How common is your sexual fantasy?

What constitutes an “unusual” sexual fantasy? Canadian researchers have just published a study that attempts to answer that question, describing in the Journal of Sexual Medicine exactly how common a variety of sexual fantasies are.

The new research was based on data obtained from 1,500 Canadian adults with a mean age of 30. In general, the researchers found that sexual fantasies are varied and few fantasies can be considered statistically rare or unusual.

“Clinically, we know what pathological sexual fantasies are: they involve non-consenting partners, they induce pain, or they are absolutely necessary in deriving satisfaction. But apart from that, what exactly are abnormal or atypical fantasies? To find out, we asked people in the general population,” said the University of Montreal’s Christian Joyal, lead author of the study. “Our main objective was to specify norms in sexual fantasies, an essential step in defining pathologies. And as we suspected, there are a lot more common fantasies than atypical fantasies.”

The key findings included:

  • Men have more fantasies and describe them more vividly than women. The study also tells us that a significant proportion of women (30-60 percent) evoke themes associated with submission (e.g., being tied up, spanked, forced to have sex).
  • 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).
  • 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.

The study also reported how common (percentages, by gender) a variety of fantasies were.

Fantasy Women Men
I like to feel romantic emotions during a sexual relationship 92 88
Taking part in oral sex 79 88
Having sex in an unusual place 82 82
Atmosphere and location are important in my sexual fantasies 86 81
Having sexual in a romantic location 85 78
Having sex with someone that I know who is not my spouse 66 83
Masturbating my partner 68 76
Being masturbated by my partner 71 72
Having sex with two women 37 85
Watching two women make love 42 82
Having sex with an unknown person 49 73
Making love openly in a public place 57 66
Being dominated sexually 65 53
Giving cunnilingus 36 78
Having sex with a star or a well-known person 52 62
Giving fellatio 72 27
Dominating someone sexually 47 60
Being masturbated by an acquaintance 37 65
Being tied up by someone in order to obtain sexual pleasure 52 46
Masturbating an acquaintance 33 66
Being masturbated by an unknown person 33 63
Having anal sex 33 64
Having sex with more than three people (all women) 25 75
Masturbating an unknown person 28 62
Tying someone up in order to obtain sexual pleasure 42 48
Watching someone undress without him or her knowing 32 63
Having interracial sex 28 61
Having sex with a woman with very large breasts 19 69
Ejaculating on my sexual partner (For men only) N/A 80
Having sex with someone much older than me 34 48
Having sex with more than three people (both men and women) 57 16
Having sex with two men 31 45
Being photographed or filmed during a sexual relationship 32 44
I have fantasised that my partner ejaculates on me 41 29
Having sex with someone much younger (legally) than me 18 57
Petting with a total stranger in a public place (e.g. metro) 20 48
Indulging in sexual swinging with a couple that I do not know 27 40
Spanking or whipping someone to obtain sexual pleasure 24 44
Being spanked or whipped to obtain sexual pleasure 36 29
Having homosexual (or gay) sex 37 21
Having a sexual relationship with a woman with very small breasts 11 52
Indulging in sexual swinging with a couple that I know 18 42
Being forced to have sex 29 31
Having sex with a fetish or non-sexual object 26 28
Having sex with a prostitute or a stripper 13 40
Having sex with more than three people (all men) 28 13
Showing myself naked or partially naked in a public place 17 23
Watching two men make love 19 16
Sexually abusing a person who is drunk or asleep or unconscious 11 23
Forcing someone to have sex 11 22
Wearing clothing associated with the opposite sex 7 10
My sexual partner urinating on me 4 10
Urinating on my sexual partner 4 9
Having sex with an animal 3 2
Having sex with a child under the age of 12 years 1 2

The researchers say that one of the most intriguing findings has to do with the significant number of unique male fantasies, for example, regarding “shemales,” anal sex among heterosexuals, and the idea of watching their partner have sex with another man. Evolutionary biological theories cannot explain these fantasies, the researchers note, which, among males, are typically desires.

“Overall, these findings allow us to shed light on certain social phenomena, such as the popularity of the book Fifty Shades of Grey with women,” Joyal concluded. “The subject is fascinating. We are currently conducting statistical analyses with the same data to demonstrate the existence of homogeneous subgroups of individuals based on combinations of fantasies. For example, people who have submission fantasies also often report domination fantasies. These two themes are therefore not exclusive, quite the contrary. They also seem associated with a higher level of satisfaction.”

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Source: University of Montreal

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