Penis and Male Sexuality Facts
Sexual fantasies can also be used therapeutically. Imagining an arousing activity can be helpful in the midst of sex. If you notice your arousal or erection flagging during erotic activity, conjuring up a favorite fantasy may make a difference.
Imagining a sexual activity that you haven't tried but think you might want to can give you a better sense of how you might go about that, and whether you really do want to do it.
Despite the fact that fantasizing about sex comes so naturally and easily to human beings, and despite the helpful purposes it serves, sexual fantasies have not enjoyed a good press in Western culture, which, of course, has traditionally been predominantly anti-sexual.
The biblical injunction "One who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart" sums it all up.
Sex should be a joyous event in ever way - and the Taoists and Hindus were much better at developing this philosophy than we were have ever been in the West.
Part of the problem with our culture is that it doesn't make a clear enough distinction between imagining something and actually doing it. The fear has been that if you fantasize about having sex with a neighbor, you'll actually do it.
There is at least a grain of truth in this. Fantasy can serve as rehearsal for behavior. Imagining the same thing repeatedly may motivate you to try it out.
But in most cases this isn't much of a problem. Real-life obstacles and your own values help keep the fantasy where it belongs - in your head.
People who feel guilty about their fantasies need to remind themselves that there is a big difference between imagining doing something, and actually carrying it out.
There is no law against imagining forcing someone to have sex with you, and there are both men and women who enjoy this kind of fantasy. Doing it in reality, however, is another matter entirely.
There is also nothing wrong with fantasizing about protection-free, worry-free sex with strangers. In the real world, where sexual diseases are commonplace and where conception and bad feelings occur far more often than anyone would wish for, you ought to take the necessary precautions.
Sexual fantasies can also be helpful in determining what you might want in the real world. Perhaps there are some elements of your imagery that you would like acted out.
Some men I've worked with, for example, have had fantasies about "zipless fucks" - no words, not much foreplay, just silent, passionate, no-strings-attached fucking.
In a number of these cases, they were able to talk to their partners about the fantasies and act them out, much to everyone's satisfaction.
Please don't assume that I mean you should act out everything in your fantasies. I don't mean that at all. Just because you enjoy imagining being whipped and dominated by a woman does not mean you'll actually enjoy the reality of it.
Use your common sense and consider whether this is something you'd really like to try and if you're willing and able to go through with it. The real world often exacts prices that fantasies do not.
Having sex with your wife's sister may make for a wonderful fantasy. The reality, however, could be quite costly.
Despite the anti-sexual-fantasy position of our culture, most males have and enjoy erotic mental productions. It's typical for boys and men to have fantasies when they masturbate.
And from the studies that have been done, it's typical for men and women to fantasize about sex at all sorts of times. But there are still many questions and doubts.
A professional man who consulted me because of guilt about his fantasies loved and was turned on by the woman he lived with, but during lovemaking he often had fantasies of sex with other women.
He felt bad about this, as if he weren't being true to his partner. He felt much better after we discussed the subject and I loaned him several collections of fantasies, which make it quite clear that many men and women fantasize about other people while having sex.
Some men readily accept that no matter how much they love and are turned on by their partner, they will continue to be turned on by and have fantasies about other women. But other men, like the man just mentioned, have trouble with this.
It can help if they understand that being aroused by other women is typical for men. In fact, I've rarely encountered a man who said he was not turned on by other women and did not have fantasies about sex with them.
Although I can't prove it, I believe that it goes even further than this. My impression is that after the newness of a sexual relationship wears off, most of our sexual turn-ons do not come from our partner.
Yes, you may still get greatly aroused by her, particularly if she says or does a certain thing, but I think chances are good that much of the passion you feel and that leads you to want sex with her is evoked by other women or situations.
There are many, many attractive women in the world, and you'll run into lots of them through the media and in real life: You'll see them on the street, in your office, on the bus or train or plane, in the restaurant, and so on.
There's nothing wrong with getting sexually excited by seeing, hearing, or smelling a woman other than your partner. This is not the same, I hasten to add, as actually doing something sexual with these other people.
Since it's a fact of life that a great many of us get turned on by other people - that the phenomenon is natural, if you will - there doesn't seem to be any point to getting upset about it. We can use the arousal generated by other women to better our sex lives with our long term partners.
