Beauties & Beaties

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Intimacy and Fantasy

We received this topic courtesy of Angel Jr. and the question was: Is it over OK to fantasize about another person while being intimate with your significant other or spouse. First time Beast, Angel Jr., and our perennial favorite Beauty, The Weirdgirl, look at the etiquette of fantasies.

She Says: Is it ever OK to fantasize about someone else while kissing or having sex with your significant other/spouse?

I think most people expect the female response to this question to be a resounding "NO!" (similar in response to the question "is it OK to look but not touch?" or, in other words, is it OK for my boyfriend to look at other girls?). However, the truth is a little more complicated. Fantasizing about other people is a guilty little pleasure that women practice just as much as men. Most folks rationale these fantasies by never talking about them (also called plausible deniability) or by choosing a celebrity as the object of their daydreams (because someone there’s no chance in hell of you ever hooking up with is OK, right?). Most feel like it’s wrong to have fantasies of people outside their relationship but they have them anyway.

However fantasies are completely natural, even healthy, and here’s why. Many are the relationships that start to lag in the bedroom as time goes on. It has nothing to do with love fading, but it has everything to do with the fact that as our bodies get older and as other stresses weigh on our lives it might get a little harder (ahem) to keep things up (cough) and at the ready for forays into passion. Sometimes fantasies about other people help get things moving (or finishing, as the case may be). As many experts will tell you, fantasies help "spice things up." Also known as, I’ve looked at your butt for 20 years and I’m a little bored of the view. Again, this has nothing to do with love. But let’s face it, say you had to look at the same wall for 20 years, it could be the spiffiest wall ever, sooner or later you’ll want to slap up a picture just to spruce it up. That’s not re-painting, that’s not changing the wallpaper, it’s just adding a little something.

However there are quite a few women out there who are sensitive about this issue. Again, see the "look but not touch" scenario. They feel like if their man is having fantasies about someone else then he’s only a few steps away from leaving. Their knee jerk reaction is to then freak out if they know their guy has the hots for any celebrities, their sister, or that sexy-looking sheep at the local farm. If anything, fantasy can actually be healthy for the relationship if it’s enjoyed by both parties, but it needs to be introduced the right way.

Here’s a few simple rules:

  • DO talk dirty – making fantasy time into something you both participate in legitimizes the smut that’s in your twisted brain. This is also a good way to make it about your partner before you introduce alternate characters.
  • DO talk about your fantasy – again legitimacy through participation.
  • DO start with baby steps, the most benign fantasy elements first. Maybe an act before a who (again, benign elements first, i.e. licking as opposed to bondage). If at any time she starts looking disgusted or scared you’ve gone too far.
  • DO encourage her to talk about her fantasies. Remember, reciprocity, just like with oral sex, is key here.
  • DON’T freak out if she does talk about her fantasies.
  • DON’T scream out your fantasy object’s name – especially if you haven’t had the talk yet, but try to avoid this one at all costs (it’s just common sense).
  • DON’T start plastering pictures up of your fantasy person. Also, don’t bring home new videos, toys, or straps without your partner being completely on board. You don’t want to make her feel like there’s been a hidden kink freak lurking inside her spouse all those years without her the wiser.
  • DON’T reveal that your fantasy person is her sister and/or best friend (together or separately). Even if she seems open to sharing fantasies, trust me, don’t pick anyone close to her. If need be just pick the celebrity that most closely resembles your fantasy object. Better yet, pick the celebrity that most closely resembles your partner.
  • In the event that she brings up her sister/best friend, DON’T discourage a threesome. (I mean, we are talking about fantasies here and how many chances like that are you going to get?)

He Says: A D.J. on a local radio station posed the question "Is it alright to fantasize about someone else while kissing or being intimate with a significant other or spouse"? I didn't get to hear any caller's views, but I would have liked to call in and answer yes. The only problem was, I don't know the radio station's number and I'm not co-ordinated enough to use drive and talk on the phone at the same time.

I'm going to say yes, because even if I hadn't wanted it to in the past, I have fantasized during intimate moments. It's only natural. Besides, I'm male...I can't keep my mind on one topic for longer than a few seconds. So yes, often times, Jessica Alba, Jessica Simpson but not Jessica Lange will enter my mind. And this doesn't mean I love her less, it just means thatI believe she has the capability to become as sexy as these sex symbols. It may also mean that I believe her body feels the way I imagine theirs would feel too.

Some women may think this is wrong. But it isn't because we need to fantasize. It is what helps keep a relationship fresh. It makes the sex better, when it has become monotonous. Sometimes it makes getting through a routine more exciting. And let's face it, we're still having sex with the ones we "love". We aren't out getting it somewhere else. This is the very reason I don't think fantasizing is cheating. We aren't putting our tongue or other body parts in other territory. We are doing exactly as our wives/girlfriends/lovers have asked us--we've kept our peckers in our pants.

