By Corinne Farago
Did you know that the most common sexual fantasies for Republicans are infidelity and orgies, while Democrats most enjoy BDSM fantasies? And yes, I voted for Biden.
I’ve been enjoying, Kinsey Research Fellow, Justin Lehmiller’s latest book, Tell Me What You Want, The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life. I’m enjoying it probably because I agree with most of what he says. Funny how that works.
Aren’t we all curious about what other people think and do when it comes to sex?
Lehmiller’s book is chock full of statistics that come from the largest survey of American’s sexual fantasies ever undertaken. Over a two year period, 4,000 people answered 350 questions about sex and fantasy.
The biggest finding? Fantasizing about sex is normal.
- 97% have sexual fantasies, and most reported to having them frequently
- 89% said that multiple partner sex is a common favorite
- 60% said that fantasies about sadomasochism, or playing with erotic pain turns them on
- 51% prefer their current partner to be the star in their fantasy
- Less than one third said they had acted out their biggest fantasy
Lehmiller shares the sexual fantasies of our fellow Americans in detail, and in so doing he helps to normalize the sexual fantasies we’re all walking around with, trying to hide.
If we’re all fantasizing, why do so many people suffer from low sexual desire?
Low sex drive is one of the more common complaints I hear from couples in my coaching practice. But what kind of sex do they have a low drive for? Is it the kind of sex we’re told we should be having, or the kind of sex we actually want?
These are the kinds of questions that start to reveal that most sexual challenges are, by far more psychological than physiological. This is not news in the world of sex therapy.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that sex researchers, Masters and Johnson, shared what they learned from studying hundreds of couples. Their realization was that communication and intimacy are the doorways that lead the way to sexual desire.
Why are communication and intimacy so important?
When we talk to our partner about something as intimate as sexual fantasies and sexual desires, we’re revealing our sexual selves. When we reveal ourselves, and let our lovers into our inner worlds of feelings and fantasies, we experience deeper intimacy and trust with our partner.
By sharing our erotic fantasies, we’re saying, ‘I feel safe enough with you to share this part of myself.’
Your Desires Are Beautiful.
Last week a client confessed that she never has sexual fantasies, which in itself brought up feelings of shame, but when she began to consider where her mind goes if she knows she’s going to have sex with her partner, she realized her fantasies were about having the perfect date night full of love and romance.
There’s no question, based on Lehmiller’s survey findings that we all have fantasies, and many of them are common themes and scenarios. Fantasies range from wild to mild. They can be highly visual, or more feeling based. Many of them are common themes and others are more unusual. With 97% of us admitting we have sexual fantasies, we can confidently say, it’s ‘normal’
Knowing we’re all ‘normal’ helps us to accept our imaginings, which is the first step in finding peace with our sexual selves. It’s also the first step in finding the confidence to share our fantasies with our partners.
Although I’ve written about sexual fantasies before, I want to help explain why many couples find themselves struggling with low desire, orgasm challenges and erection issues. I agree with Lehmiller, that in many cases, the answer lies in sexual repression.
We’re not born sexually repressed. As most parents will agree, babies and young children are very open about their bodies and what gives them pleasure.
We learn sexual repression from the world around us. We’re indoctrinated into believing that sex is wrong, or shameful, and therefore sex is not something to be talked about openly.
If 97% of us are having sexual thoughts and fantasies, but we believe deep down that it’s wrong to talk about sex, then we’ll repress our thoughts, and choose to hide who we are from the person we have sex with.
When we repress our authentic sexuality, out of shame or fear, it shows up in our ability to be vulnerable, to let ourselves go, to feel confident, to be shame-free in our sex lives.
One of the keys to being able to share our fantasies and desires is the belief that our partner’s response will be positive and accepting. The survey participants, who said they choose to not to share their fantasies, said it was fear of their partner’s judgment, that keeps them silent.
In my communication exercise, Your Erotic Menu, I coach couples on how to talk about sex openly, and most importantly, how to share their sexual fantasies and desires in a way that feels safe and exciting.
I encourage partners to hear each other’s sexual fantasies without judgment, and say the words, in response, “your desires are beautiful.”
The safer we can make it for our partners to share openly about who they are sexually, the deeper the intimacy and trust we’ll build with them.
Here’s a fact to keep in mind, the vast majority of the survey participants who had shared their favorite fantasy with their partner said their partner’s response was either favorable or neutral.
I hope this gives you some confidence to take the leap and let your partner into your erotic mind.
Research shows that the more comfortable couples feel to share their sexual fantasies…
- The happier they are and the more love they feel toward each other
- The happier their sex lives tend to be, with less problems in the bedroom
- The less issues they experience around erections and orgasms
- The more attracted they are to the person they self-disclosed to
- The more attracted we become to the partner who self-discloses
- The higher their experience of sexual self-confidence
Sharing our sexual selves doesn’t come without risk, but the risk of revealing who we are to our partner, offers the far greater reward of building trust and intimacy.
If you want to learn more about the 3 important steps in sharing your sexual fantasies with your partner, read my earlier blog, Welcome to My Mind, Sharing Your Fantasies With Your Partner.
Republican or Democrat, set up your 15 min. Discovery Call today and learn how to talk about your fantasies with your partner.