Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Written By: Ashley Paul
What Rings Your Bell?
Raise your hand if you've ever had a sexual fantasy.
If your hand isn’t raised, that’s okay, because I’m here to tell you about sexual fantasies and how they can be used to improve your sex life.
Almost everyone fantasizes about sex in some shape or form and that is totally normal. A sexual fantasy is a dream-like erotic mental image or pattern of thought that both stirs and increases our libido. Despite being imaginary, our fantasies have the power to boost our sexual arousal and passion.
Erotic fantasy can mean imagining having sex with a specific person. It can also mean visualizing having sex in a specific place, in a specific setting, or in a specific way.
If the fantasy is about a person, that person can be real, imaginary, or even a celebrity that you fancy. The person can also be from the past – an old flame or a missed opportunity.
But where do fantasies come from? Fredric Neuman M.D. explains, “It is thought that the specifics of each fantasy draw on experiences the individual had growing up.” Our past shapes our present reality in ways that we cannot fathom. If you frequently fantasized about having an orgy back in high school then it would be unsurprising if that fantasy continued throughout the decades.
Individual tastes factor in. Do you prefer coffee or tea? Black or with cream? Sexual fantasies are no different. The individual psyche of a person – her preferences, her mood, her tastes, her past experiences — contain all the ingredients that constitute a unique sexual fantasy. No matter how common or how kinky they are, your fantasies are healthy and valid!
Why It’s Important To Explore Your Fantasies
The central aspect of fantasies is that they are fun and provide enjoyment. Why else would we bother? Sexual fantasies are no different; having fun is great for relieving stress and is a goal in and of itself.
When you take the time to explore your fantasies you can better hone in on what you like. You may discover new erotic ideas, scenarios, and positions that can enhance emotional and cognitive pleasures.
Fantasies are also a great outlet for creative expression and personal freedom. Your mind is a private, safe place for you to experiment with what arouses you. There are no real-life repercussions to erotic fantasies. It's a great tool for getting to know yourself.
The pleasure from your sensual reveries can improve your life, because when you allow yourself to fantasize you are claiming complete ownership over your body and mind. Reclaiming power and bodily autonomy is very important for women because we do still exist in a largely patriarchal, heteronormative society. Stick it “to the man” (aka the establishment) by sticking up for your pleasure.
Erotic fantasies are a source of satisfaction that is both mental and physical. As the age-old adage proclaims, girls just wanna have fun! Or in this case, girls just wanna increase their energy, satisfaction, and sexual desire. What that means for you depends on your preferences.
The Libido Connection
Sexual fantasies are instrumental to a healthy libido. The more sexual fantasies a woman has, the more sexual desire that woman will experience. Sexual desire leads to better performance in bed (or on the kitchen table) and leads to a more fulfilling sex life.
Findings from a report by Leitenberg and Henning in Psychological Bulletin
shows that women who fantasize more often reap the benefits, “They have sex more often, engage in a wider variety of erotic activities, have more partners, and masturbate more often than infrequent fantasizers.”
Enacting sexual desires with a partner enriches the experience for both parties and can strengthen the bond of your relationship. Discovering a kink can be a thrilling experience.
Sharing fantasies with a partner can also evoke feelings of emotional intimacy and mysterious intrigue. Do you feel like your long-term relationship is in a rut? If that sounds like you, do not worry! Know that it is normal to want to experiment and switch up your sexual scenes so it doesn’t become a routine. Relationship therapist Esther Perel, author of “Mating in Captivity” says that, “imagination, playfulness and mystery” are what help keep things fresh in a long-term relationship.
If you feel comfortable with the idea of revealing a fantasy to a current partner, know that your partner will most likely be intrigued. It can be very arousing to find out something new and interesting that you never knew about your partner.
How To Explore Your Fantasies
Think of sexual pleasure as buried treasure – there is no map, but your mind and body are the compass and sextant (pun intended). It may take some trial and error but once you stumble upon the X that marks the spot, the riches of sexual liberation will be yours for the taking!
In order to embark on your sexual fulfillment journey, you must first give yourself permission to experience sexual fantasies without judgment. If a sexual fantasy becomes uncomfortable, ditch it and move on. Remember that you're doing this for you.
Exploring your fantasies can mean focusing on them while masturbating. Touching yourself while just thinking about your fantasy can be orgasmic on its own. For example, imagine being really into the idea of being pleasured in water. Why not fill up the bathtub and imagine that you are wading around in an Icelandic hot spring or a Caribbean lagoon? Then picture your traveling companion and what you would like them to say to you and do to you and vice versa. Your only limit is your imagination.
You can also explore your fantasies while engaging in sexual activity with a partner. If you want to perform a fantasy with a partner, know that it's best to discuss it with him or her prior to the sexual encounter. Since that sexual activity will involve another person’s mind and body, make sure that everything is safe, sane, and consensual.
Your Fantasies Are Normal
The majority of us are turned on by things that we might be afraid to admit. It would be a lie to say that we live in a society that frames sexuality around women’s needs. Historically, sexuality has been seen through the male gaze, with emphasis driven on his desires. This applies to all women – straight, lesbian, non-binary, and transexual alike. It's high time that we smash this unhelpful, and frankly old-fashioned sentiment to bits!
“All forms of fantasy, kinky or otherwise, are a healthy part of sexuality,” says sexpert Ava Cadell Ph.D. Know that your sexual needs matter and that no fantasy should be considered wrong or taboo.
In addition, there is an intrinsic cultural taboo regarding a married or otherwise committed person fantasizing about someone other than their partner. The same goes for singles. They may feel guilty when an erotic daydream suddenly involves a married friend or acquaintance. Research shows, however, that most people fantasize about a person other than someone with whom they are in a committed relationship.
Let’s set the record straight. Fantasizing about another person is not cheating. It does not matter if the fantasizer is “taken”, nor if the subject is “taken”. It is natural. According to psychotherapist Jennifer Freed, Ph.D., "Our imagination is polyamorous and is the only part of our lives that is truly free.”
More than 98% of men and 80% of women report having had sexual fantasies about someone other than their partner over the preceding two months. This does not mean that such an overwhelming majority of people are looking to cheat on their partners. It just means that fantasizing about someone else is natural and healthy. Just because you have a fantasy does not necessarily mean that you intend to follow through with it. A fantasy can be rewarding and liberating in its own right.
A list of common female fantasies:
- Being Dominated/ Dominating A Partner
- Mixing Pain with Pleasure
- Having A Threesome
- Getting Randy with Someone of the Same Sex
- Getting Frisky in Public
- Sex with A Stranger
- Doing It with Someone That’s Not Your Spouse
- Orgies and Swinger’s Parties
Do any of the aforementioned fantasies turn you on? If so, take the time to think about them and explore them. I encourage women to discover their sexual fantasies without regard to how society may perceive them. A great mantra for sexual confidence is as follows...
This is my fantasy, and in my fantasy, my deepest desire reigns supreme!
So the next time you want to get down with either your sultry self or with a lucky partner, open your mind. You may be pleasantly surprised by the salacious tips that it gives you.