Sexual Fantasy

Just a brief point here about something I've touched on before. The concept of sexual fantasy. I feel strongly about it, as I'm sure that there are others that do.

But not everybody realizes the value, normality, or benefit of it.

There are some people who might think that I'm treading on lines of "mature" material here, and there are others that probably think as they read allong I'm shilling for a couple of people. You can think what you want, but let me makemyself clear: Fantasy is a normal part of everyones development and I'm not including anything in this blog that anyone that is a young teen or older shouldn't know about. In other words if you're old enough to use the 'net and read this, then you're mature enough for what it has to say. Secondly, while I an thoroughly supportive of the authors I'll address, I'm not "advertising" for them. Reading their books is a great idea, but it's hardly necessary to get my point across.

For example, one fantastic psychologist who does work on fantasy is Nancy Friday. You can find her work just about anywhere, and the climax-per-page ratio is higher than any romance novel my wife has ever told me about. I'd have to say I agree. I've tried to read romance fiction and it bores me to tears. However, just a few pages into one of Friday's books and my eyebrows are raising as fast as my interest. She has several books that collect the fantasies of individuals wo have opted to share their lives with her. Short vignettes of what people explore as erotic in their own minds. Some of them are wild, some of them are quite sad or morose. All of them are fascinating.

But that isn't the purpose behind her work, entirely, of course. The primary purpose has developed into teaching people that fantasy is normal. After her first book – My Secret Garden – she said she was astonished at the responses of people who told her that they had always felt like they were the only ones. Her subsequent books have several individuals who say things like "I always felt like I was a freak for imagining things like that...and then I read your book." She tries to illustrate that most people's fantasies are a shared cultural experience. That you're not alone in the world, and that you have people who are sympathetic to you all around.

The books have all sorts of fantasies in them. According to Jay Segal, another noted sex psychologist, the most common for men is the multiple partner fantasy. That one turns up a lot in many types of work. The most common for women is the anonymous partner fantasy. The fantasy where, regardless if it is a sexual situation or just a romantic one, they never know the name of the person who gave them their most amazing experience. They are in there, to be sure, but there are others that are not so frequent. Yes, there are fantasies that are less common, like bondage fantasies. But then there are fantasies that, frequently people say "I think about this but I would never want this." Rape fantasies. Incest fantasies. Bestiality fantasies. And endless variations thereof, as well as stuff I'd have a hard time even coming up with a name for.

This doesn't substantiate that there is something "wrong" with the person. All too often, social peers are ready to point fingers and say "Dude, that's sick." But another important point that psychologists make is that the fantasy is a mechanism. Just because a woman has an anonymous partner fantasy doesn't mean she ever wants it to become true. That could be a bit too dangerous for a sexual comfort zone. Just because someone has a fantasy about rape, or being with a sibling, that doesn't establish that they are actually seeking somthing like that. Seeking the fantasy and seeking the reality are two very different things.

Diverging for just a moment here to my own psychology background, there was a type of treatment for phobias developed by Volpe known as systematic desensitization. It causes subjects to confront their fears on a physical level that eventually causes the extinction of the phobia. But shortly after it's employ, it was determined that mental imagery was just as effective. You could ask someone to imagine the object of their fear, and it produced results that were just as real as the object itself.

Fantasies are our employment of mental imagery to gain benefit from our sexual mechanisms. Maybe for someone it's a coping mechanism; helping them to deal with a traumatic sexual event. Perhaps it's employed by someone else who wants to overcome their fears or frigidity in regards to a sexual subject. Or, it could be that simply someone wants to get their rocks off over something they could never see fit to do in real life.

In any case, it's a good thing. Exploring one's own sexuality is always a good thing. And if you find something there that you can't personally deal with, then it gives you the strength you need to find someone who can help. Fantasies are fantastic.

Uploaded 08/07/2008
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