Sexual fantasies often get a bad rap. You may feel guilty for daydreaming about Chris Hemsworth sweeping in to rescue you and then leading you to bed, feeling that you’re mentally cheating on your partner and that your fantasy means you’re not really a feminist. This is categorically not true.
Fantasies let you play in the sexual playground of your mind without facing any consequences. Everything that happens is something your mind is interested in letting play out. That’s why they’re so alluring—we know that in the fantasy world of Chris Hemsworth on a white charger, he really respects us and considers us equal, and we’re just as liable to rescue him as he is to rescue us. That part gets cut for time in a sexual fantasy, but our brain retains the necessary information.
Your partner shouldn’t get jealous if you occasionally fantasise about someone good-looking in the media, and you shouldn’t get jealous if they do the same. It doesn’t mean that if your movie star crush appeared in your life you’d go off with them and leave your partner in the dust. If your partner worries that it does, ask them about their fantasies.
There are common threads in fantasy that might be the real reason you’re imagining it. So, being rescued might mean you want someone to take care of you after a hard day. You might like muscles because they represent strength. Once your partner understands that, you can stop discussing the ins and outs of which movie star and why, and instead see if you want to explore any more of the fantasy in real life.
The shocking thing about fantasies isn’t where your mind can go — it’s that sometimes the fantasies are something you only ever want to imagine and never try out in real life. For example, you might imagine yourself in a black leather bondage scenario after reading Fifty Shades of Grey, but know your claustrophobia would turn a potentially sexy evening into something far less successful. Often the sexiest parts of sharing fantasies with your partner can be the most surprising things— like the increase sense of trust you each have after you’ve told each other some slightly naughty secrets. The trust released will make for a better partnership — not just in bed, either, but in every other component of your relationship.
As a Psychologist I’m passionate about sharing the message that sexual fantasies are Psychologically healthy and therefore I’ve chosen to appear on Channel 5’s My Sexual Fantasy (coming Sept 2017) to share my thoughts and analysis on people’s sexual fantasies.
Who can I speak to further about the issues in this article?
If you’re reading this because you’re thinking of cheating on your partner, do one thing before you close this page: think about why you’re thinking of cheating on them. Are they not sexy anymore? Do they not care? Has the spark gone, or are you worried about sharing something of yours—like .....