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Fantasies and Realities

Aren’t fantasies great?  You can enjoy an erotic fantasy when you are all by yourself, with a partner…even during a dull moment at a family reunion.    Everyone has sexual fantasies – you, the guy you are dating (or your partner of 15 years), the clerk at the supermarket.  We all do it.

Fantasies can be a way for us to entertain ourselves when we’re feeling bored; that’s reason enough to enjoy them.  Erotic daydreams can be a workout for your imagination.  When we open ourselves to them, we can find out more about ourselves – especially the interior landscape of our desires.  Slipping into a fantasy and turning ourselves on is part of what makes jerking off such a hot experience.

Fantasies are natural, easy, inexpensive, personalized.  If it’s your fantasy, you get to call the shots and create a partner, a scene or an entire world, all shaped to your liking.  Your fantasy may be fairly ordinary (sucking off your favorite actor, for instance) or it may be unique to you.

Getting lost in a fantasy is a different story.  Bill, a professional guy in his mid-30’s, landed the man of his dreams a while ago:  handsome, sexy, the perfect age, size – even eye color.  Bill was in heaven. For a couple of months.  “He couldn’t hold a conversation,” Bill said.  That didn’t matter much when most of the conversation took place between the sheets.  “It got worse.  I put up with a lot of shit because he was so hot – just what I always wanted, I thought.  It got worse.  I couldn’t say no.  I felt like I lost two good years of my life with a guy who was a real asshole, all because he was so cute.”

Sexual fantasies can be ways we try out new things in our heads before we try them out in our beds.  They help avoid getting in a rut and can make us better lovers.  Maybe you find yourself getting turned on by something you don’t usually do with a partner:  having his finger inside you or working his nipples harder than you usually do.  Exploring those thoughts might give you ideas for trying something new in real-time.  And getting turned on with a fantasy can help you bring more heat to sex by getting you in the mood.

When does a fantasy become…too much?  Michael would spend days working himself up over a particularly hot head-trip involving a co-worker.  It had been his favorite masturbation material for months when the object of his lust suddenly made a pass at him.  Michael could hardly believe his good fortune.

“I was so turned on that I shot my load almost as soon as I put on a condom,” he told me.  “He was cool about it, but I could tell he was disappointed.  And I was so mad at myself I thought I’d blow a gasket.  I felt like a real screw-up.”  Michael had rehearsed the scene in his head so often that it was like he wasn’t really around when things actually started to happen.  It’s not an unusual situation for guys who live in their heads.

The scene becomes a powerful stimulus for arousal.  When the real thing happens, the intensity can be overwhelming.  The result may be premature ejaculation or trouble getting an erection.

Take a deep breath.  Remember that you’re in real life now, not fantasyland.  Slow down.  Take your time.  If you’re getting so turned on that sex starts to feel like a runaway train, take a breather.

Some people find their fantasies disturbing.  They worry they are sick to have the fantasy of being raped, or having sex with someone other than their partner, or doing something dangerous or illegal.  And unfortunately, if they get into psychotherapy with a therapist who is judgmental or uncomfortable with sex, their feelings of self-judgment may be confirmed.

Fantasies like these that involve some sort of transgression aren’t uncommon.  These daydreams aren’t necessarily a sign of anything other than an active imagination.  It’s important to understand the difference between fantasy and reality.  Getting raped in real life is nothing like most people’s fantasies of being overpowered by some super stud.

If you find yourself worried about your fantasy life, check to see if it’s having a negative effect on your relationship or other parts of your life.  If not, maybe there is nothing to worry about.  If you find yourself planning on turning a dangerous or illegal fantasy into a reality, think again.  You’re not responsible for what turns you on, but you are definitely responsible for what you choose to do.  Some fantasies are meant to stay fantasies.

About John

I have been  licensed by the State of Georgia as a professional counselor for more than 25 years.  My areas of specialty are relationships, intimacy, sexuality, anxiety and depression.  My passion is helping people build happier lives and stronger relationships. 

I know it isn’t always easy to talk about problems.  My approach to counseling is nonjudgmental and compassionate.  If you have questions, I welcome the opportunity to talk with you about working together.

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Whether you've worked with a therapist before or are exploring counseling for the first time, you probably have questions.  It is important to have the information you need to make a good decision when selecting a therapist.  I welcome your questions -- about your specific situation, about me or about my approach to therapy. Making things better can start with an email, or you can call me at (404) 874-8536.