The Meanings Behind 5 Common Sexual Fantasies

Sexual fantasies can be weird. Sometimes, they really seem to come out of nowhere. And often, the things that pop into our heads are not even things we want to do in real life. What do we think about them, then? What are the meanings behind our sexual fantasies?

Usually, whether we realize it or not, we create sexual fantasies in order to meet our psychological needs. And those needs might not even be sexual, which is why many of our fantasies aren't actually about things we would even want to do. "Fantasies play an important role in our lives, as they offer a form of escapism from the everyday," Astroglide's Resident Sexologist Dr. Jessica O'Reilly tells Bustle. "Fantasies may offer a glimpse into the thematic elements of your real-life desires, but it’s important to note that sexual fantasies often include acts, people, and scenarios that we’d never want to pursue in real life."

Since fantasies do differ from real-life behavior, there's no reason to ever judge yourself for them, she says. "If you’re worried that your fantasies are unhealthy, stop worrying! Now. Your mind will inevitably wander into unchartered territory, but as long as you can differentiate between thought and behavior, you’ll be just fine."

According to O'Reilly and several other experts, here are the reasons why people have some of the most common sexual fantasies. But first, check out our video on sex positions for small penises:

1. Sex With Strangers

One common sexual fantasy among women, said relationship advice columnist April Masini, is having sex with a complete stranger. What's appealing about it, she tells Bustle, is that you owe nothing to a stranger. "Women are burdened by responsibilities in real life, and this sexual fantasy where a stranger fulfills their sexual desires allows a woman to subconsciously release her feelings of responsibility for everyone she knows in real life," she says. "Having sex with someone she doesn’t know allows her to be free sexually and free of all strings that are attached to everything else in her real life — not just sex." O'Reilly similarly said that fantasizing about casual sex indicates a desire for "raw sex without the emotional attachments," as well as "novelty, excitement, and anticipation of the unknown."

2. Sex In Public

The fantasy of sex in public serves a similar function to the fantasy of sex with a stranger, said Masini: It provides a release from societal pressures to always be "good." "Sex in public places is taboo, and by fantasizing about sex in public, the fantasizer is breaking those taboos and breaking rules — rules that she would never break in the first place in real life," she says.

3. Being Submissive

According to dating and relationship coach Christine Baumgartner, the motivations behind the fantasy of being dominated sexually actually differ a bit for men and women. When her female clients have them, she says, it's often "because they feel they have to be ‘in charge’ so much in their life, they want the man to just take charge so they don’t have to think or do anything to initiate sex." This is especially true for women who have high-powered jobs and want to feel less "masculine" in the bedroom. Men can also fantasize about being submissive for this reason, but it can also simply stem from wanting to feel desired.

4. Cheating

According to O'Reilly, cheating is a common fantasy even when you're happy with your relationship. But while it doesn't mean you're unsatisfied in your sex life, it could mean you're looking to shake things up a bit. "You might like the idea of getting in trouble, so explore this concept with your partner," she advised. "Look at ways you can integrate punishment into your sex lives — from withholding of sex to simple spanking."

5. That Random Person From Work (Or Wherever)

If a seemingly random person shows up in one of your fantasies, this may be a sign that they've actually shown interest in or paid attention to you, even if you don't realize it, said O'Reilly. "This one is pretty straightforward: you’re turned on by the feeling of being desired," she said. "Almost everyone is turned on by the feeling of being desired, but we don’t tend to cultivate this with long-term partners." If you're fantasizing about someone else, it could be because your partner isn't making you feel desired. If that's the case, it's important to communicate what you need to them. "Tell them how to look at you, what to say, how to kiss, how to touch, where to do it, [and] when to do it," she says. They can't read your mind, after all. Our fantasies are ours and ours alone, but sometimes, what we learn from them can help our partners as well.

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