Not too long ago, I met a friend for drinks at a swanky bar. The lights were warm and low, the seats plush, and the drinks, expensive. As our tongues loosened, my friend shared a sexy dream from the night before. While the details of her sex fantasies are fuzzy (I blame the gin), I clearly remember her shame. The way she apologized before sharing her sexual fantasies, whispered every word, and kept her eyes downcast.
My friend isn’t alone in feeling unnecessary shame about her fantasies. It’s one of the most common secrets shared in a hushed voiced by clients as well as random folks I meet at networking events, bars, and the like. Sometimes the shame stems from what happens in the fantasies. Other times, it’s simply having the fantasy and what that means to you—that “good girls” (and people of all genders) shouldn’t want more; that your partner should fulfill all your sexual needs; that you’re broken or wrong somehow.
Read more: Common Sex Qs: Am I normal?
You don’t need to feel shame about what’s in your spank bank
For one, sexual fantasies can actually help you have better sex and a more intimate relationship. Plus there’s this glaringly obvious fact: your fantasies aren’t real. Perhaps most importantly, much shame is rooted in systems of oppression, power, and privilege. These are the same systems that centre white cis heteropatriarchy in discussions of sex and relationships.
The problem isn’t you or your fantasies—its harmful social norms.
Your sexual fantasies may or may not be things you even want to try IRL
Your fantasies include things that turn you in theory. You explore them from within the safety of your own mind, where you get to call all the shots. Sometimes, it’s the dreaming and being in complete control of what happens that’s the most fun, sexy, and pleasurable! If the same thing were to actually happen IRL, with all of the messiness and variables of two or more people coming together, it could be totally different than the idealized version you have in mind.
For example, you might hate pain IRL but love thinking about getting spanked. Or you’re truly madly deeply in love with your sweetie, but really enjoy meeting that sexy stranger (or coworker, friend, etc) in your dreams.
It’s also worth mentioning that pain, fear, and pleasure all originate from the same part of your brain. So it’s easy for signals to get crossed or for something to terrify you in one situation but turn you on in another.
That’s not to say sexual fantasies can’t cause issues. They can, specifically when:
- they affect your relationship
- you hurt someone
- you can no longer tell the difference between fantasy and reality
If you are struggling with any of these, your best course of action is to connect with a sexuality professional. If not, then it’s time to let go of the shame and let your thoughts go wild.
Sex fantasies are the perfect place to explore, play, and experiment
Because they aren’t real, anything goes! So let your mind wander and see what pops up. You might get an idea for something you do want to try with your sweetie! Fantasies are also great for when you’re riding solo or super distracted with a partner.
Some days, all you do is count the seconds until you can masturbate. Other times, however, you’re kinda sorta horny or bored or stressed or can’t fall asleep and figure a little loving will be a good way to take care of that.
6 Ways Fantasizing during Sex Improves Your Pleasure
Thinking about your fantasies can help you get in the mood
Fun fact: our brains aren’t great at differentiating between what’s real and what’s imagined. That’s why some folx can literally think their way to orgasm (or, to use a mundane example, why your muscles fire just by thinking about a movement). That means the simple act of thinking about your sexual fantasy can help you get turned on—and fast. This is especially helpful on those nights when your partner is really into it and you aren’t quite there yet but you totally want to be.
Fantasizing during sex helps you Get off
If you’re distracted during sex—solo or partnered—try using all that mental energy to focus on a fantasy instead of your to-do list. While some argue that fantasizing during partner sex makes you less present, it doesn’t have to. You can share that fantasy aloud with your partner(s) so it becomes about the two (or more) of you. You also can go beyond just thinking about your sex fantasies and have it be a full sensory experience incorporates what you’re already doing.
Read More: How to Ask for What You Want in Bed
Incorporating Fantasies Makes sex more exciting & Fun!
Trying new things in the bedroom increases your pleasure and helps add that adventure and spice back into your sex life! While adding new things isn’t the only important part of having intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex lives that lasts, it is an important one!
Sharing or acting out your sex fantasies can get you out of a sex rut
Let’s be real: every relationship and every sex life lands itself in a rut from time to time. If that’s feeling true for you, there’s a few different ways you can use your fantasies to break free:
- Masturbate together and share with them what you’re fantasizing about while you
- Describe your fantasy during partner sex. Tell them what you see, hear, taste, and smell as part of it.
- Act out the fantasy. You can “set the scene” as much or as little as you want, from meeting up at a bar and pretending to be strangers to buying outfits and props.
Fantasizing During Solo Sex changes up your Masturbation routine
Sometimes it’s up to you and your hands and/or sex toys. And that’s it! And for most people, there’s a certain routine to masturbating. Incorporating a fantasy if you haven’t OR switching up your go-to fantasy is one form of practicing mindful masturbation. Plus, it helps to keep self-pleasure fun and prevent yourself from getting stuck in a solo sex rut.
Sexual fantasies help you get through long-distance
If you and your beau(s) aren’t physically together, fantasizing during sex—whether that’s solo, phone, or video—helps make everything more real. It also helps you feel more connected and together, despite the distance.
Read more: How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship
Do your research before bringing your sexual fantasies to life
If and when you decide to take your fantasizing from sex to IRL, keep it legal, consensual, and safe. Research any applicable legal, physical, financial risks. Talk through with each other what’s a go and no-go, and how you’ll check-in throughout the role play.
For example, if you decide to act out the popular teacher/student scene, talk with your sweetie about what’s you’re comfortable doing; research which parts of the body are safe to spank ; and, resist the urge to break into your kid’s school to make it more real.
Ditching your guilt and bringing your fantasies into real life can be tricky but it’s one more way you can have the intimate, adventurous, and satisfying sex life you desire.