embarrassed or ashamed of what turns you on.
‘Paraphilia’ is the word used to describe arousal via atypical fantasies, situations or behaviours. Interestingly, no one can quite draw a precise border between what is an unusual fantasy and what is a paraphilia (after all, homosexuality was wrongfully considered a paraphilia for centuries.)
A 2014 study on sexual fantasies entitled ‘What Exactly is an Unusual Sexual Fantasy’ concluded that, “Care should be taken before labelling a sexual fantasy unusual, let alone deviant. It is suggested that the focus should be on the effect of the sexual fantasy rather than its content”.
In other words, just because we are turned on by a certain scenario, this doesn’t mean we intend to carry it out in real life.
What to do if you feel concerned
Here are some suggestions for those who may feel concerned or ashamed as a result of their sexual fantasy.
- Jump on the Lovehoney website and browse the toys and costumes. If we have products that cater to your fantasy, it’s because you’re not the only one that thinks this way.
- The Internet is a great tool for those that want to feel a part of a wider community. Blogs and forums are a great way to connect with other like-minded people (always remember to stay cyber-safe though, team).
- Try and discuss your sexual fantasy with your partner or with a trusted friend. You may find that your fantasy is really only a big deal to you, and that your loved ones aren’t shocked by it at all.
- If you are still distressed by your fantasy, and feel like it is severely impacting your daily life, it might be a good idea to seek out professional counselling or therapy.
You shouldn't be put under pressure to conform in everyday life, so why should you feel it in the bedroom. Dr Seuss probably wasn't thinking about sexual fantasies when he wrote the following quote, but it remains relevant:
"Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive that is you-er than you".
Audrey Andrews is a student blogger for Lovehoney. In her spare time she loves to do craft, but would not advise knitting your own condoms.
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