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.
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.
You made some really good points there. I checked on the
net to find out more about the issue and found most
people will go along with your views on this website.
Right here is the perfect website for anybody who wishes to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a topic which has been written about for ages. Great stuff, just excellent!
Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!
Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.
It will always be interesting to read through articles from
other authors and practice a little something from other web sites.
A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. There's no doubt that that you need to publish more about this subject, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don't discuss these issues. To the next! Best wishes!!
Your Online Metal Marketplace In Texas With Lowest Prices, Guaranteed. Hundreds Of Steel Items Available, Custom or Stock. Call Our Experts, Shop Steel Now
Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you so much, However I am going through problems with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anyone else having similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!
Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this blog.
Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having identical RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!
I couldnít refrain from commenting. Well written!
You are so cool! I do not think I've read through anything like that before. So wonderful to find someone with original thoughts on this issue. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality!
I enjoy reading an article that will make people think. Also, thank you for permitting me to comment!
cost tadalafil generic cialis without a doctor prescription tadalafil research powder
Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am going through issues with your RSS. I donít understand the reason why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anyone else having identical RSS issues? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!
It suits me and even my wife very well. Living some sort of beautiful life is definitely managing a purpose, a dream, and also a clear ideal. Residing beautifully is living with the will, realizing how to increase plus stand up with your own feet when a person fall, living regularly, bravely overcoming life's challenges and difficulties to provide wings in order to your dreams. fly high, fly considerably. Living beautifully means living towards the maximum and never submitting to fate.
It suits me in addition to my wife extremely well. Living a new beautiful life will be living with a purpose, a dream, and a clear ideal. Existing beautifully is living with the will, realizing how to increase plus stand up with your own feet when you fall, living regularly, bravely overcoming life's challenges and troubles to provide wings in order to your dreams. take flight high, fly considerably. Living beautifully means living to the maximum and never submitting to fate.
There is a large distinction in between stainless steel and chrome
I love it when folks get together and share views. Great site, stick with it!
I really like it when folks come together and share thoughts. Great site, keep it up!
Good post! We are linking to this great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.
You've made some really good points there. I checked on the web to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.
Hi there! I could have sworn Iíve been to this website before but after browsing through some of the articles I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím definitely happy I came across it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back often!
Hi there! This article could not be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I'll send this article to him. Fairly certain he'll have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!
Hurrah! In the end I got a web site from where I can in fact get
valuable data regarding my study and knowledge.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on ian kerner ph.d.
– sex counselor. Regards
An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you need to write more about this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but generally folks don't speak about such subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!
Good web site you have got here.. Itís difficult to find excellent writing like yours these days. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!
tadalafil online with out prescription cialis 20mg tadalafil citrate
Great information. Lucky me I came across your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have book marked it for later!
Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my
blog shine. Please let me know where you got your design. Many thanks
long term side effects of plaquenil chloroquine for lupus hydroxychloroquine sulfate uses
chloroquina plaquenil hydroxychloroquine side effects of chloroquine
Aw, this was a really nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to make a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.