For many our sexual fantasies should be seen (in our heads) and not heard. Why? For fear that our penchant for pleather boots and feather boas would be seen as weird by our partners.
So how can we know whether our sexual fantasies are normal? Well, a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine hopes to shed light on the issue.
"Clinically, we know what pathological sexual fantasies are: they involved non-consenting partners, they induce pain, or they are absolutely necessary in deriving satisfaction," says lead author Christian Joyal in a statement. "But apart from that, what exactly are abnormal or atypical fantasies?"
"Our main objective was to specify norms in sexual fantasies, an essential step in defining pathologies," he explained.
"And as we suspected, there are a lot more common fantasies than atypical fantasies."
The survey polled 1,517 adults (799 men and 718 women) from Quebec about their sexual fantasies and asked them to describe them in detail.
Study authors say that the key findings are as follows:
- The nature of sexual fantasies are varied among the general population. Few fantasies can be considered statistically rare, unusual, or typical.
- However, not surprisingly, the study confirms that men have more fantasies and describe them more vividly than women. The study also tells us that a significant proportion of women (30% to 60%) evoke themes associated with submission (e.g., being tied up, spanked, forced to have sex).
- Importantly, unlike men, women in general clearly distinguish between fantasy and desire. Thus, many women who express more extreme fantasies of submission (e.g. domination by a stranger) specify that they never want these fantasies to come true. The majority of men, however, would love their fantasies to come true (e.g. threesomes).
- As expected, the presence of one's significant other is considerably stronger in female fantasies than in male fantasies. In general, men in couples fantasize much more about extramarital relationships compared to women.
Here are the most and least common fantasies for men and women.
Most Common Female Fantasies
92.2% - I like to feel romantic emotions during a sexual relationship
86.4% - Atmosphere and location are important in my sexual fantasies
84.9% - Having sex in a romantic location
81.7% - Having sex in an unusual place
78.5% - Taking part in oral sex
72.1% - Giving fellatio
71.4% - Being masturbated by my partner
68.1% - Masturbating my partner
66.3% - Having sex with someone that I know who is not my spouse
64.6% - Being dominated sexually
Most Common Male Fantasies
88.3% - I like to feel romantic emotions during a sexual relationship
87.6% - Taking part in oral sex
84.5% - Having sex with two women
83.4% - Having sex with someone who is not my spouse
82.3% - Having sex in an unusual place
82.1% - Watching two women make love
81.2% - Atmosphere and location are important in my sexual fantasies
80.4% - Ejaculating on my sexual partner (for men only)
78.4% - Having sex in a romantic location
78.1% - Giving cunnilingus
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Least Common Female Fantasies
16.6% - Showing myself naked or partially naked in a public place
12.5% - Having sex with a prostitute or stripper
10.8% - Having a sexual relationship with a woman with very small breasts
10.8% - Sexually abusing a person who is drunk, asleep or unconscious
10.8% - Forcing someone to have sex
6.9% - Wearing clothing associated with the opposite sex
3.5% - My sexual partner urinating on me
3.5% - Urinating on my sexual partner
3% - Having sex with an animal
0.8% - Having sex with a child under the age of 12 years
Least Common Male Fantasies
22% - Forcing someone to have sex
20.6% - Having homosexual (or gay) sex
16.2% - Watching two men have sex
15.8% - Having sex with more than three people, both men and women
13.1% - Having sex with more than three people, all men
10 % - Wearing clothing associated with the opposite sex
10% - My sexual partner urinating on me
8% - Urinating on my sexual partner
2.2% - Having sex with an animal
1.8% - Having sec with a child under the age of 12 years