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. Jacinda Piccirilli

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this amazing site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the information!


    June 9, 2021 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Hyacinth Skates


    June 9, 2021 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Social Media Marketing Agencies Near Me


    June 9, 2021 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Charlsie Everhardt


    June 9, 2021 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. ดาริษา เป็นเครือ

    Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I'd figured I'd ask.

    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog article or vice-versa?
    My site covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you are interested feel free to send me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the

    June 9, 2021 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. hacker 2016

    I like the helpful information you provide in your
    articles. I'll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly.

    I'm quite sure I will learn a lot of new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

    June 9, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Leigha Hauslein

    Good web site you have here.. Itís difficult to find excellent writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 9, 2021 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Fern Hornor

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this blog. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal blog now 😉


    June 9, 2021 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. สาธิตา เกิดผล

    Helpful information. Fortunate me I found your web site accidentally,
    and I am stunned why this coincidence didn't took place earlier!

    I bookmarked it.

    June 9, 2021 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Lucas Mahler

    Great article. I will be facing some of these issues as well..


    June 10, 2021 at 02:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Isidro Arenz

    Very good article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    June 10, 2021 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. rv repair shops near me

    Saved as a favorite, I like your site!


    June 10, 2021 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Abram Marjenhoff


    June 10, 2021 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Tommye Berry


    June 10, 2021 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. 울산출장마사지

    Excellent article. I'm dealing with some of these issues as well..


    June 10, 2021 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. 부산출장안마

    Itís hard to find educated people about this topic, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 10, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 대구출장마사지

    I blog often and I truly appreciate your information. This article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new information about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed too.


    June 10, 2021 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 부산출장안마

    Good information. Lucky me I came across your website by chance (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!


    June 10, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. 울산 출장

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this article and the rest of the site is very good.


    June 10, 2021 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. วสุมา มีรอด

    Everything is very open with a clear description of
    the challenges. It was definitely informative.
    Your website is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

    June 10, 2021 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Shan Bloschichak


    June 10, 2021 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Robin Beahm

    Please let me know if you're looking for a article writer for your weblog.
    You have some really great articles and I believe I would be a good asset.

    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd love to write some content
    for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested.

    June 10, 2021 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. https://www.yamatocosmos.com

    Best view i have ever seen !


    June 10, 2021 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. rv repair shops


    June 10, 2021 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Ryan Achorn

    Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

    June 10, 2021 at 20:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Lonny Bramel

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't disappoint me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, but I really thought you would probably have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you can fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.


    June 10, 2021 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 울산 출장

    Can I simply just say what a comfort to discover someone that really understands what they're talking about on the net. You actually know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people should look at this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you are not more popular because you certainly have the gift.


    June 10, 2021 at 23:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Tobie Horvers

    Having read this I believed it was rather informative. I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!


    June 11, 2021 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. 울산 출장안마

    Very good post. I am experiencing many of these issues as well..


    June 11, 2021 at 00:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. China Langlinais


    June 11, 2021 at 06:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Yuonne Hipkins

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am encountering troubles with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I can't join it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    June 11, 2021 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Sheena Yarbro


    June 11, 2021 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Rob Fontaine

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


    June 11, 2021 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. 울산출장안마

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 11, 2021 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. 울산 출장마사지

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't fail me as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, but I actually believed you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you can fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.


    June 11, 2021 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. near me

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It's always exciting to read through content from other writers and use a little something from their web sites.


    June 11, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. solar orange county

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Spending some time and actual effort to make a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and don't seem to get anything done.


    June 11, 2021 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Taobao purchasing agency

    I'm not sure why but this web site is loading extremely slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my
    end? I'll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

    June 11, 2021 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. slotxo

    What's Taking place i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely helpful and it
    has aided me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution &
    help different customers like its aided me. Good job.

    June 11, 2021 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Mechanics Near Me


    June 11, 2021 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Roadtrek Repair Shop

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Thank you for supplying this info.


    June 11, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Southern California Sprinter Repair


    June 11, 2021 at 18:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Binance Futures Cryptocurrency Exchange - cashback 10%

    Great blog here! Also your web site rather a lot up very
    fast! What host are you the usage of? Can I get
    your associate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours

    June 11, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Sprinter Repair Codes

    That is a very good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate infoÖ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!


    June 11, 2021 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 먹튀검증

    Wow, the writing is so sexy. How could I write like anyone? I want the similar writing skills while you.


    June 11, 2021 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. rv furniture california


    June 11, 2021 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. diablominer bitcoin news

    After looking at a few of the blog articles on your web site, I really like your
    way of blogging. I added it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please
    visit my web site too and let me know what you think.

    June 11, 2021 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. 양산출장

    Very nice post. I certainly love this website. Stick with it!


    June 12, 2021 at 05:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Furniture Riverside

    Very good article! We will be linking to this great content on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    June 12, 2021 at 05:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Technician Shop


    June 12, 2021 at 05:28 | 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 먹튀검증커뮤니티


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.