3 November 2014
How common is your sexual fantasy?
by Will Parker
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.
|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|
|Having sex with a star or a well-known person||52||62|
|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