In most couples’ forums today, there are several arguments advanced as to why sexual fantasy is a good practice among couples. There is the belief that it adds some needed excitement and dynamism to the bedroom. Through fantasy individuals can become somebody else and can take on attributes and characteristics not necessarily their own on a regular day. But before we go any further into our discussion it is perhaps necessary that we define fantasy.
I believe that we can fantasize at various levels and perhaps all sexual fantasy should not be lumped together in the same way. Loosely speaking, sexual fantasy can be described as any thought or imagining which is of a sexual nature. It can involve the individual behaving sexually with herself, her partner, a friend/friends, acquaintances, virtual strangers or purely fictitious or made-up characters. I believe that our natural ability to imagine is God-given. How or why we use this natural gift is however another matter altogether. Perhaps the sexual fantasies we engage in provide a hint on how we feel about sex. If we perceive sex to be something to be hidden, that is dirty or bad, then this may influence us to become someone else who can enjoy this “badness” without guilt. We may also use fantasizing to become someone else who is allowed sexual pleasure because as we are, we don’t see ourselves as being very sexy or sexually desirable. In this light fantasy can be used to shed pounds, increase breast size and in the case of the male, lengthen and strengthen a certain important attribute.
Very often the tendency to fantasize may also be linked to how we learnt about sex. If our sexual repertoire was built through romance novels, pornographic images or through the reading of graphic erotica, then our brains become trained to accessing our sexual arousal and enjoyment through these avenues. In other words we become hooked on the habit and can’t seem to enjoy sex without it.
I am aware that several of us engage in sexual behaviour without giving it much thought. It is highly possible that people will continue to blissfully do what works for them, especially when it yields an orgasm. For those of us interested in improving the quality of our sexual relationships however, it may be good to give the “sexual-fantasy” habit some deep thought. Why is there a need to fantasize? Does it signify some dissatisfaction with our partner? Are we unhappy with his love-making skills? Do we long for more excitement and passion? Have we trained our bodies only to orgasm through certain sexual thoughts and therefore we need to rely on such thoughts if we are to experience a sexual climax? Are we doing it because Oprah said it was good or because we think that every body else is doing it?
I have no scientific evidence but I honestly believe that most people fantasize because it is behaviour which they have learned to rely on for sexual arousal. It is most likely linked to past experience and exposure. I think however that private fantasizing is also a sure fire way for couples to become disengaged and disconnected during sex. It also does not encourage dialogue between couples about the things with which they are unhappy. Some couples may claim to share sexual fantasies but if after this so called “sharing” they revert right back to focusing on someone else, then theirs is no real exclusive couple-intimacy and the sharing is counter-productive.
If we need to expend so much energy thinking about somebody else, or about ourselves in some other sexual scenario, then surely we are robbing our spouse of some of the fire and passion that should be reserved for him alone. What right-thinking woman (unless she’s kinky to the bone) wants her husband to be thinking about another woman when he’s making love to her?
The reality is that sex is as much a mind-activity as it is one which involves the genitals. It is unlikely that we can enjoy sex with an “empty mind”. The mind was not designed to be empty. Deliberately using the mind during sex is perhaps good and necessary. It is great for focusing in on our own pleasure and on that of our spouse. But if our focus is “relationship” and not “self-love”, then perhaps we can utilize this brain energy by thinking only of ourselves and our partners. Maybe we can imagine ourselves doing something hot and delicious that we have not yet had a chance to try. While the possibilities may be endless, the mind should not be allowed to become an enemy of the relationship where we prefer to live there, than in the reality of our real union.