Sexual fantasies, also known as erotic fantasies, are as unique as the individual experiencing them. Fantasies range from the tame to the taboo, and they can also vary from docile to ‘deviant,’ or from fiction to fantasy, they are an amalgam of variety. They are meant to embolden and increase sexual satisfaction, sometimes simply by the thought itself. A thought can be fleeting, only for a moment before briskly entering back into reality, or they can range to an entire scenario complete with a storyline, characters, and events.
Sexual fantasies (SF) are an integral part of human sexuality (Binter, 2012).
Fantasies are an important aspect for an adult engaging in healthy encounters sexually, either independently or with another/others. It often is a freeing act; the fantasy doesn’t depend on the actions of another, therefore, voids itself of any anxieties, stress, timing, temperament and typical ‘blockers’ for any encounters with others. For some, the fantasy itself can be as enjoyable, if not more so, than the actual act of playing out the given fantasy (meaning it’s purely fantasy and nothing else), while others may embrace the fantasy and incorporate it into their lifestyle and use it as an enhancement to their sex life. If the sexual behaviors don’t interfere with daily healthy functioning then the fantasies themselves can be an achievement. Fantasies are something that may be unspoken but widely enjoyed on a universal level.
To better define the ‘natural’ SF behaviors, one can look at the normality of daydreaming, having goals, thinking and fantasizing about bigger and better things in life. Just as it’s natural to have aspirations and dreams personally, it’s just as natural to have sexual fantasies. Now, this can translate differently throughout the world, from culture to culture, even religion to religion. For example, porn consumption varies from country to country and sexual fantasies including trends among them are consistent around the world.
Sexual behavior is subjected to varying degrees of social, cultural, religious and moral constraints (Kasemy, 2016).
It’s important to note and assess if one has a lack of fantasy itself. If this is due to guilt, fear, shame, embarrassment, etc., it can be a signal of sexual dysfunction which can be treated by a professional. SF’s presence in one’s life is a natural process that one can happily embrace. Knowing that it varies individually, as well as incorporating any personal aspects such as social influence, spiritual beliefs, and moral compass, we now look at a full, yet not limited, list of sexual fantasies. While addressing this list, it’s important to note that it can apply to many areas such as gender differences (such as male fantasies and/or female fantasies), sexuality differences (asexual, homosexual, bi-sexual, etc.), and ‘during the act of’, occurring both during individual play (masturbation) to SF’s during sexual acts with others. The SF’s are also not exclusive to each other, meaning there can be several fantasies combined into one fantasy.
1. LOVED ONES
Sex with a loved one – A spouse, significant other or loved one they are dating is the fantasy on their mind. They envision their loved one when they become sexually excited and imagine different sexual acts with them, such as kissing, dancing, positions, and scenarios.
Sex with a stranger – This can be a chance meeting with someone they will never see again, someone they have never even met, or saw briefly and imagine sexual escapades with them in some manner.
3. THE MORE THE MERRIER
Sex with multiple people – This can be group sex, swinging, a threesome, a ‘gang-bang’ or variety of more than one/two people involved. This is a common fantasy is seen among men and women (i.e., a man with two women, a woman with multiple men, a group of play partners in a social swinger setting).
4. ORAL SEX
Oral Sex – This can be seen in both receiving and/or giving oral sex. It can be seen in receiving it only, giving it only or oral to genital sex (commonly known as a ‘69’).
5. ANAL SEX
Anal sex – Anal sex is a common fantasy that involves the act of either giving and/or receiving anal sex. This can be in the form of an object (finger, enema, dildo) or a penis.
6. PAST/PREVIOUS PARTNERS
Sex with a previous partner and/or previous sexual experience – This is a fantasy that can involve thinking of past experiences with a previous partner, a previous partner and ‘wished upon’ moments that had occurred, or a previous partner and possible upcoming occurrences (such as a rendezvous in the future).
Sex that is recreated, reenacted, this can be a sex scene from a video or movie, most commonly seen in ‘acting out’ the pornography that is being watched. For example, if the scene is a sensual massage followed by oral sex, then the viewers of the video then mimic those acts, usually, in sequence/order, they are watched.