Studies of sexual fantasies have found a wide variety of presentations. There are some differences between men and women in the types of fantasies they have most often.
As you might expect, men more frequently imagine sex with strangers, sex with more than one person, and forcing a woman to have sex with them.
Women more frequently imagine romantic settings and being forced to have sex. There is no basis for saying that any of these fantasies is abnormal or unhealthy.
There is an enormous range regarding the frequency of sexual fantasizing, just as there is an enormous range regarding the frequency of any sexual behavior. Some men have sexual fantasies many times each day, while others can go for weeks without one.
My experience is that people to whom sex is a priority have lots of sexual thoughts and fantasies. As long as the fantasizing isn't interfering with your relationship, your work, and the normal chores of life, I can't see how it's a problem.
Some couples find it very arousing to share fantasies. That is, the partners tell each other what they fantasize about, either when they're actually having sex or at other times.
These couples not only report increased excitement but also a feeling of greater closeness.
As one man put it: "You might think it would make me jealous, hearing her fantasies about sex with other men. But it doesn't. It makes for an incredible turn-on. It also makes for incredible love.
I feel closer to her knowing that she trusts me enough to tell me these secrets, things she's never told anyone else. Now I can also share some of my fantasies with her and that makes for even more closeness. I've never trusted any other woman that much."
Despite what I've said, don't rush off to tell your partner your latest fantasy. While the sharing of fantasies can be wonderful for some couples, it is not without risk. Some women are not comfortable with such goings-on.
They may feel hurt, insulted, rejected, or jealous if you report imagining enjoying sex with someone else. There are also your own feelings to consider.
Would you really be comfortable hearing that your partner imagines sex with men more handsome, more muscular, with greater charm or more money or power than you?
Realistically assess both your possible reactions and those of your partner before you conclude that sharing fantasies is a great idea. If you should decide to go ahead, do it gradually.
Start with a fantasy that is least threatening; for example, one that includes her or of having sex with the girl you first had sex with.
Don't get into the fantasies of sex with her best friend, or your neighbor, or with whips and chains, until you feel it's reasonably safe to do so.
All in all, I think sexual fantasies are a natural, healthy, and pleasurable part of life. They're free, readily available, and rarely have side effects that can't be dealt with.
It's almost like you can't not have them, so it makes sense to make yours as useful and enjoyable as possible.
Although normal is basically a statistical term (what's typical or average), in ordinary usage it has a judgmental and moralistic connotation. That is, there's something wrong with you if you're not doing what most other folks are doing.
This connotation mainly serves to increase our anxiety and bad feelings and therefore makes clear thinking and productive decision making more difficult.
If what you want to do makes your life difficult or sets you and your partner at odds, then there's a problem, regardless of how typical your action may be.
The incidence of premature ejaculation among young men, for example, is so high that it could easily be considered normal or typical; we're talking about millions of men here.
But that doesn't mean that it's not a problem for these men or their partners. Another example concerns the widespread practice of oral sex.
If you want to go down on your partner or have her go down on you and she wants no part of either, that's a problem regardless of how common these activities are.
Another example of a widespread practice that is a problem for some people concerns the use of alcohol and drugs in sex, especially among singles.
It's not unusual for singles to meet and mingle in bars and at parties where they ingest alcohol and other drugs.
While I'm not suggesting there's anything wrong with a social drink to help one relax, it often goes far beyond this. Drugs cloud the brain and often make for destructive sexual decisions resulting in bad feelings, unwanted conception, and disease.
And heavy use of alcohol and other drugs over the long run can result in serious loss of sexual appetite and erectile ability. Just because a practice is so widespread that it could be considered normal doesn't mean it's healthy or wise.
Internet porn is of course another major problem these days. The sight of men in a group ejaculating over a woman's face is neither a pleasant one nor one that enhances either sexes' respect for the other.
The problem is that many men find find such image of power and sex arousing and become addicted to the cycle of arousal and reward that ejaculation produces when masturbating to these images.
Unfortunately they can also experience considerable self-disgust - but the compulsive nature of the male sexual urge makes such temptations hard to resist. It also enhances the facility which men have to objectify women.
Only with a trusted and consenting sexual partner should such fantasies of ejaculation be indulged. