... And Why We Have Them
Where do our fantasies come from? It turns out that sexual fantasies are as much a part of the human experience as myths, collective dreams and storytelling. Fantasies have been represented in many ways over the course of history, right from the Three 'Sirens' in Homer's Odyssey to the overt Oedipal elements in Shakespeare's Hamlet and all the way down to Freud and Carl Jung's work on the psychological nature or fantasy in the modern age.
Fantasies are quite similar to our collective dreams, they hold the keys to our repressed personal histories and can even help us get over certain traumas that we carry within. There's no saying when exactly our sexual fantasies begin developing, but it certainly starts very young. What's more? There's nothing 'wrong' about them, sexual fantasies are something that is deeply embedded in the human experience. Here are some common fantasies and their deeper psychological meanings:
That Perfect Partner
Humans tend to harbour notions of a perfect 'ideal' partner for them. This is common in our relationships, in friends we seek out, and even mentors we look up to. A perfect partner can be pretty much anybody; maybe it's somebody you're involved with, were involved with, a celebrity or even a stranger you had a fleeting experience with. Added to this, different cultures have different notions of an ideal partner, so there exists many variables in this fantasy. However, having an 'ideal' anything is a pretty normal psychological process and funnily enough, it finds it's roots in narcissism. We idealize things and people because we want them to represent qualities that we believe we have or lack.
The Act Of Surrender
Dominance and submission fantasies are quite common among both men and women. Most of the adult film industry mines this vein of sexual fantasy (usually with the women playing the submissive role and men being dominant - a completely unfortunate construct) but they’re even older than the human race, probably flowing through the erotic minds of our bonobo and chimpanzee cousins.
This type of fantasy ranges in extremity from Bondage (BDSM) to simple acts of harmless role-play. But why do people long to submit or dominate? It's human nature to conquer as well as submit, and nature always seeks a balance, often finding it through our fantasy life, making otherwise dominant people long to surrender, to be overwhelmed by someone else’s passion and power.
In their erotic imaginations, and sometimes in a real-life role-playing session with a dominatrix, they surrender control for a brief period in their busy, power-packed day or week. Since society puts so much pressure on us to achieve–and achieving is hard work–deep in our secret erotic imaginations, many high-achievers long to surrender.
Exhibitionism And Voyeurism
Seeing and Being Seen. Getting a peek of something we're not supposed to see, or letting someone into a very personal space. All humans harbour a little sense of voyeurism in them, even watching a film is essentially a voyeuristic experience. While voyeurism has come to be described a paraphilia, voyeuristic fantasies are pretty common among all people.
According to Freud, voyeuristic fantasies come from the failure to accept castration anxiety, but this claim has been rather contentious. Whatever may be the case, voyeuristic behaviour is pretty prevalent in society in both men and women. A lot of people have slipped a peep now and then, and some of us have held it in our fantasies.
Written by Rheea Mukherjee. Rheea spent most of her life moving between the US and India. In 2011, she decided enough was enough and moved back to Bangalore for good where she founded Write Leela Write with her friend Kala. Rheea writes awesome blogs and other things for Lovetreats. She loves dogs, attempts yoga and fantasizes about becoming vegan. Rheea also just published her first book, "Transit For Beginners"!