Different places of sexual engagement can be the main theme in one’s fantasy. Places such as the beach, in public, a landmark, even a city or specific view, can be an enjoyable SF for many. The idea of ‘escaping’ to another place, another time possibly, can relieve great stressors to allow for a deeply rewarding fantasy and experience.
The body – The body itself, the thought of it, how it moves, the smell, a feel, the thoughts of touching the body and/or specific body parts. An example of this is a soft flowing sundress on the body of a woman emerging from the water. As the water forces the fabric to cling to the figure, the ‘fantasizer’ may think of the movement of the walk, or the wet of the hair, the transparency of the clothing, etc. The entirety of the body, either explicitly sexual or not, is the thought for sexual arousal.
10. DIFFERENT GENDER
Desires to feel what it feels like to be the opposite sex, if only for a brief sexual moment. This isn’t compared to gender identity, but regarding only gender fantasies. To imagine having a different experience, feeling, sensation, position, orgasm, with different gender organs, different reactions, etc. This can be seen in a male visualizing being a sought after a beautiful woman and possibly what it may feel like to become aroused, or a woman engaging in penetration envisioning ejaculation.
Want to be wanted – There is a famous song saying exactly the term ‘I want you to want me, I need you to need me’. An increase in arousal thinking of others chasing, being insatiable, desiring, and being wanted by others. Including driving others wild sexually and becoming their fantasy and object of sexual gratification.
Sex with a celebrity – A crush, an innocent fan, inventing moments where sexual involvement occurs. The type of sexual encounter can range, including the ‘relationship’ with the celebrity. It’s key for one to be aware of any possible delusions, such as thinking the celebrity feels the same, yet it’s a natural occurrence among many ‘fans’ that find their celebrity crush attractive.
An encounter with the same sex if either for a moment or for a more involved situation. ‘Gay for Play’ is a term that is applied to homosexual behaviors of a straight partner. The SF can be far more developed than a momentary fantasy and can be that of an ongoing scenario or even a life-long romance.
Transvestitism, BDSM, & Fetishism Sexual Fantasies
The DSM-V changes in recent years have depathologized certain kinks, meaning that kinky doesn’t mean mental illness, but instead an ‘unusual sexual interest’, so if someone can both fantasize and function in a healthy and normal manner (i.e., work/volunteer/operate daily, contribute to society, manage responsibilities), then they are simply ‘kinky’, not ‘sick’, if they aren’t in distress, then they don’t have a disorder. It’s only when one’s ability to function, operate, function, etc. that treatment needs to be prioritized.
The American Psychiatric Association has depathologized kinky sex – including cross-dressing, fetishes, and BDSM – in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). – “The APA has made it clear that being kinky is not a mental disorder,” says Susan Wright, Spokesperson for NCSF (NCSF, 2018).
The following takes a closer look at ‘kink’ fantasies; Transvestism, BDSM, and Fetishism.
An arousal, sexually, from ‘cross-dressing’. The term varies and dates back to the Hebrew Bible, yet it’s the act of wearing the opposite sex’s clothing, including, but not limited to, cologne/perfume, make-up/facial/body hair, yet the primary focus and fetish is the clothing itself.
The abbreviation may seem odd, yet there is a large meaning behind ‘B’, ‘D’, ‘S’ & ‘M’. BDSM is the acronym for Bondage/Discipline/Dominance/Submission/Sadomasochism/Sadism/Masochism. BDSM itself is an entire array of fantasies within one ‘word’. ‘Vanilla’ stands for fantasies, such as those mentioned above, that are the more ‘normal’ of SF’s, while what we will be speaking of here, is that of ‘kinky’ sexual fantasies. It’s interesting to note that the pool of BDSM participants ranges from the meekest or even non-sexual of people to the more assertive and aggressive of sexual beings.
Notably, both asexual and sexual participants (both men and women) were equally likely to fantasize about topics such as fetishes and BDSM (Yule, 2017).
Stereotyping that specific personality types belong (such as Type A) in BDSM, and others don’t, isn’t applicable or accurate. Just as personality, sexual orientation, and spectrum of engagement vary, so does the level of fantasy intensity. Fantasies mentioned within BDSM can range from ‘light’ play (being blindfolded) to that of more intense and extreme play (bondage and being flogged), and even ‘edging’ (knife play, candle wax play, enema play, etc.).
