May 12th, 2011
08:01 AM ET
Who are you fantasizing about during sex?
Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him at his website, GoodInBed.
Tell the truth (or rather, think the truth): have you ever fantasized during sex about someone other than the person you’re actually having sex with? Perhaps there’s a particular celebrity that turns you on, or a former flame, or even (heaven forbid) a brother or sister-in-law?
Do taboo thoughts make their way into your most intimate real-life moments? If so, take a deep breath and relax. You’re not alone, in fact you’re probably in the majority. In one study published by The Journal of Sex Research, 98% of partnered men and 80% of partnered women said that they had fantasized about someone other than their partner during sex in the previous two months. Whew!
CNNHealth's sex expert blogger Ian Kerner stops by to talk about the rise in women using porn on HLN's The Joy Behar Show, Thursday, 9 p.m. ET
The truth is, a healthy fantasy life is one of the keys to a great sex life - even when your partner might not always play the leading role. Most people find that they are most sexually satisfied when they are intimate with one person with whom they feel completely comfortable.
Along with this intimacy comes the freedom to let go and explore, including fantasizing about other people, places, and situations. In one study on sexual fantasy by noted expert Dr. Harold Leitenberg it was concluded that sexual fantasies occur most often in people with the highest sexual satisfaction and the healthiest sex lives. So your fantasies aren’t an indication that something is wrong, but rather that something is right.
Fantasies play a valuable role in our sex-lives. First off, they fuel arousal: “Thoughts can create real physical changes in your body, and you can use this to your advantage,” writes sex educator Emily Nagoski in the Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms. “This is why people fantasize even while they’re having sex - the added juice of the fantasy heightens arousal when the physical sensations aren’t enough to get us where we want to go.”
Fantasies also free the brain to explore secret, extraordinary realms without the obligations of everyday life. Kaye Wellings, a respected British biologist, puts it best in her book, "First Love, First Sex:"
“Fantasies perform a valuable function. Most of us, most of the time, behave conservatively, sexually and otherwise. Our erotic experiences represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of possibilities. Many possibilities only see the light of day through fantasies or dreams, seldom as reality.”
And says Good in Bed expert Ann Potter, “I like to imagine that fantasizing is like putting training wheels on my desires - those desires that are maybe a little too 'out there' for me or my partner to get on board with acting out right away, or ever.”
And when it comes to fantasies, adults do just fine with a permanent set of training wheels, and needn’t bother with graduating to a two-wheeler. The brain is the biggest sex organ and a little fantasizing goes a long way.
So rather than resist your fantasies, let yourself enjoy them. Trying to suppress fantasies may end up doing more harm than good. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Daniel Wegner at the University of Virginia studied the menchanics of thought-suppression in an experiment known as the “white bear study.” Wegner sat people in a room with a tape recorder and told them to say whatever came to mind, with one exception: Don’t think about a white bear. No surprise, people mentioned the bear constantly. The more they tried not to think about it, the more they mentioned it.
By suppressing a forbidden thought the brain never gets a chance to fully process that thought, and what could just be an innocent fantasy suddenly becomes a guilt-laden white bear that won’t go away. Most of the time it’s not our fantasies that are the problem, but rather our reactions to our fantasies - the feelings of shame and guilt, as well as our anxieties and fears about what those fantasies might really mean.
But fantasies are meant to be enjoyed and if they weren’t taboo, well then they wouldn’t be fantasies to begin with.
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My wife says she fantasizes about Karl Urban. So do I. So nice when we can agree. 🙂
Two words: Billy Zane.
I need to get my reading glasses out, I thought it read 'Karl Malden'...now that's one for the books.
I fantasize about baseball in order to last that extra minute or two...never works.
I fantasize about her too! Sorry to have to tell you this way bro!
Baseball nevers works...think Margaret Thatcher on the throne (and not the royal one)...
SOFIA VERGARA!!! MMMMMMM
Hey Leo, eat a bowl of penis.
Psst! Don't tell anyone. I know it's nice and private here and no one will see this: I fantasize about my wife.
Hey Bubba! I fantasize abuot your wife too...
EVERYBODY fantasizes about my wife.
and here i am thinking i was the only one...
I fantisize about your wife and my wife 🙂
Your wife told me today that she was fantasizing about you.
I fantasize about you, baby . . . I mean Bubba.
That wife is a woman,right?
i'm not only fantasizing about your wife, i'm doing her!
I fantasized about her before you did
I'm not even going to go there.
All kidding aside....my wife is my number one fantasy too....I hear what your saying....Divorce rate would go down if people actually kept the fantasy in the relationship....and explore their partner and not someone else's.
Back off you guys! I had her 1st. Even before you bubba
be honest.........she's with another guy right?
Those aren't just betime stories she is telling me with the light off
I dont fantasize about any of you when we are doing it. sorry.
If I told you I'd be arrested.
she has given me a lot of visual aid...
Caroline Catz, the actress who plays Louisa Glasson in the British TV comedy "Doc Martin."
Nice show. Not really a fantasy and altho I don't find him attractive as such, I find there's something ...nice.. about Martin Clunes – maybe it's his lips.. hmmm.
WARREN BUFFET and his bank account!
I scream my own name during s e x.
I fantasize about me too, especially in the shower.
Eric Bana. Holy moly, gimme, gimme...
I'd take a piece of that, too. Without the Romulan tattoos, of course.
See...I'd HAVE to have the tattoos.
yeah... I'd ride him like a harley on a bad piece of road
Two twins who both look like Chelsea Charms on a trampoline.
