Fantasies enliven reality

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April 20, 2007

12:38 PM

Everyone has them. Seriously. Some people are undoubtedly more in touch with them, more comfortable or more outspoken, while others are more cautious, guarded or even disinterested. But, really, we all have sexual thoughts. And sexual thoughts can turn into sexual fantasies, and sexual fantasies can certainly be a lot of fun.

p. Fantasies come in all shapes and sizes. Some are brief, passing thoughts in class or while walking around campus, some are involved and detailed, requiring some time and focus to appreciate. Some stem from watching porn or reading the juicy parts of a romance novel; others are solely products of the imagination.

p. It’s important to remember that not all of the fantasies we have are things that we’d like to actually have happen. Like that one about being kidnapped by a dashing pirate and then making love on the high seas after he rips off your bodice? Or the one when you’re having a wild night of passion with your ex-girlfriend that you haven’t talked to in a year? Or the one when you and your significant other invite that really hot mutual friend to join you in a ménage-à-trois? It’s fun to think about, it gets you excited and turned on, but you’d never want to do it for real. It’s perfectly normal to have these “imagination-only” fantasies.

p. For many people, pornography helps them connect to these types of fantasies that they enjoy but would never want in real life. Most mentally stable adults are aware that porn isn’t real or intended to be a reflection of reality — it is supposed to serve a fantasy purpose. Viewed that way, it should take away the degrading and objectifying concerns that many people have against porn. As long as it’s a fantasy that the viewer enjoys —without expecting it to be reflected in her or his reality — they should be free to enjoy watching whatever legal activity gets them off.

p. On the other hand, there are plenty of fantasies that we’d secretly love to experience in reality as well as in our imagination. It can be simple things like an interest in trying out a pair of handcuffs or lacy lingerie. Or it can be complicated, like having your partner buy a little red elf outfit from Victoria’s Secret and making her only call you Santa for the evening. Sometimes, it’s healthy and fun to put a fantasy into action, and it can be exciting to bring a little bit of your imagination to life.

p. So, how do you turn a fantasy into reality? It can be a little intimidating at first to tell your partner some of the secret things you think about that excite you. Just remember that they probably have plenty of their own secret fantasies, and that you shouldn’t be ashamed of yours. If you’re in a sexual relationship with another person who really enjoys getting you off (the best kind of person to be in a sexual relationship with, for the record), then you can bet they’ll be pretty interested to hear about what you think about trying.

p. For some, it might be exciting enough just to talk about a fantasy during foreplay — or even more exciting than actually doing it. If you’re going with this “storytelling” route, make sure you include every vivid detail you possibly can. Obviously, don’t tell your boyfriend about how you occasionally masturbate while thinking about his roommate, but tell him the scandalous scenario in which you enjoy tying him up and being totally in charge for an afternoon. Even if you’re only planning on following up the story with “regular sex,” your moods will be extra charged from the hot conversational foreplay.

p. Or, after you tell your partner a favorite fantasy, you might discover that they share it. Or even if they don’t, they might be intrigued or adventurous enough to want to give it a try. Obviously, don’t push them to do something they aren’t really interested in doing, but it’s all right to encourage a little experimentation. Maybe you’ve never dreamed of a golden shower, but you learn that your partner really likes the idea. If you’re not totally grossed out, why not go for it? You never know what sort of fantasy your partner might be willing to fulfill with you, if trading is your plan.

p. Don’t discount sexual fantasies as silly and inconsequential. Whether you share them or enjoy them in private, are eager to turn them into a reality or keep them in fantasyland, embracing them can be a powerful way to get more in touch with your sex life. You never know what dreams might come true if you’re brave enough to let them.

p. __Kate Prengaman is the sex columnist for The Flat Hat. She likes to use her imagination.__

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