Are Your Sexual Fantasies Normal?
What might not be normal is the type of sexual fantasy you're daydreaming over. A new study is helping shed light on what sexual fantasies are prevalent, and which are unusual and rare.Until recently, scientists had limited data on what constituted a normal sexual fantasy versus an unusual one, and most surveys that had explored this sensitive territory had only surveyed university students. But a big new data set has changed that.
"Clinically, we know what pathological sexual fantasies are: they involve non-consenting partners, they include pain, or they are absolutely necessary in deriving satisfaction," said lead author Christian Joyal in a statement released by the university. "But apart from that, what exactly are abnormal or atypical fantasies?"The team conducted an internet survey with 799 men and 718 women, where the mean age of the subjects was 30 years. Of the entire sample, 85.1% stated they were heterosexual, 3.6% were definitely homosexual, and the rest were in between.
The survey involved 55 statements that probed the nature and intensity of the subject's sexual fantasies. The subjects rated each statement on a scale of 1 to 7, one meaning they strongly disagreed with the statement and seven meaning they strongly agreed. Here are some examples of the statements they read:
|I have fantasized about having sex with an unknown person.|
|I have fantasized about petting with a total stranger in a public place (e.g., metro).|
|I have fantasized about being forced to have sex.|
|I have fantasized about having sex with an animal.|
|I have fantasized about having anal sex.|
After what must have been some very interesting reading, the team found that the men had more fantasies and described their favorite fantasy more vividly than women. Also, men expressed a stronger desire to make their fantasies a reality than women.
If the subjects responded with a 3 or above for any of the statements in the survey, then the scientists noted that statement as a sexual fantasy for that person. Below is the percentage (indicated on the vertical axis) of men and women who reported a few of these sexual fantasies:
University of Montreal
When it came to who the subjects thought about, men reported fantasizing more about people they were not currently involved with than women. What was particularly interesting to the researchers was the high number of fantasies that were mostly unique to men, for example, fantasizing about anal sex and watching their partner have sex with another man.
"Evolutionary biological theories cannot explain these fantasies," Joyal said in a release issued by the university.After analyzing the data set as a whole, the team created a glossary defining certain "rare", "unusual", and "typical" sex fantasies.
Here are a few examples of what they found in each of these categories:
- Rare: sex with a child or animal
- Unusual: "golden showers", cross-dressing, sex with a prostitute, abusing an intoxicated person
- Typical: sex in a romantic location, receiving oral sex, sex with two women (primarily a male fantasy)
Here's the full table of the researchers findings. Where do your fantasies fit in?
University of Montreal
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