Thursday, May 22, 2008

Fantasy - good idea or bad girl?

I was recently asked to write a few hundred words for a very lovely erotica magazine on the topic of sexual fantasy. Of course I obliged - writing not so much about my own mental exploits (yes, I admit it, I do...) but about the fact that my readers often confide anxiously in me about their fantasies. What they angst about, typically, is whether, in the grand scheme of things, fantasy is normal, whether fantasising is bad, and whether one should worry if one fantasises about someone other than one's partner.

To which the answers are, respectively, yes, no and maybe.

Let's take those answers one by one. Yes, fantasy is normal. Almost 100% of men and nearly the same number of women have had a sexual fantasy - so if you're out there and you are dreaming, you are not alone.

And no, fantasy does not mean you are bad - or mad, or sad. Contrary to the myths, it's those with a healthy sexual appetite and repertoire who do it, not the No-Mates. More, those who fantasise are likely to have more orgasms and a much better sex life than those who don't - so, everything to celebrate. Equally, fantasising about something doesn't mean you're going to action it. Typically we dream about things, places and people that are out of our reach, impractical or just plain unwise; we dream instead of doing not as a prelude to it. So, nothing to fret about.

My only caveat - and it's a tiny one - is about whether fantasising when you're partnered means there's something wrong with your partnership. And here, it all depends on exactly who you're dreaming of... the nearer to home the fantasy, the more you ought to be on full alert. So think of your favourite celeb sweeping you off your feet and there's no problem. Find yourself floating away on a dream of your partner's best friend - who, come to think of it, has hinted pretty strongly that they'd be up for some action - and you may want to stop and decide whether you want to go that route.

But otherwise, to my mind, fantasy is a total gift and allowing your mind to wander in a sensuous direction something to be done with eagerness, application - and absolutely no guilt.

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