Understanding Our Sexual Fantasies

According to a study conducted by sex researcher Justin Lehmiller in which he surveyed over 4,000 Americans about their sexual fantasies, 97% of people have imagined arousing sexual scenarios. Over 50% said they have a sexual fantasy at least once a day. No matter how often you fantasize, it’s very likely that your fantasies have made you ask yourself: “what does this say about me?”


Before that question can be answered, it’s important to look at the categories people’s sex fantasies typically fall under. People often think that their sex fantasies are taboo or unusual, but the vast majority of people fantasize about the same things. Sex fantasies fall into one or more of these three genres: group sex, novelty or power and control.  


Group sex is simply sex with more than one person. Lehmiller found that 87% of women have fantasized about having group sex at least once. It was the most popular sexual fantasy mentioned, specifically in reference to threesomes. Group sex has a great amount of fantasy appeal because it involves multiple people pleasuring and worshipping your body at the same time. 


Novelty sex appeals more to the adrenaline seeking side of one’s sexual appetite. Novelty sex is a wide variety of things; sex in public spaces, sex using toys and anything that strays from what one deems traditional sex. The idea of participating in novelty sex is considered thrilling in fantasy (and in reality), more so than the so-called “traditional sex”, because it strays from what you are used to doing. Trying new things is always exciting and doing so in the bedroom is no different. O.school sex educator, Cassandra Corrado says, “The feeling of facing the unknown [and] trying something for the first time can give you a thrilling adrenaline kick and, for some people, arousal is connected to that feeling.” 


The last fantasy genre appeals to the darker side of your sexual appetite. Power and control fantasies typically fall into BDSM-like sexual scenarios. These, while often considered to be taboo, are actually quite common fantasies. Nearly 80% of people have fantasized about restraining someone or being restrained during sex, 57% have fantasized about giving or following sexual orders and 73% fantasized about inflicting or enduring pain, usually biting or spanking. Power and control fantasies are about taking or giving up your control to/from someone else in the bedroom.  


No matter what your kink is, it’s important to understand your fantasies don’t say anything negative about you. They’re not even always necessarily things you would actually do, as Lehmiller’s survey showed most people don’t actually try their fantasies in real life. Even if they are, don’t think that the things that you imagine when you’re rubbing one out say anything about who you are.