Picture this. You’re having a drink at a bar, when suddenly, a hot stranger walks in. They catch your eye, smile. Soon you’re chatting, flirting, and when they lean forward to ask, “may I?” you kiss each other in a way that says: “we are one hundred percent getting a hotel room tonight.”
Welcome to the wide world of sexual fantasy. Your erotic imagination offers clues to your IRL turn-on’s, but often, we fantasize about things (or people) that we don’t actually plan to do. Rather, fantasy is our brain’s way of telling us: “hey, something about this scenario is stimulating.” And it’s no surprise we crave a little sexual excitement, even if we’re in a happy partnership. In fact, according to recent studies, most women in long-term relationships eventually get bored with sex. One solution? Fantasy.
But no matter who you are – partnered or not – your sexual fantasies exist to add color and dimension to your sexuality. They help you understand the feelings you want to have during sex, and you can use that knowledge to deepen your erotic connections…with a partner, or simply with yourself. Also: they’re incredibly normal! So if you’ve ever felt self-conscious about your fantasies, like you might be a weirdo for having them, allow us to disabuse you of that notion right now. You’re normal, and moreover, you’re creative in a sexy way. Because after all, everyone needs a secret garden.
So let’s talk about the six most common sexual fantasies, according to research – and let you in on why they’re so popular.
I’ve Been a Bad Girl
Do you fantasize about being pinned down? About someone making you wait painfully long, before you finish? If so, you’ve got yourself a lil’ domination fantasy.
At the core of this fantasy is a type of permission, for you – the submissive, as we say in the business – to relinquish your power. But why is that so hot, you ask?
Because elsewhere in life, you probably juggle a lot.
A constant sense of responsibility often leads to domination fantasy, according to Danielle Harel, PhD and Celeste Hirschmn, MA in their book Coming Together: Embracing Your Core Desires for Sexual Fulfillment and Long-Term Compatibility. “Allowing a partner to be dominant and tell you exactly what to do so that you don’t have to be responsible” is a common desire for tons of women – so much so, that being dominated in bed feels like sweet release.
The More, the Merrier
Why not add some excitement to the mix? And by “excitement” we mean a person.
Group sex, and threesomes in particular, top the charts as the most common sexual fantasy. According to Kinsey Institute research fellow Justin Lehmiller, who conducted an extensive survey on the matter, we indulge in threesome fantasy as a way to amp up arousal. With another body to experience, there’s more skin to touch, more moans to be heard. But there’s another piece of psychology underlying threesome fantasies: the human desire to feel like the center of attention.
In the threesome fantasy, you’ve got two whole people dying to please you, and perhaps one of them just wants to watch…while you and another do your thing. So threesomes pack quite the erotic punch, delivering attention, lotsa touch, and allowing you to be watched in a way that turns you on.
Aww, does baby girl need someone to take care of her? Right this way to age play fantasy.
Sometimes referred to as DDLG, for daddy dom/little girl, age play fantasies may or may not be literal. As in: just because you crave a paternal energy during sex doesn’t mean you want to hook up with an actual, older gentleman. (Though that works too.) The basis of this fantasy is a dominant/submissive dynamic, but rather than being classically dom, your partner exhibits more of a caretaking quality. Which allows you, the “little,” to explore your rebellious side…even get a little bratty. Looks like Daddy might have to discipline you.
Given that it contains elements of childhood, a lot of people feel self-conscious about this fantasy. If that’s yours, allow us to reiterate: there is no shame in your fantasy game. If there’s something stimulating to you about being taken care of, that’s simply useful data for your erotic life, not something to be ashamed of. Because remember: more than anything, fantasies tell us about the feelings we want to have during sex. And not, for example, that you want to hop in a time machine and become a kid again.
Hurts So Good
Ever dream about someone roughing you up during sex – in a way that leaves bruises? You might have a thing for pain play.
This fantasy has an interesting neurological basis, given that pain and pleasure stimulate the same areas of our brain: the limbic and prefrontal regions. In fact, all pain causes your nervous system to release endorphins, the same happy chemicals you associate with chocolate or massage. But turns out, you get an endorphin jolt from getting spanked, too.
In real life, pain play is pretty common – perhaps the most common fantasy-turned-reality. But that’s as long as it’s happening in a container of trust, with a secure partner…or even, with a professional.
Are you a straight woman, who sometimes – just sometimes – fantasizes about sexy times with fellow ladies? You’re definitely not alone.
According to Lehmiller’s fantasy study, 59% of self-identifying straight women have had a same sex fantasy, but these visions don’t necessarily mean that you’re not into men. Rather, being with a woman who intuitively understands women’s pleasure (like the fact that most women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, for example) can seem like a relieving prospect. Also let’s be real, here: it’s relatively recent, historically speaking, that women could openly advocate for their pleasure at all, outside of societal norms – which, PS, is a huge reason we started this company. So this fantasy could also suggest a desire to explore sexual pleasure more broadly, outside of the “lane” you were prescribed. Even if, day-to-day, you actually feel like your lane is a nice place to be.
The Sexy Stranger
And now, we finish where we started. Back to that bar, back to that anonymous ‘10’ that just walked in, back to that hotel room…
Having sex with a total stranger is something lots of women dream about: about half of us, according to a survey in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. At the root of this fantasy is freedom, to act in ways you normally wouldn’t, or to try on a completely different sexual persona. Because with a stranger, we’re free to be uninhibited. We don’t bring with us the usual constraints of relationship either, like making sure everyone’s getting fulfillment from the sexual encounter. No – with a stranger, we get to be greedy.
But sexy stranger fantasies also remind us what it feels like to meet someone attractive for the first time. The butterflies, the flirtation, the will-they-won’t-they sexual tension. By injecting a dose of novelty into our erotic imagination, this fantasy reminds us how fun it is to connect with people, and discover mutual chemistry.
The bottom line on fantasy is this: they are normal, and you are normal. In fact, we highly recommend you notice what comes up during your next solo sex sesh. By paying attention to the place your imagination naturally goes, you learn about the feelings you want to have during sex itself, whether you decide to actualize that fantasy…or not. Either way, a pleasure boost is practically guaranteed. So prioritize your pleasure, and enjoy discovering where your sexy mind takes you.