Last week I found myself fantasizing…
And don’t pretend you don’t. Turns out everyone has sexual fantasies. Apparently, the entire human race indulges in some sort of mental masturbation when it comes to sex.
Well, at least 97% of us.
Justin Lehmiller, a social psychologist and Kinsey Institute research fellow executed a massive survey involving 350 questions posed to 4,175 Americans ranging in age from 18 to 87. These individuals came from all walks of life and a wide array of professions. But yes, these people were alright talking about and sharing their personal thoughts on sex. So yes, that could imply they were self-selected, sex-positive individuals, which may or may not bias the findings. I figure the results are balanced out somewhat, given the study surveyed Americans — on account of our Puritanical birthright.
“For many of us, it turns out, fantasy is a major element of arousal.”
This is a whole lot of rationalization in order to make my point, since this Smack is about my personal sexual fantasies and how a somewhat dry, scholarly article helped in my acceptance of them as normal.
A few weeks ago, Kuel Life contributor Ronda Ray published the essay “The Three Most Common Sexual Fantasies.” It is no coincidence that reading that piece spurred some internal churning and questioning on my part.
Hopefully, by this time in our lives we pretty much know what does it for us. What nudges us, helps push us off the precipice, into orgasm. For many of us, it turns out, fantasy is a major element of arousal. Whichever of the most common sexual fantasies that you pick — a threesome, rough sex/power/submission, or “we’re gonna get caught” sex — they are all there for the taking.
To IRL Or Not?
“personally I spent an inordinate number of years ashamed of my proclivities”
Yes, some of us bring these fantasies into real life (IRL). But I suspect (completely without supporting data) that most of us leave the fantasies in FantasyLand. Can you imagine how awesome it would be if they added those rides to the same-named section of the Disney theme parks? Talk about something for everyone.
Well, it is kind of for everyone. I contend that no matter the lover — your spouse, your soulmate, your good friend, a random hook-up — the best lover of them all? That’s us — within the walls of our imagination, we have it all available.
Maybe all of this is common knowledge. Maybe it’s passé. But personally I spent an inordinate number of years ashamed of my proclivities. With no way of benchmarking my particular leanings and no knowledge of others’ fantasies, I sat as judge and jury on my own.
Giving Up Shame:
“the realization that it is perfectly normal for my body and mind to crave what it craves is earth-shattering”
Even with the shame, the thoughts were inescapable. Believing I should be excited and turned on by something more mundane and normal, I worked diligently to keep the persistent fantasies fleeting, consciously chasing them away.
Don’t feel sorry for me. I have had an exciting, fulfilling erotic sex life. It’s just that here in midlife, when it seems like so many things are getting better and better with age (looking past my joints and cartilage, of course), the realization that it is perfectly normal for my body and mind to crave what it craves is earth-shattering.
I’ve come to the realization that it IS really ok and no one else needs to be in the know. I understand, now, that entertaining my personal fantasies does not hurt or hinder anyone else. And that realization has fundamentally shifted my perspective on sex in a way that feels like a sea change. Freeing myself from needless, self-inflicted, sex shame is definitely the best ride in the Midlife & Beyond Park thus far.