Sigh...now I have to go google Chelsea Charms...
OMG....that's not a fantasy...
Ian Kerner!!! ...... Those eyes... those lips... hhmmmmmmm
I'm glad someone mentioned him he does have great eyes!!
I fantasize about Bubba and Bubba's Wife too. And Wife's Daddy pops up on occasion as well, oh yeah.
And yes, I am one of those 80% of women. oops.
OK, seriously, Damian Lewis and his red hair and adorable chin would be hard to resist. I heard red heads have talents.
yes, red heads do have talents, they are the best
Nobody ever fantasizes about me, though.
I thought I was the only one you fantisized about????
Must be some other Bubba.
Damn! Now All I'm going to think about during s.e.x is a White Bear!
I fantasize about this hot married guy at work. He's gorgeous!
If my wife had a guy she was drooling over I'd have her scream his name out during S3X to get her all the more excited. That's hot....
THERE'S someone fantasizing about me. Sorry babe.
Lol, I have my fantasy persons as my desktop at work. Really helps to anesthetize myself from the monotony when I can spend my time daydreaming. The good thing is my fiance 6 cubes down doesn't mind a bit, lol.
sucks to be your fiance'
He doesn't mind because he's thinking about the girl a few
My postman's wife.
My boss, her assistant, and her sister, all at the same time.
I actually pull up pictures on my blackberry and look at them while I do my wife from behind.
There's someone else fantasizing about me. Just my luck . . .
Hahaaa! Dave, you aren't doing it right if you have a free hand. Gotta grab a hold w/2 hands when you're going at it from behind. Bubba, I'll make sure my gf screams your name tonight so you know someone is fantasizing about you.
I fantasize also about your wife. Her and mine together and me watching.
Sterling Archer! Aw yeah!
I fantasize about Lynne Russel, former CNN anchor. Her boobs were massive.
Judge Dredd does not fantasize but if he does it is about himself.....the law.
i fantasize about cars driving into tunnels and hot dogs being placed into hot dog buns.
i fantasize about th apollo moon rocket
I'm fantasizing the entire Bubba family right now.
I fantasize about buying a brand new double wide with indoor plumbing and relocating to Wasilla.
indoor plumbing, boy howdy, aint you th aristocrat
I fantasize about it being with another person. Not fun by myself anymore....
I'm gay but with a str8 partner so I fantisize about gay trysts.
So if you're gay, wouldn't it be more fun if you were with a gay partner????
Not a who, but more of an action or a position. The heads of the people are irrelevant it's usually just bodies getting busy.
William Shatner circa 1966...
I fantasize about Rip Torn along with the cookie monster as well as Bee Arther
What about loving your wife or husband without having to lust after something you can't have?
Where's the fun in that!!!
oh, pls! most people marry someone who puts up w them, not someone they really want
I agree with you Bubba's Step Sister!
The comments here are Hilarious!!!!
Ok... If your fantasizing about someone else during s3x then you got into the wrong relationship. If you love somebody, then THEY should turn you on. Not a thought of a celeb or an ex-girl/boyfriend. If you are thinking of someone else during s3x then i want you to ask yourself one question. Do I LOVE this person or do I just simply have LUST? Because if you are fantasizing about someone else you likely are lying to yourself about you love life and its actually a lust life.
Don't be a downer, sweetie.
pretty high standards, i like my standards a lot lower, that way I don't disappoint myself...you don't fantasize, i like to fantsize about people who don't fantasize...I am fantasizing about you right now, uhmmm so straight soooo proper uhmmm doggy style...... dohhhh!!!!
Just when I was about to ask you out...
When I'm with my wife, sometimes I fantasize about my cousin (forbidden fruit) or Zooey Deschanel.
To me, that's just as bad as cheating on them if it's your spouse....if you would really rather be with someone else...then maybe you should go do that person instead.
Sure. Let me dial back my time machine to 1966 so I can meet Sean Connery.
IMO if you need to fantasize about someone else maybe you should BE with someone else!
hmmm...but apparently not you...
i am fantasizing about you a lawlcakes...wanna know what your wearing??? I am sure God will punish me...later.
the heathen are nuts they are un natural robotic critters they need gyms and crazy pills, heathen got money and spend that money.
I fantasize about me...with me...and myself....i wish I was Bubba
Everybody wishes they were me. I try to be humble, but it's hard.
Bubba. That's what she said.
a teenage jessica alba
You two, or actually since you're the same person, need to come out of your mothers basement and smell the real world! It's wonderful to famtasize!
I fantasize about one woman... my mom. Because she's the one woman I HAVEN'T had s.e.x. with.
hahahaha ur sick bro
I fantasize about how my wife use to look 30 years ago....when she was 20....(it really helps).
word to that
Tis great to fantasice. Tis even better to be with the target of your fantacy! Been there, done that! They shoul dhave made a movie! 🙂
I fantasize about one of my male cousins. More often than I'd like to, but he is a hottie.
OK, let the southern redneck jokes begin.
He must have a real cool double wide, eh? No pun intended.
The is an enormous difference between fantasizing about someone else during your day and fantasizing about someone else when your partner is riding you. The first one is totally acceptable, the second one is not. If you find yourself secretly imagining someone else when you are actually with your partner, you need to talk or get out of the relationship.
Zooey Deschanel no doubt... and cupcakes
I like what I have at home, but his is too big and is uncercomsized. What I would like to have is about 6"-7" cercomsized and a nice patch of dark pubic hair. hate it when guys shave, gross. Looks like they just had crabs.