And one shouldn't ask us if we fantasize, cause we do. It's just something better left unsaid--like masterbation. We all do it, we just don't bring it up at the dinner table. The reason we don't talk about it is because it isn't meant to be discussed. I'm reminded of an episode of "Friends" in which Ross finally shares his fantasy with Rachel. He says the Princess Lea being tied up by Jabba is a huge turn on. Rachel agrees to participate in this fantasy, which is ruined by Chandler's invasive fantasy of his mother appearing in his mind during inopportune sexual moments. Chandler shared his dysfunctional fantasy and Ross did too. Fantasies aren't meant to be shared--it can only ruin the fantasy. This is where the "let's not talk about it" rule should come in. We aren't meant to talk about these fantasies, we are just meant to fantasize.

So yes, it is alright to fantasize during sex/intimate moments/not so intimate moments. It helps keep one sane during the insane moments of a relationship. The only time fantasizing is wrong is when you are fantasizing about your wife/girlfriend/lover with a prostitute. Now that is just plain wrong.

22 Comments:

Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

Great job by both The Beauty and The Beast. Although on the surface you both appear to come to the same conclusion. I thought that it was very interesting how you both took a different view of how those fantasies should be shared or not shared.

7:17 PM  
Blogger angel, jr. said...

I also like some of the Beauty's views.
Somehow though, I forgot to talk about threesomes as part of fantasies.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Great job, Angel Jr! I think there is definitely a fine line between talking and not talking about it, depending on the dynamics of the relationship. (I'm just all for the talking!)

11:04 PM  
Blogger siren said...

I think both points about communicating your fantasies to your spouse/siginificant other is valid. It would really depend on how open-minded and/or secure that person is...and insecure person would probably have a less than favorable reaction.

4:03 AM  
Blogger ozymandiaz said...

I'm too busy watching myself get layed (ya know, being amazed that it actually happens and all) during sex to fantasize about others.

6:23 AM  
Blogger Green Eyes said...

I've never been one to fantasize while with a partner. Now, alone, that's a whole other story!

Great job guys!

7:18 AM  
Blogger Mojotek said...

This is kind of a tough one, but I think both writers did a very good job with it. I know I'd hate to hear that my partner was fantasizing about someone else while I'm trying my best to please them. Yet, on the flip side, I can't say I've never done that myself. So I'm with the guy on this one, just don't talk about it!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Crazy Dan said...

I think it is ok fantasize about another person but do you think it is ok to fantasize to be with the opposite sex and be fantasizing about being with the same sex. oh uh... a friends wanted me to say this.. not me... I swear.

9:35 AM  
Anonymous starbender said...

Great post!
Both sides here have good points.
I don't share my fantasies. I guess I just haven't found my soul-mate yet! Maybe one day!
8)

9:40 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Well, when you have been with someone for over 20 years, I don't think it will hurt to imagine that he's Vin Diesel once in a while... ;-)

10:17 AM  
Blogger Blonde Vigilante said...

I'm not one to fantasize about another person when I am with someone. I do fantasize about the things I would like to do or them to do to me, but I tend to share those things. If you can't share them with your partner...who can you share them with?

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Bruce said...

My love life has been so void of physical contact over the years, that when there is intimacy, that's all I care about and can think of. Fantasizing about someone else is the furthest from my mind. I can't speak for my partners, though... ;)

1:09 PM  
Blogger irreverentmama said...

I almost always fantasize during sex. Not during kissing, but when I'm on my way up, up, up to the big moment? Pretty near every time.

However, I never, ever fantasize about anyone I know. In fact, I generally don't have a clear idea of what they look like at all. This is not some moral concern, it's just practical: If I try it with a real person in mind, even my ever-lovin' spouse, the buzz goes and the fantasy stops helping. This is my quirk, what can I say?

Why do you need to tell your partner about your fantasies? My husband knows about mine, but I don't think it needs to be a rule. I mean, if it would turn them on, sure, but if it only annoys or worries them, why stress them about something that happens only in your head?

10:12 AM  
Blogger Curare_Z said...

Everyone has fantasies...whether they realize it or not. I think you get so into the moment that it just happens. I don't often have sex and then think to myself, "gee, what was I thinking about?"

I agree with many commenters above...if you can't trust your partner enough to share your mental and physical intimacy with, then who can you trust?

That being said, The Antidote and I have been together for 8 years, married for 3.5...and it took me a long time to get used to talking to him about my fantasies. I was embarrassed about it until I found out it turned him on to know that I thought about sexual things.

So, I TOTALLY agree with Weirdgirl on this one. Take it slow and BOTH of you will be happy you did!

5:43 AM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because I was raised in a Christian home, schooled at a Christian school, and always expected to attend church with my parents, I was basically taught that we have control over our fantasies. But we don't. I was also taught that fantasies can be good or bad. But no fantasy is either good or bad--it just is.

For example, when I (a man) masturbate to a woman in a magazine, I have to imagine that I am the woman, being fucked by a nondescript man (probably myself), before I can ejaculate. Once I've ejaculated, I am the man again. I've always felt guilty about this fantasy--mainly because I thought that I must be homosexual because of it. Well, I know now that, if anything, I am the opposite of homosexual--that I am extremely heterosexual. But I've always believed--and still believe--that women enjoy sex more than men do.

Anyway--a while back, I read something in a porn-mag advice-column that helped (and still helps) alleviate the guilt: "We don't choose our fantasies--our fantasies choose us." And I agree.
We have no control over our fantasies, so we should simply enjoy them.

8:00 PM  

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