When Sexual Fantasy Becomes More Than
Real Intimacy In Loving Relationships 

By Ange Fonce

Please be Aware that this an “In Depth” article and contains Content of an Intimate Nature!
Sexual fantasies tell much about our "sexuality" and just how much they tell has been debated for decades.

Sexual fantasies can play a part in a “healthy intimate relationship” and "enhance" that relationship... equally “sexual fantasy” can also "destroy" the “intimacy” in a relationship.

The most recent evidence... while it by no means ends the debate... sheds some new “perspectives” on several “important aspects” of what your “fantasies” say about your own “sexual orientation”... also what the most “common fantasies” are,...when they are “healthy” and when “pathological” and what they “indicate” about a “couples relationship.” 

The latest contribution to the research is from the Masters and Johnson Institute in a recent article on their treatment program for dissatisfied homosexuals... researchers at the institute come to the conclusion that whether a person has “homosexual fantasies” or “heterosexual ones” cannot be used as an ”indication” of actual “sexual preference”... they cite “evidence” showing the frequency of “homosexual fantasies” among “heterosexuals” and “heterosexual fantasies” among “homosexuals.”

In a recent survey of 120 men and women... half of them “homosexual” and half “heterosexual”...  showing that peoples “sexual fantasies” can be at odds with their “sexual orientation”... among both men and women who are “homosexual” and “heterosexual.” 

For example... 

Heterosexual “sex” ranks as the 3rd most common “sexual fantasy”...  for “homosexual” men and women... for “heterosexual” men and women... “homosexual” encounters rank 4th and 5th most common respectively... among “heterosexual” men and women... the number 1 “sexual fantasy” involved “sex” with someone other of their usual partner.

People tend to be “selective” in their “recall” of their own “sexual fantasies”... most people have about 7 or 8 “sexual fantasies a day”... although the range can be from none to 40 and up... among “heterosexuals” about 75% of fantasies are of “straight lovemaking”... and about 25 percent are “sexual variations”... such as “sadomasochism... homosexuality” and  “group sex” and the usually pattern of “sex fantasies” includes a certain amount of “unusual sex.''

For example... “group sex” is usually the 5th most common “sexual fantasy” among both “homosexual” and “heterosexual” men... while fantasies of “forced sexual encounters” were 1st among “homosexual” women and 2nd among “heterosexual” women... for both “heterosexual” men and women... “observing” other peoples “sexual encounters”...  is the 3rd most common “sexual fantasy”... in other words “voyeuristic sex.”

While the content of a “sexual fantasy” does not make it “abnormal”... its “frequency” and the “obsession” to “act out”... can indicate a “psychological problem.”

So how much does the actual content of a fantasy matter? 

Many sex therapists argue that it does not matter much as long as it proves useful for a couple in “lovemaking”... and I go along with that view to a degree... like for instance... a man loses his “arousal” while making “love” with his wife... and uses a “fantasy” to get it back... then lets go of the ”fantasy” to “focus” on the “lovemaking” again with his wife... it is irrelevant what the “fantasy” is about... when it is a “helpful bridge” back to making “love” with his wife and increases the couples “intimacy.'”

Yet... if he keeps the ”fantasy” in his “mind” all during their “lovemaking”... he is more “involved” with his “sexual fantasy” then the “actual lovemaking" with his wife... then it can “increase” the “distance” between the partners rather than bring them closer... so the “fantasy” becomes more than the “intimacy” and a "block" to "real lovemaking"... it is “important” to look at the “content” of a “sex fantasy” during “lovemaking” for what it suggests about what is “missing” in the “real sexual intimacy.''

For example... 

Let us say that a man while making love with his wife he had a “fantasy” of Raquel Welch in a bikini... on closer scrutiny... what is “important” in the “fantasy” is Raquel Welchs “attitude”... is  she “aroused” by him... is she “uncritical” of him... is she “accepting” of him... the “attitude” of Raquel Welch is far more “important” then Raquel Welch herself in the fantasy... because really it is a “message” about what he is “missing” from his wife. 

That is the “material” I use and work with in therapy with couples... a “sex fantasy” can be a “barometer” of the “difficulties” a person has with “intimacy” and “emotional closeness”... about a third of women have had a “history” of some kind of “sexual trauma”... and as a result during “lovemaking” they may “dissociate”... separating their “emotions” from their “acts”... and this sometimes takes the form of a “sex fantasy” that creates a “psychological” and “emotional” distance from their partner... even though they maybe there “physically” during “sex”... they are “emotionally” far away.

