Do you fantasize? Do you only fantasize about your partner? Or maybe you claim you don't fantasize at all! Chances are that you do fantasize and the fantasy has been erotic and illicit. But rarely, if ever, do we talk about those fantasies.
Sexual fantasies are something we rarely discuss, even among good friends. Our deepest sexual thoughts are often considered too weird, perverse, or just plain wrong to be shared amongst polite company; fantasizing might indicate there is something wrong with our relationships, or worse, ourselves. Having sexual fantasies is an absolutely normal, if not necessary, part of being a sexual being. It's not having them that is aberrant. Those of us that admit to fantasizing are reluctant to discuss what it is that gets us going.
Many people suffer shame and guilt about the perverse nature of their fantasies, even though what we think of as "perverse" may actually be quite common. Though a typical and unremarkable fantasy for both men and women is dreaming about sex with their current partner; bondage, incest, sadomasochism, and voyeurism are also part of the varied fantasy life of "normal" people.
Shame regarding sexual fantasies may stem from earlier notions about the role of fantasy in our lives. Fantasies are no more harmful for us than masturbation. Fantasies allow us to think about doing something we would never actually do, or about things we've done before and would like to do again. They allow us to sleep with celebrities. Fantasies may help our sex lives by increasing desire and arousal; those who fantasize frequently also tend to have more sex. And cerebral foreplay has certainly helped millions of masturbations to end in success.
Sometimes fantasy is a way of putting a positive spin on a negative childhood memory. For example a happily married woman whose fantasies help turn memories of sexual abuse by an older brother into an arousing experience. In this way, fantasy can be a coping mechanism. Women may fantasize about being dominated by a stranger, but we are able to control every one of their actions. Our minds are a safe place to try new and risky deeds without ever getting hurt.
Safety is the concept that functions as the key to unlocking the meaning of our fantasies." Being bound and gagged by a dominating partner may not seem safe, but somewhere in the unconscious, submission is desired.
All this is reassuring. Rather than feeling guilty about thinking about another person while having sex with your partner, we can see it as a way to help spice up the sex, without committing any transgressions. Just keep it in your head.