The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge. -Albert Einstein
The sexiest part of the human body lies in the brain, specifically our limbic brain, where our libido resides alongside our processing of emotions, memory and scent. One of the quickest and most assured routes to sexual arousal is through fantasy. We use our imaginative capacity all the time during our waking lives as we envision all the possible futures that our daily life could result in; or even in the most negative of circumstances when we allow ourselves to ruminate and over-think bad outcomes for our relationships and aspirations. Yet when it comes to the mysterious sexual fantasy life that lives somewhere in all of us we often keep the door locked.
Allowing yourself the freedom to explore your sexual fantasies by yourself or with your partner is one of the most common sexual acts we share as human beings. In fact, in a recent research study on sex in America, the majority of men and women reported having fantasies while having sex. Some studies report this percentage to be as high as 60-90% for both men and women. The Kinsey research concurred with this data and showed even higher percentages during masturbation. In fact, using sexual fantasy as the fuel for early eroticism is for most of us our first sexual act. Boys start having sexual fantasies as early as 11-13, for girls, fantasy usually begins later in their teens and early 20s.
Telling our stories is integral to being human, and sexual fantasies transform and inspire during sex. In fact, mounting research suggests that the ability and freedom to entertain fantasies actually increases the health of both sexual arousal and desire. Yet many people feel uncomfortable with the stories that spontaneously occur to them in the course of their sexual adventures.
This is one of the first and often persistent internal spaces where our doubts about our sexual “normalcy” are instigated. Most sex therapists recommend adopting a “no mind-crime policy” for your fantasy life. I remember the remarkable passion that emerged in my own sex life when I stopped trying to suppress the stories that emerged during intimacy.