Is it wrong to fantasize about someone other than your partner? According to a study by The Journal of Sex Research, 98% of partnered men and 80% of partnered women said they fantasized about someone other than their partner while having sex. Does this mean these people are prone to cheat? Or aren’t sexually attracted to their current partner?
Not necessarily. Fantasies can be harmless and in fact, enhance your sex life. Some people fantasize about a made up person in their mind or a celebrity. This would give them a zero to very slim chance of cheating on their partner with their fantasy person. Some people do report fantasizing about a co-worker, friend, an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, or even a brother or sister-in-law. This does not mean this person is more prone to cheating. It also doesn’t mean they don’t fantasize about their current partner as well while having sex.
Fantasies happen because most people are pretty conservative in reality. Most people report having the most satisfied sex within an intimate and committed relationship. Within that relationship it is safe to explore a side of you that may not be able to come out in real life. Fantasies have no limits. A person may think of certain things while having sex that actually enhances their overall sexual experience. Sometimes the physical sensations aren’t enough to get the deal done. Fantasies are a way to get the mind engaged with the body. The brain is your biggest sexual organ. Many couples also report fantasizing about each other as well, but then change up the situation or explore things in their fantasies that they aren’t ready to explore in real life. This can heighten the arousal during sex and make it more satisfying.
The imagination is 10 times more powerful than your will power. If I told you not to think about something, then your brain would automatically think about it more. If you are driving and you tell yourself not to notice red cars, all of a sudden that is the only thing you are noticing. If you tell yourself not to fantasize about a certain person, that person is going to show up in your mind even more. Analyzing what that means and feeling guilty about it is what harms relationships, not the actual fantasy. A fantasy usually only becomes an obsession when you try to force yourself to not think about it.
The key is to give yourself permission. Making something taboo will make it that more enticing to you. Fantasizing about another person while having sex with your partner isn’t going to ruin your relationship. You don’t have to compete with the imaginary person or situation in your partner’s head. You have to trust that they have chosen to be with you for a reason and let the fantasy help them be a better lover to you. Just like it doesn’t mean you aren’t attracted to your partner if you fantasize about someone else every once in a while. If you have been fantasizing about a certain sexual position for a while you may one day be brave enough to suggest it to your partner and try it out for real. You may find reality wasn’t as exciting as your fantasy or you may have just changed your sex life for the better. If you never try the fantasy out for real, it still has an effect on your current sexual experiences because it is able to arouse you.
So before you worry about what crazy sexual experiences are rolling around in that imagination of yours, know that you aren’t alone and it is completely healthy! You have the power of making some of those situations come alive with your partner or keeping them to yourself. If you add an extra person or two or three to your fantasy scenarios and it helps you respond sexually to your partner then power that fantasy up. You can still love and be sexually turned on by your partner while dreaming up other things in your mind. Let go of the guilt and enjoy your very healthy sex life!