Problems With Intimacy...

Sex fantasies... can “reveal” such “problems” with “intimacy.” 

For instance... during “lovemaking” with his wife... a mans “fantasies” could range from “imagining” his wife... to fantasies about other women he knows... even his wifes sister... to watching someone else make “love”... to the sort of “impersonal sex” that is in “porno movies”... each of those “fantasies” along the gradient represents a “increasing psychological distance” from “emotional connection” in the relationship.'

The same applies to women who are “detaching” from the relationship.

Typical Behaviours of those Addicted to Sex Fantasies...

Below is a brief overview of common behaviours by active sexual fantasy addicts...

Compulsive masturbation with or without pornography

Ongoing abuse of soft and hard core porn

Multiple affairs and brief “serial” relationships

Attending strip clubs... adult book stores and similar sex focused environments

Prostitution or use of prostitutes and visiting “sensual” massage parlours.

Compulsive use of cybersex

Ongoing anonymous sexual hookups with people met online or in person

Repeated patterns of unsafe sex

Seeking sexual experiences without regard to the immediate or long term consequences

Exhibitionism or voyeurism

What Is Sex Fantasy Addiction Like?

For “active sex fantasist”... the “sexual experience” itself can over time become less tied to “pleasure” and more to “feelings” of “relief” or “escape”...  healthy... pleasurable... life affirming experiences become tied to obsession... secrecy and shame.

Sex fantasist abuse “sexual fantasy”... even in the absence of “sexual acts” or “orgasm”... to produce the “intense trance like feelings” that temporarily provide “emotional detachment” and “dissociation” from “life stressors”... research suggests that these ”feelings”... often described as being in “the bubble” or “a trance” and are the result of the “neurochemical process” induced by a “fantasy” based release of adrenaline... dopamine... endorphins and serotonin... not dissimilar to a “fight or flight” response... and similar to the effects produced by the drugs ecstasy and MDNA.

Over time the hidden “fantasies... rituals” and acts of the “sexual  addicted fantasist” can lead to a double life of lies to self and others... manipulation... splitting... rationalization and denial... these defences allow “sex fantasist” to temporarily to escape their “core feelings” of “low esteem” and  fears of “abandonment” and “depression” or “anxiety”... as “sexual fantasy” and “sexual acts” are “abused” in an attempt to fulfil “unmet emotional needs.”

For the “sex fantasist”... sexual “acting out” most often takes place in secret... against a background of social isolation... and absent “genuine” and  “intimate relatedness”... the problem can occur regardless of outward success... intelligence... physical attractiveness, or existing “intimate relationship commitments” or marriage.

Similar to the criteria for other addictive disorders ...sexual fantasy addiction is characterized by...

Loss of control over sexual thoughts and behaviours

Escalation in frequency and intensity of sexual activities

Negative consequences resulting from sexual behaviours

Losing significant amounts of time as well as interest in other activities as a result of pursuing or engaging in sexual activities.

Irritability... defensiveness or anger when trying to stop a particular sexual behaviour

Clearly... some of these behaviours... such as “fantasy sex”... can occur in moderation within “healthy sexual relationships”... while others such as “exploitative sex”... are highly problematic in any context.

Here are some of the “problems” to be “aware” off...

1...  Fantasy Sex...

Fantasy sex is an “obsession” with “sexual fantasy”... rather than the “reality” of “genuine sexual feelings... sexual behaviour” and “sexual relationships”... the “fantasies” can be so “intense” and “overwhelming” that they are a “major preoccupation” for the individual involved... as the “fantasy” is a way of “escaping” from “reality”... it can prevent a person from “developing genuine loving feelings”... which are based on “accepting” the other person the way they “really are.”

2... Seductive role sex...

Seductive sex focuses on “charming... persuading” or “manipulating” others into “sexual contact” and involves treating the other person as a "conquest" or a “challenge”... rather than someone else to “connect” with... the other person becomes an “object” the “seducer” uses to make himself or herself feel more powerful... people who get “addicted” to the fantasy of “seductive sex” may have multiple relationships... affairs... and usually “unsuccessful serial relationships.”

3...  Anonymous sex...

