What Are Your Fantasies?

Two people facing each other.

Justin J. Lehmiller, PhD, is a social psychologist and one of the country’s leading experts on human sexuality. He is currently the Director of the Social Psychology Program at Ball State University and a Faculty Affiliate of The Kinsey Institute. Previously, he served on the faculty at Harvard University. He recently concluded the largest and most comprehensive scientific survey of Americans’ sexual fantasies ever undertaken, a monumental two-year study involving more than 4,000 Americans from all walks of life, answering questions of unusual scope.

Based on this study, Dr. Lehmiller wrote Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life, offering an unprecedented look into our fantasy worlds and what they reveal about us. The book is intended to help readers to understand their own sexual desires and how to attain them within their relationships, but also to appreciate why their partners’ desires may be so incredibly different.

Thanks to Frater Lux Ad Mundi for the tip!


One Comment

  1. I often wonder: to what extent are 21st century Westerners’ sexual fantasies the result of various neurosis or complexes? To what extent are they the result of “unnatural” stimulai such as genres of pornography which depict unrealistic positions, body image, etc (generally men) or erotic novels (generally women) that do much the same, but on a more mental and less visual level?

    For instance, I’ve noticed a lot of women respond positively to the idea of being dominated or such. Is this a “natural” fantasy, or is it the result of being so over-worked in their professional lives so much that they feel the need to go hardcore in the opposite direction in their sex lives? Could the increase in the “daddy” fetish among women be a result of unresolved childhood complexes stemming from unsatisfactory parental investment during formative years? Could “femdom” be similar compensation mechanism amongst men? Would women who took more time out of their day to meditate and relax, for instance, and were less “fast paced” in their lives entertain such fantasies at the same level, or would it be less common amongst women who were of a more easy-going and nature-centric lifestyle?

    To what extent are our fetishes, attractions, etc the result of artificial lighting (see: the affects of florescent lighting on your circadian rhythm), artificial food additives (e.g., GMOs, pesticides, phyto-estrogens, omega 3/6 imbalances, RX drugs (something like 20% of women are currently on anti-depressants– many men are similarly stressed and depressed, but are less likely to talk about it than women), etc. None of these things existed only a century ago. Many studies of “life satisfaction” levels in the West have also been falling for at least a half century.

    Only two generations ago my great-grandparents, fresh-off-the-boat immigrants from Poland, were living on a farm out in the mountainous countryside where live was much more slow-paced– would they have entertained the same sorts of fantasies as modern people only 100 years later? If yes, did they not express these interests due to societal repression? If no, are various environmental factors at play?

    In short: the “real me (or you)” may not necessarily be a 1:1 correspondance with what we want, or think we want, or have been influenced by corporate media to want, right now, at this moment. Just as “Do What Thou Wilt” does not necessarily imply that we should shoot up with heroin because it will make use feel good at this very moment.

    Perhaps the best way to find the “real me” might be to take the advice of Timothy Leary and “turn on, tune in, and drop out”. Limiting exposure to social media (a proven stressor that leads to unhealthy comparisons), artificial foods and chemicals, reading books instead of endless Facebook streams, etc.

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