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Exploring Sexual Fantasies

Exploring Sexual Fantasies

“I want to be fucked like I’m a robot.” This is a real and direct quote from a friend, when they were describing their very specific sexual fantasy – wanting to be treated like a sex robot, programmed to give pleasure. Many folks have sexual fantasies ranging from being dominated to more specific and complex situations involving detailed environments and behaviors. Regardless of your personal fantasies, there are common threads that inform and ensure safety and pleasure across all experiences. The first thing you need to know about exploring sexual fantasies is that it is a normal and healthy part of a full, sexual life. This isn’t to say that everybody experiences or acts on sexual fantasies, but  many do, and no one should be shamed for having or exploring sexual fantasies, unless, of course, they oppress others.

The Importance of Exploring Sexual Fantasies

Some are lucky enough to be in an environment where these fantasies are not only accepted, but discussed openly. In creating these supportive communities, we validate our sexual desires and have the ability to empower people to not only claim agency over when and how they want to have sex, but also to seek and expect pleasure. When we give people the tools to talk about their sexual desires, we are undoing the many years of socialization and rampant sex stigmatization.

What Sexual Fantasies Are and Are Not

Fantasies are not necessarily acted out, but serve as an erotic mind exercise that can then be physically expressed or not. Many people have sexual fantasies that they feel comfortable sharing with other people, but some that they might to just play with in their head or by themselves. Whatever you’re into, I bet you that someone else has the exact fantasy you might feel weird about. Spaces like the internet, for example, show you just how imaginative erotic fantasies can be, and a lot of very common fantasies might surprise you. While many studies on sexual fantasies tend to be cissexist and limited in scope, some have interesting results. For example, a 2014 study found that over 48% of men had fantasies of “petting with a complete stranger in a public space,” and over 52% of women said they had fantasized about being tied up during sex. While this study was based on a cisgender framework, these very common sexual fantasies show that a vast majority of people may think their fantasies are unusual even though many people share their desires.

A Bit About Consent

Whether or not people choose to act on fantasies depends on a few things, chief among them consent. Consent is always necessary when other people are involved and interested in fulfilling one of your sexual fantasies. While people may not share the exact fantasy you have, they might be excited to try exploring sexual fantasies with you. In these situations, discussing your specific fantasies before, during, and after with your partner(s) is crucial. In fantasies involving BDSM, it’s especially important that everyone is consenting and excited about what’s happening. If you find yourself having to convince someone to fulfill your sexual fantasy, it might be a good moment to recalibrate if this interaction is consent-oriented and providing mutual pleasure.

Exploring sexual fantasies can sometimes intersect with mental health and past or current trauma. While this is not always the case, making space for healing and self-discovery in our erotic fantasies is important. In coping with mental health issues or past trauma, learn to be gentle with yourself, your needs, and remain non-judgemental about your desires – no matter how unusual the desires are. Of course, if you ever feel like one of your desires could be potentially harmful to yourself or others, consider getting some help – whether that means talking to a friend, a sex therapist, a mental health counselor, or someone else.

Luna Malbroux’s piece exploring BDSM in the black communities dives into the fact that what we fantasize about and how others may fantasize about us is tied to social power dynamics that are out of our control. When we think about and express our desires, being aware of the many power dynamics we may be indirectly reinforcing is crucial. In order to de-colonize our minds and bodies, we must first accept and embrace our own pleasure – in whatever form that takes – while taking care to not recreate the structures that oppress other people’s ability to free themselves.

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Vibrant Staff

The Vibrant Staff writers are a group of sex-positive cis women and queer folks employed by Vibrant. Our contributors are passionate about educational advocacy, sexual autonomy and freedom, healthy relationships, and sharing their experiences with you!

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Vibrant Staff

The Vibrant Staff writers are a group of sex-positive cis women and queer folks employed by Vibrant. Our contributors are passionate about educational advocacy, sexual autonomy and freedom, healthy relationships, and sharing their experiences with you!

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