Who are you fantasizing about during sex?
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.

soundoff (1,793 Responses)
  1. Camper Van Repair Shop Near Me


    May 30, 2021 at 07:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. xem truc tiep bong da

    đá Bóng 24htrực tiếp bóng đá tiếng việt nam ĐT nước Việt Nam kế tiếp triệu chứng tỏ sự vượt trội trước các đàn em U22 Việt Nam cùng với 2 chiến thắng vào 2 trận đấu nội bộ. Tin TứcBIDV Quang Trung và hành trình chinh phục giấc mơ còn dang dởSau một mùa giải đầy tiếc nuối, Ngân Hàng BIDV Quang Trung trở lại Giải hạng Nhì – Cúp VietFootball 2021 cùng với quyết tâm giành tấm vé thăng hạng. Rất nhiều đội bóng đánh giờ mong muốn có sự đáp ứng


    May 30, 2021 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 먹튀검증

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I really believed you'd have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    May 30, 2021 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. thedo

    Trái Bóng Đáthedo ĐT Việt Nam nối tiếp chứng tỏ sự vượt lên trên trội trước các đàn em U22 nước ta cùng với 2 thắng lợi trong 2 trận đấu nội bộ. Tin TứcBIDV Quang Trung và quá trình đoạt được giấc mơ còn dang dởSau một mùa giải đầy tiếc nuối, Ngân sản phẩm Đầu tư và Phát triển Quang Trung trở lại Giải hạng Nhì – Cúp VietFootball 2021 cùng với quyết tâm giành tấm vé thăng hạng. Rất nhiều đội bóng đánh h mong muốn có sự đáp ứng


    May 30, 2021 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Nissan Cargo Van Repair Shop


    May 30, 2021 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 부산출장안마

    This is the perfect webpage for anybody who wishes to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need toÖHaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that's been written about for a long time. Excellent stuff, just excellent!


    May 30, 2021 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Content Marketing Firms


    May 30, 2021 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Local Marketing Company


    May 30, 2021 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 대구출장안마

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is really good.


    May 30, 2021 at 22:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. metso crusher parts

    Manganese steel, additionally called Hadfield steel or mangalloy, is a steel alloy including 12-14 manganese. Popular for its high influence strength and resistance to abrasion in its hard state, the steel is frequently referred to as the utmost job hardening steel.


    May 31, 2021 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Van Body Shop Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 03:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Satellite Repair Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 04:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Frame Repair Shop Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 04:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 먹튀검증

    There is definately a lot to know about this issue. I really like all the points you made.


    May 31, 2021 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Delivery Van Repair


    May 31, 2021 at 06:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Van Upgrades Shop

    Right here is the perfect blog for anyone who hopes to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic that has been discussed for a long time. Wonderful stuff, just great!


    May 31, 2021 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Ac Repair Near Me

    This is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!


    May 31, 2021 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. ¸ÔƢ

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and
    challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday. It's always helpful to read
    content from other writers and practice something from other web sites.

    my blog post – 사설바둑이 (¸ÔƢ)

    May 31, 2021 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. 토토사이트

    This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Thanks!


    May 31, 2021 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 창원출장

    You have made some good points there. I looked on the web for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    May 31, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Upgrades Shop Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Mercedes Cargo Van Repair Shop


    May 31, 2021 at 23:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. ball mill liners manufacturer

    Learn more about plating on steel, its advantages and also possible applications. Call Hard Chrome Specialists for layering remedies for steel in , MD as well as past.


    May 31, 2021 at 23:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Rv Body Shop Near Me

    Right here is the right webpage for anybody who really wants to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic which has been written about for decades. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!


    June 1, 2021 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. 포항출장안마

    Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will return once again since I saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    June 1, 2021 at 01:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Coachmen Van Repair Shop Near Me

    Good day! I simply would like to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you have got here on this post. I will be returning to your web site for more soon.


    June 1, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Sprinter Van Conversion Computer Repair

    I absolutely love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you build this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my very own blog and would like to know where you got this from or what the theme is called. Kudos!


    June 1, 2021 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 창원출장

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe this web site needs far more attention. Iíll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!


    June 1, 2021 at 08:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. เล่น บาคาร่า

    each time i used to read smaller articles or reviews that as well clear their motive,
    and that is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading at
    this place.

    June 1, 2021 at 09:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. nearest rv repair


    June 1, 2021 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. tow truck repair

    It’s nearly impossible to find well-informed people on this subject, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    June 1, 2021 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. 포항출장안마

    Good article! We are linking to this particularly great article on our site. Keep up the great writing.


    June 1, 2021 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. paint repair shop near me


    June 1, 2021 at 16:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Sharee Megraw

    After exploring a handful of the blog articles on your site, I honestly appreciate your way of writing a blog. I saved as a favorite it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website too and tell me how you feel.


    June 1, 2021 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. วิธีสมัครcovid-19 vaccine

    My brother recommended I might like this website.

    He used to be totally right. This post actually made my
    day. You cann't imagine simply how a lot time I had spent for this
    information! Thank you!

    June 1, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Mercedes High Top Van Repair Shop


    June 1, 2021 at 21:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. rv remodel supplies

    Howdy, I do think your web site could be having browser compatibility problems. When I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, excellent blog!


    June 1, 2021 at 23:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. bus ac repair


    June 2, 2021 at 00:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. API 5CT drill pipe Distributors

    Different kinds of stainless-steel are created depending on the amount of nickel and chromium in the alloy. Chrome, brief for chromium,


    June 2, 2021 at 02:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. photo restoration orange county ca


    June 2, 2021 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. ลงทะเบียนวัคซีนโควิดฟรี (COVID-19)

    Hello! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog
    and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

    June 2, 2021 at 02:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. 거제출장

    Pretty! This has been an extremely wonderful post. Thanks for providing these details.


    June 2, 2021 at 05:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv renovation companies near me

    An intriguing discussion is worth comment. I think that you need to write more on this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but generally folks don't talk about these subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!


    June 2, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. xvideos store


    June 2, 2021 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 경산출장안마

    You have made some good points there. I looked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    June 2, 2021 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. fun88

    If you are going for finest contents like myself, just pay a visit this site daily since it offers quality contents, thanks

    June 2, 2021 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. สุมนา จันทร์สว่าง

    What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable familiarity concerning unexpected feelings.

    June 2, 2021 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. ภัทราภร เตรียมเกียรติคุณ

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you
    knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest
    twitter updates. I've been looking for a plug-in like
    this for quite some time and was hoping maybe
    you would have some experience with something
    like this. Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look
    forward to your new updates.

    June 2, 2021 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. chaise lounge cushions outdoor 80 inches

    Very soon this web site will be famous among all blogging and site-building viewers, due
    to it's pleasant articles or reviews

    June 2, 2021 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. 출장 안마

    Hi there! I simply want to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent info you have got right here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.


    June 2, 2021 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

Leave a Reply to Commercial Roof Repair Near Me


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.