Your sex­ual fan­tasies aren’t gov­erned by the same ra­tio­nal part of your brain that de­cides who you want to date

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - SEX REPORT -

I’ve al­ways hated the phrase ‘guilty plea­sure’. A pen­chant for ABBA, a love of French cheese or skip­ping a night out to sit any­one, you shouldn’t feel guilty about some­thing that makes you feel good, right? Only, here’s the thing. Women are en­cour­aged to feel guilty about ev­ery­thing. Whether it’s eat­ing cake or go­ing back to work af­ter hav­ing a baby, we’re bom­barded with the mes­sage that we’re screw­ing up – ac­cord­ing to a study by Psy­chol­ogy Today, 25% of us feel ashamed about what turns us on. That’s in com­par­i­son with 8% of men.

– that means your best friend, your colleague, your mother and your have fan­ta­sised about other women. Ac­cord­ing to re­search by UK lin­gerie brand Ann Sum­mers, women are more likely to have graphic, hard­core fan­tasies than men. In fact, while men of­ten re­play pre­vi­ous imag­i­na­tion – of­ten cre­at­ing some­thing more risqué in the process.

The di­vide has been at­tributed to the fact that men are (gen­er­ally) But while we all have fan­tasies, we never seem to dis­cuss them. One-night stands, STDs, penises – with girl talk, it’s all on the ta­ble. How­ever, when it comes to what turns you on, I’m will­ing to bet you’ve kept your in­ner­most full-time, but I’ve never re­vealed what turns me on (a three­some with two men, by the way). And maybe that’s the real rea­son we feel so bad about the good stuff. Af­ter all of their neg­a­tiv­ity.

started out as play­ful, but it re­ally turned us on. I reckon my friends cause for con­cern. ‘This sort of fan­tasy can of­ten be mis­in­ter­preted, but it’s just two con­sent­ing adults en­joy­ing a role play.’ In short, us­ing the word ‘Daddy’ with your boyfriend doesn’t mean you ac­tu­ally want to sleep with your dad.

‘grey’) proves many of us like a bit of kink. But as it turns out, even if the fan­tasy is fa­mous, doesn’t mean it’s guilt-free.

a kid I was ask­ing to be tied up with skip­ping ropes in the play­ground. And I’ve al­ways felt bad about it. I’m a fem­i­nist, so why do I want to make me feel like a bad fem­i­nist, it makes me feel like a bad per­son.’

The com­bi­na­tion of crav­ing con­trol and be­ing in­de­pen­dent can be con­fus­ing, but what you think about when you’re touch­ing your­self has no bear­ing on who you are as a per­son, Sarah says. ‘I’ve worked with peo­ple who are dom­i­nant in their life and sub­mis­sive at play, and also those who are in­tro­verted but en­joy a more dom­i­neer­ing role. It

An­other guilt-in­duc­ing fan­tasy is think­ing about some­one who is very com­mon. In fact, re­cent re­search claims 45% of us fan­ta­sise which makes me feel ter­ri­ble, as I love my boyfriend.’

Re­as­sur­ingly, think­ing of some­one else doesn’t mean that you fan­tasies aren’t gov­erned by the same ra­tio­nal part of your brain that de­cides who you want to date. ‘Fan­ta­sis­ing pro­vides an es­cape route imag­i­na­tion is there to distract you from rent pay­ments and house­hold chores, let­ting you en­joy the mo­ment. ‘It’s com­pletely nor­mal to in­cred­i­bly creative.’

But is there a limit to what we should be imag­in­ing in pur­suit of or­gasm? Re­cent re­search claims about be­ing raped. ‘Rape fan­tasies are of­ten about be­ing rav­ished by some­one who is over­come with de­sire for you,’ Sarah says. ‘They may seem vi­o­lent, but you’re con­sent­ing to the fan­tasy or the role they’re not the same thing, and shouldn’t be con­fused.’

are keen to it­er­ate that what turns you on shouldn’t be a worry, un­less some­thing that could be dan­ger­ous or il­le­gal, then of course I would tak­ing over your life – and doesn’t in­volve an­other, non-con­sen­sual per­son – then there’s noth­ing to feel bad about.’

That’s not to say that you’re stuck with them for good. If you want to wean your­self off what’s turn­ing you on, read­ing erot­ica the root of your pref­er­ences, and talk­ing to your part­ner about your

se­ri­ously. ‘Your fan­tasies have lit­tle bear­ing on your per­son­al­ity,’ Sarah

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