Fantasies play an extremely important role in our sex lives. They help fuel desire, get us excited, and keep things interesting for us. But many people have misconceptions as to what is a healthy fantasy life or what is considered normal.

It has been found that between 80-90% of people at one point fantasize about someone else other than their current partner. It’s part of the natural way that our mind works to constantly keep us stimulated and tell us about ourselves. But many people are disturbed by their sexual fantasies and they either resist having them, or feel unnecessarily guilty for having them. With sexual fantasies, it’s not so much what you fantasize about, it’s how you use that fantasy that makes the difference. Do you use it positively in your sexual relationship or is it a negative factor? Do they bring more pleasure, or do they cause increased guilt and conflict? Are you using them to enhance your sex life with your partner, or are you using them to drive a wedge between you?

The first step in having a healthy and balanced fantasy life is recognizing that if you are thinking about someone other than your partner, that is ok. You may even be thinking about several different people together or at different times. What gets people confused is that they wonder “If I’m fantasizing about someone else, does that mean I don’t want my partner ?” The answer is no, it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t want your partner (or vice versa). It just means that you have a normal, active mind that is presenting you with lots of fantasy material to keep you excited and stimulated. But if we don’t realize that this is normal and misinterpret our fantasies, then we may bring conflict, frustration, and unhappiness into our relationship.

Balance means that we decide what is appropriate and productive to share with our partners and what isn’t. You don’t always need to know what your partner is fantasizing about and sometimes, you may not want to know (especially if you’re going to use it to fuel your insecurities or doubts). The reality is that fantasy is a necessary part of a healthy sex life. Do you think that fantasizing about the same scenario over and over again every time for your entire life is going to keep you stimulated? Do you think that when you are 80 years old you would prefer to fantasize about your partner at 80, or would you rather fantasize about the way they looked when you first met them? Which will get you off best? And if both you and your partner benefit from the arousal and excitement that your fantasies bring, isn’t that positive for your sex life?

Sometimes sharing fantasies between you can be electrifying. But sometimes, we’re better off not asking what we don’t want to know. Good communication, stability in the relationship, and understanding of what makes up a healthy fantasy life are prerequisites for sharing fantasies with your partner. So spend your pennies wisely.

(Let me state that I am speaking about fantasies that do not involve harm towards yourself or another person, or fantasies that involve inappropriate partners – such as children or animals. If you are having such fantasies, they should be discussed with a therapist to prevent any dangerous or harmful behavior or any anxiety or depression that result from them.)

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