The acts of BDSM are that of acts between consenting adults who derive pleasure from pain (giving and/or receiving) in a safe, sane and consensual environment. It’s important to note that if activities move from fantasy to real life, certain precautions and measures are always put into place by responsible BDSM participants such as forming boundaries and hard limits, discussing safe words and signs to stop a scene immediately as well as never having a BDSM scene conducted under the influence or while unstable.
The key differing factor of BDSM activities from those that are harmful is that of consent. Consent is the key factor that allows an experience to be sexual and rewarding compared to that of one that is detrimental and devastating. “The difference between BDSM and abuse is that one word can stop a BDSM scene, and a million words can’t stop abuse.”
Bondage – This can be bondage in the form of mental play and restricting behaviors (i.e., strict diet, sleep, work and play schedule), and also bondage in the form of being physically bound (i.e., rope, straps, caged). Light bondage can be seen in blindfolds whereas heavy bondage can be total mummification (wrapped or encased tightly).
Discipline – Discipline can be seen in the following of rules, training/being trained, and exhibiting the learned and desired behaviors. For example, an SF of discipline could involve behaving and acting a certain way due to training, expectation, and devotion (i.e., being a loyal subject or being catered to by a faithful servant who has been trained accordingly, kneeling at the feet of their provider and/or having one obey their commands without question).
Dominance – Dominance is the control, authority, and power over another, either sexually or non-sexually. Dominance can be a ‘mild’ as choosing the clothing for an event another will attend, to a more ‘wild’ version of having total dominance over someone such as monitoring and maintaining their schedule, including the food they eat, the clothes they wear, the times they use the restroom (or giving permission for certain acts) to sexually making all the moves and choices, and/or deciding when, where, how and if they will occur.
Submission – The act of surrendering and serving another/others. It may be for an act that is nonsexual, such as where to go to eat, or a sexual fantasy such as crawling on hands and knees while naked to someone they call their ‘Owner’. Submission can vary from the way in which they may speak to/address others (i.e., Sir, Ma’am, no eye contact with strangers, speak only to the dominant partner) to being a well-trained ‘pet’, ‘slave’, ‘submissive’, etc. who derives pleasure in submitting.
Sadism – Pleasure in giving pain. Examples such as spanking, hair pulling, biting, whipping, flogging, embarrassing, humiliating. Pain can be either/and both physical and mental.
Masochistic – Pleasure in receiving pain. Examples such as piercings, being hit, chocked, humiliated. Pain is/can be both mental and physical.
Sadomasochism – Pleasure in both giving and receiving pain.
15., cont. FETISH – Fetishes can be a single predominant and reoccurring fetish, or it can be combined with other fetishes. Some fetishes known are;
Foot fetish – feet are the primary object of desire and/or sexual arousal
Tickle fetish – either specific to a body part or giving and/or receiving, a tickle fetish is a sexual arousal when tickling is occurring.
Body modification – Also known as ‘Body Mod’, the attraction to artificial changes/modifications made to the body (ear piercings, facial piercings, genital piercings, tattoos, implants).
Fat/Belly fetish – Sexual attraction to overweight/obese individuals. Arousal associated with feeding and/or watching them gain weight over time. Sensations of sexual arousal are also seen in the viewing of feelings of another being ‘stuffed’, ‘full’ and ‘taking’.
Role Play – The act of playing a role or imagining a scenario and acting it out. Examples; Nurse/patient, Age Gap fantasy (an older mentor with a younger colleague at work), Furry/Pet Play, and Rape play (consensual power exchange).
Certain fantasies may present an issue if it’s a high-risk fantasy that can lead to the harm and non-consensual involvement with/of others. Examples of this are ‘thrill to kill’ fantasies or those crossing boundaries of reality such as the stalker whose fantasies lead to dangerous actions. As a note, illegal acts, such as non-consensual acts, necrophilia, bestiality, rape, molestation, etc. are not spoken on in-depth here as they are not considered sexual acts but acts that are harmful and illegal and have nothing to do with sex and/or intimacy but instead power and control.