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. 출장마사지

    Excellent blog post. I definitely appreciate this site. Keep writing!


    June 25, 2021 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. 부산출장마사지

    When I originally commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!


    June 25, 2021 at 03:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 출장마사지

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not fail me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, but I really believed you'd have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    June 25, 2021 at 03:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 출장

    Great post. I am experiencing a few of these issues as well..


    June 25, 2021 at 04:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. 부산출장

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be helpful to read through articles from other writers and practice a little something from their web sites.


    June 25, 2021 at 04:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Ac Repair Near Me

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly believe this site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the information!


    June 25, 2021 at 04:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. 출장마사지

    Excellent article. I will be experiencing a few of these issues as well..


    June 25, 2021 at 05:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 출장

    Can I simply just say what a comfort to discover someone who actually knows what they are talking about on the web. You certainly realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I was surprised you're not more popular given that you definitely have the gift.


    June 25, 2021 at 06:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Camper Repair Shops Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 07:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. horse trailer awning installation

    I seriously love your website.. Great colors & theme. Did you create this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím looking to create my own personal website and would love to find out where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Thanks!


    June 25, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. chassis repair shop near me

    After I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the exact same comment. There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that service? Cheers!


    June 25, 2021 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Camper Repairs Near Me

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day. It's always interesting to read through articles from other authors and use something from their web sites.


    June 25, 2021 at 08:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Eddy Sherraden

    Should I submit a writing portfolio to Columbia University if I plan on being a creative writing major?


    June 25, 2021 at 08:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Parts And Repair Near Me

    Everyone loves it when individuals come together and share opinions. Great blog, keep it up!


    June 25, 2021 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. 부산출장마사지

    This is the right site for everyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject that's been discussed for many years. Wonderful stuff, just great!


    June 25, 2021 at 10:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. 출장안마

    Itís hard to come by experienced people about this subject, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 25, 2021 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 5iMXVSlZi

    567320 202045Genuinely clear internet internet site , thanks for this post. 399197

    June 25, 2021 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. 부산 출장안마

    Great site you've got here.. Itís difficult to find excellent writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    June 25, 2021 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. pharmaceptica

    chloroquine cvs https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 13:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 출장

    I really like it when people get together and share ideas. Great blog, keep it up!


    June 25, 2021 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. pharmaceptica

    hydroxychloroquine malaria https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 25, 2021 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. kubet

    Xem Thẳng Viettel Vs Tỉnh Bình Dương Trên V League 2021 Ở Kênh Nào? keo 88Đội tuyển chọn nước Việt Nam chỉ cần một kết quả hòa có bàn thắng nhằm lần thứ hai góp mặt tại World Cup futsal. Nhưng, để làm được như vậy


    June 25, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Nearby RV Repairs

    bookmarked!!, I really like your web site!


    June 25, 2021 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Emergency RV Repair Near Me

    Your style is very unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this web site.


    June 25, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a lot and don't manage to get anything done.


    June 25, 2021 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    I couldnít resist commenting. Very well written!


    June 25, 2021 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Repair Center Near Me


    June 25, 2021 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 부산출장안마

    Can I simply just say what a relief to discover an individual who really knows what they are discussing online. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people must read this and understand this side of your story. It's surprising you are not more popular given that you surely have the gift.


    June 25, 2021 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Viola Dirico


    June 25, 2021 at 23:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Grisel Scheller

    Great article. I'm experiencing a few of these issues as well..


    June 26, 2021 at 00:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Nilsa Kontogianis

    What is the procedure to copyright a blog content (text and images)?. I wish to copyright the content on my blog (content and images)?? can anyone please guide as to how can i go abt it?.


    June 26, 2021 at 00:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. 부산 출장

    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that produce the greatest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    June 26, 2021 at 00:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Repair Service Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 00:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. pharmaceptica

    sildenafil 60mg price https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 26, 2021 at 01:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. John Clater

    I have asked a question similar to this topic before and was helped out, but now id like to get specific. In the beginning of the movie he (Mark) posts on a blog as he works on the girl rating site, "FaceMash", and as well as bash his ex girlfriend he updates his progress on creating the site. If anyone can directly quote this part of the movie I would be much obliged. Please and Thank You!.


    June 26, 2021 at 02:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. 부산 출장마사지

    I was excited to discover this great site. I need to to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely savored every part of it and i also have you saved as a favorite to check out new information on your blog.


    June 26, 2021 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Furnace Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. 출장안마

    You have made some really good points there. I looked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.


    June 26, 2021 at 04:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. 대구출장

    Very good post! We are linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.


    June 26, 2021 at 05:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repairs Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Nearby RV Repair


    June 26, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Blythe Dednam

    Everything is very open with a very clear description of the challenges. It was truly informative. Your site is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!


    June 26, 2021 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair Around Me

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I actually thought you would have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.


    June 26, 2021 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Son Mccrory

    That is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate informationÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 26, 2021 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Glass Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 대구출장마사지

    You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful blogs on the internet. I'm going to highly recommend this website!


    June 26, 2021 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Parts And Repair Near Me


    June 26, 2021 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Satellite Repair Near Me

    Hi there! I could have sworn Iíve been to this site before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized itís new to me. Nonetheless, Iím definitely pleased I found it and Iíll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!


    June 26, 2021 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 26, 2021 at 15:57 | 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 토토사이트


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.