Anonymous sex is becoming “sexually aroused” through having “sex” with “strangers”... this may involve “engaging in sex” with “anonymous partners” or having “one night stands”... obviously “anonymous sex” makes it “impossible” to develop “genuine loving feelings” towards the other person or build and share “intimacy”... because they cease to be “sexually interesting” when the partners get to know each other.

4...  Paying for sex...

The financial basis of sexual contact when a person pays for prostitutes or for sexually explicit phone calls also “inhibits genuine connection”... because the implication is that “sex” is a “business arrangement” and that the person being paid is having sex for financial gain... not because he or she is interested in developing a "loving relationship" with the paying partner.

5...  Trading sex...

The other side of the paying for sex transaction is receiving money or drugs for sex or using sex as a business... for these individuals... sex is treated as a “commodity”... rather than a “personal experience”... whether the person trading sex “feels empowered” by charging a fee for sexual services... or whether they feel financially desperate or dependent on drugs or “think” trading sex is necessary for their means of “survival”... trading sex can diminish “emotional connections” to “intimacy” and to “sex.”

6...  Voyeuristic sex...

Voyeuristic sex is focused on “observing” other people engaged in “sexual activity”... rather than engaging in “sexual contact” themselves... this can involve getting “sexually aroused” using pornographic pictures in books and magazines... the computer... pornographic films... peep shows or secretly observing other people when they might be naked or having sex. 

Voyeurism tends to be combined with “excessive masturbation”... even to the point of injury... as the voyeur is engaging in “solitary activities”... rather than “connecting” with the object of their desire... and exploiting the other person or people without their knowledge. 

Intimacy and love are not an option.

7...  Exhibitionistic sex...

Exhibitionist includes flashing sexual parts of the body in public... sometimes while wearing clothes designed to expose... posing for pornographic pictures or films... or having sex where others can see are also forms of exhibitionism. 

Exhibitionism can override “genuine loving connections” because the “excitement”  comes from the reaction... typically of shock or disapproval of the audience... not from the "sexual contact" with their partner.
8...  Intrusive sex...

Intrusive sex involves “touching” others in a “sexual way” such as touching their penis... vulva buttocks or breasts... without “permission” or “consent”.... intrusive sex may involve the use of a position of “power” or “authority”... to have “dominance” over another... such as the role of priest... parent or teacher... to “sexually exploit” another person. 

Because intrusive sex is by its nature exploitative... making it impossible to form the basis for “trust... love” or “intimacy"... although victims may experience ”feelings” of “loyalty” towards “authority figures” that they “misconstrue” as “love.”

9...  Pain exchange...

The giving or receiving of pain... also known as sadomasochism or S&M... is a type of “sexually fantasy behaviour” in which “pain” is associated with “sexual pleasure”... there is a “blatant imbalance” of “power” between the “giver” and the “receiver”... although both partners may be consenting... as with “intrusive sex”... those who play the role of “victims” may perceive their “feelings” towards their “torturer” as “loving”... yet can there be “genuine trust” or “intimacy” when a “relationship” is based on inflicting pain on one another?

10...  Exploitative sex...

Exploitative sex is a step beyond “intrusive sex”... and involves the “forcing” another person to engage in “sexual contact”... rape” and “sex with children” or other “vulnerable people” are types of “exploitative sex”... because one person is being “violated” by the other... there is no possibility for “genuine love” or “intimacy” to develop... and usually the “opposite emotions” are provoked in the victim.

I make no apologies for this being a long article... “sexual fantasy” can play a role in a “loving” and “intimate” relationship and can add “spice” and "variety" to your sex life in a “healthy way.”

The “problems” become real when the “fantasy” becomes more than the “love” and “intimacy” of the “real relationship” and has to be constantly “acted out”... there is so much more I could write about “sexual fantasy” and what they revel about our own “personal sexuality.”

I will save that for another time... and that Ladies and Gentleman... concludes our discussion for this article.
As always... leave a man or woman all the better for knowing you.

Masculine Men and Feminine Women know and are the EXCEPTIONS!

They are truly Passionate and DYNAMIC Lovers!

Yours Sincerely

Ange is an  Author... Speaker... and International Peak Performance Personal Development Consultant... and Psycho Dynamic Counsellor who works with men... and women who desire to develop themselves and their relationships to become Dynamic Lifers from around the World!


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