Are my sexual fantasies normal?

TL;DR: All thoughts are okay

Do you ever lie in bed thinking about what it would be like to have sex in public? Or maybe you daydream about getting frisky with a coworker.

Lots of us fantasize about sex, whether our fantasies are about group sex or wild flings with celebrities or being restrained by a tentacle monster (looking at you, hentai), or anything else. Sexual fantasies are erotic thoughts, ideas, or images that turn you on, and the only limit to your sexual fantasies is really your imagination.

But what happens when your fantasies fall outside of the sexual scripts we generally see play out in mainstream media representations of sex? After all, we live in a culture that has pretty well-established norms around sex. For example, a common expectation for cisgender heterosexual couples is that the woman will be more submissive and the man will be more dominant when it comes to sex. But it’s totally normal and okay to have fantasies that don’t line up with societal norms.

What if there’s something wrong with my fantasies?

Some people experience shame or anxiety about their sexual fantasies. You might worry that you will come off as weird to sexual partners or that you’ll face rejection for sharing your innermost thoughts. You might worry about how your fantasies might reflect on you as a person.

But there’s nothing wrong with your fantasies, whatever they are! They’re literally just thoughts. All sexual fantasies are okay, no matter how different or uncomfortable they may feel. And you never have to act on your sexual fantasies if you don’t want to! Some scenarios might be hot in our heads, but we wouldn’t actually want to carry them out in real life. The very fact that something is taboo or goes against your morals and values may be what makes it so appealing!

(That said, if you find your fantasies distressing or they are interfering with everyday life, or if you think you might hurt yourself or someone else, talk to a counselor or a therapist.)

Should I share my sexual fantasies with my partner(s)?

Ultimately, you get to choose whether or not you share your sexual fantasies with anyone else. Deciding to share them can be daunting. You may feel vulnerable or exposed. But as the saying goes, “closed mouths don’t get fed.” Taking the chance to open up with someone might lead to more pleasurable experiences, and it can also be a chance to build intimacy. Not to mention that starting open and honest conversations about your wants could make your partner(s) feel more comfortable sharing their wants in return.

Ultimately, if it’s important to you to explore your fantasies with a partner, you will have to take the risk that they might not share those fantasies or might not want to carry them out with you—which is okay! It’s everyone’s individual decision what, if anything, they want to do with other people in bed. But if your partner reacts by shaming or judging you, that’s a different story. You may want to reconsider whether that’s someone you want to be involved with.

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