Fantasy vs. reality


Fantasy vs. reality


your avatar   O (29 year-old woman)

When I fantasize about sex, it invariably has submissive/bondage themes usually with a male as dominant and at least one other female involved. When I have sex with my boyfriend of five years, I prefer being on top and have only recently allowed him to finger me "down there". Oral sex I can give but not take. I simply don't trust him to touch anything of sensitive nature (including my breasts). Still, I quite enjoy our sex and orgasm frequently, though not always. He was sometimes rather rough when we started dating, but I "cured" him of that by simply playing it "No Tolerance". Our sex varies from being enjoyable to downright fantastic.

A bit of background: I was sexually harassed by someone I trusted as a teenager, and it took me a long time (6 yrs) and professional help to get over it, despite the relatively mild nature of the incident. My current boyfriend knows nothing about this.

Is it normal to have these types of fantasies, or could they be residues from the past? Is it advisable to try and live them out (seeing how I barely trust him to touch me) or should some dreams just stay dreams?


    Robert W. Birch, Ph.D., ACS Certified Sexologist

Fantasies can add novelty to an otherwise good, but routine, sexual encounter. If the fantasy is a supplement to, and not the essence of, a sexual encounter, there is nothing wrong with it. Often, in fact, a fantasy serves the interest of the relationship by keeping it exciting. There are critics, however, who discourage fantasies, stating that they get in the way of true emotional contact with a partner. This might be true in a perfect relationship with a perfect partner when each have a perfect sexual response, but let's get real.

Fantasies can serve three purposes: To help with the arousal, to help stay focused and build the excitement, and to prove the catalyst to reach orgasm. If this is working for you, who is to say you should stop... and realistically, could you?

The content of our most powerful and persistent sexual fantasies generally has its origin in our preteen or teen years. Of course the nature of your fantasies has something to do with your abusive sexual history. Your discomfort with intimate touch is probably related, and I assume this became evident during your therapy. It would appear, however, that the discomfort with being touched might need to be addressed. It sounds as though you are doing fine without it, but it robs your partner of an opportunity to touch you in a way that would give him pleasure.

Fantasies never need to be acted out, and in fact, most are not. There are risks to the relationship when some fantasies are made known or are attempted to be played out. Carefully consider the consequences of trying to bring a fantasy into reality, not the least of which is that the fantasy might lose its power. My advice... keep your fantasy a fantasy and use it as needed to supplement your relationship, but at the same time, work on developing a comfort with receiving intimate touch.

Robert W. Birch, Ph.D., is a retired sex therapist, now identifying himself as a sexologist and adult sexuality educator. He now devotes his time to writing educational and self-help books for adults.For more information visit:


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