Shrouded in a veil of taboo, guilt and shame; something that most people do not talk about. And since nobody is talking about it – certainly not at a personal level – it is not that uncommon to feel that our own fantasies are somehow odd, strange and different, perhaps even deviant and perverted in some way? Still, chances are that you might be more than just a bit surprised if you knew what is really going on inside the heads of your best friends, business associates, relatives… and probably in the head of your partner (if you haven’t asked yet).
The fact is that most people – whether they talk about it or not – do have sexual fantasies.
We may fantasize about dominating others, or submitting to someone else’s will. We might have a secret desire to watch or being watched, having sex with a stranger, being with someone of the same sex or participating in group-sex. Or perhaps we are turned on by some special fetish, various forms of role-play or BDSM?
– Sexual fantasies cheer me up, make me less bored or let me escape the world.
– They help me become aroused, or make my partner more attractive to me.
– Fantasies allow me to do things I normally would not do – including having sex with people I normally wouldn’t have sex with, or having completely different sex.
– The fantasies just come to me and I can’t help thinking about them.
According to research, however, sexual fantasies also fulfill a host of deeper psychological needs in us. In his book Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head?, Brett Kahr lists no less than 14 possible functions of sexual fantasies. (I have taking the liberty of paraphrasing his findings here):
Sexual fantasies can:
- Allow us to fulfill conscious and subconscious wishes.
- Provide comfort and help us cope with (emotional) stress.
- Let us ‘try out’ new sexual thoughts before (possibly) taking action.
- Be a place to indulge in fantasy play like children again.
- Help us find intimacy if we feel lonely or isolated.
- Act as so-called transitional objects or phenomena helping us move through a developmental stage (e.g. allowing us to become more independent)
- Communicate subconscious inner conflicts and unresolved issues (often stemming from our childhood) to us.
- Allow us indulge in masochistic punishment (for our real or imagined sins or crimes).
- Be a way to keep other at a distance (by defending us against intimacy).
- Be an outlet for aggression.
- Allow us to avoid (a painful) reality.
- Allow us to explore and express our shadow and dark side (sadistic tendencies)
- Be a way to live through, master or transform a traumatic experience
- Help keep us internally stable and sane.
So the interesting thing is that – regardless of the actual fantasy and no matter how ‘outrageous’ or ‘perverted’ it may seem – what most sexual fantasies seem to have in common is that (at a deeper level) they invariable seem to offer us a glimpse into our own subconscious mind. In other words, a fantasy is never (or rarely) just a fantasy. Rather it is a key to unlocking the mysteries of our own quirky mind and soul.
Normal or not?
So, if almost everybody in the world IS fantasizing about sex and if these are the reasons WHY we fantasize about sex… Well, in that case, I think it would be fair to say that fantasizing about sex must be a pretty normal thing to do.
And perhaps sexual fantasies are not only normal, but might even be essential for our psychological well-being – helping us cope with outer and inner demands, stress, trauma and conflict, our present and our past? Transforming discord into something that feels safe and pleasurable, allowing us to relax.
But what about child molestation, incest, rape or getting off on murder? Surely some fantasies are just plain wrong? There is no question that any ACT of violence or non-consensual sex is unacceptable no matter how you look at it! However, the question remains, why would someone fantasize about it in the first place?
Take rape for example. Being forced to have sex is a pretty common fantasy both among men and women. Does this mean that many of us walk around with a real desire to get raped and violated? That we truly want to be hurt? No – of course not.
It could mean that we have been traumatized (for example having an experience where we felt utterly powerless, or perhaps even raped) in the past and that our subconscious mind is trying to communicate with us so that we find a way can heal the trauma. It could mean that we have a subconscious fear of hurting others, and that we need a strong person to ‘take us’ so that we can feel safe enough to let go, knowing that they can handle us. It could be an indication of a spiritual desire to surrender and a longing to be opened up beyond what we can open ourselves. Or something else.
Our subconscious mind tends to communicate with us in strange and unconventional ways. But just because we do not always immediately understand what is being said, does not mean that it doesn’t have value – or that it isn’t important.
What is your subconscious mind trying to tell you?
P. S. Find your Favourite Erotic Fantasies in the Tantric Candy Shop!
Want to know more? Why not read:
- Brett Kahr – Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head?
- Michael Bader – Arousal
- Stanley Siegel – Your Brain on Sex
- Michael Aaron – The Truth about Sex and Relationships