Health Magazine

Sexual Fantasies and Relationships

By Mohamedmedo

by Elizabeth Schroeder
It's a familiar story: two people are lying in bed after sharing some kind of wonderful, intimate sexual act. In the afterglow, one partner turns to the other and asks, Honey, what do you think about during sex? Feeling safe in that intimate moment, the other partner describes a favorite fantasy that involves a person both of them know. The first partner says, Oh. I only think about you. Then the problems begin.Fantasy does not necessarily equal intention or action. Then again, it can. That's what can intimidate so many people. Part of why it is so intimidating comes from the cultural value that sexual and romantic relationships must work only one way.� We are supposed to have one partner or spouse for our entire lives (which can be 60 years or more). In that entire time, we are supposed to think only of our partner or spouse, and no one else? The idea is as unrealistic as it is unhealthy.Rather than be threatened by fantasies, couples may wish to consider exploring them more. Fantasies can enhance and even prolong relationships by allowing one or both partners to explore interests and feelings in their own minds, at least in which their partners may not be interested. Then again, sharing and exploring these interests together can be a very powerful, relationship-enhancing experience at least under two circumstances.The first is when the fantasies are shared in thoughtful, caring, and respectful ways. For example, someone who tells a partner that the only way she or he can become aroused sexually is by fantasizing during sex is being insensitive regardless of whether the statement is true. There are alternate ways of being truthful without causing emotional harm to another person. The second is that the fantasy shared is not something that distresses a partner. For example, someone who is used to a sexual routine that involves so-called mainstream behaviors, particularly in a long-term relationship, may be shocked to hear that her or his partner has fantasies about bondage, cross-dressing, sex with multiple partners, partners of more than one gender, and more.The sensitivity has to go both ways, however. A person whose partner shares fantasies should make every effort to listen before reacting. It is often uncomfortable to share a fantasy, particularly one that may be considered by some to be untraditional. Even if a partner hears a fantasy that is shocking or aversive, she or he should at least take the time to listen, ask any questions, and think carefully before responding.Above all, no one should ever pressure or force anyone else to do anything sexual that they do not want to do. Similarly, no one should engage in a behavior they are uncomfortable with just to fulfill a partner's fantasy. A relationship is about what both people want, not about one person's needs. Whenever there is a disagreement in a relationship, couples should make every effort to negotiate a healthy solution together and to seek counseling if they are unable to do so.Source:

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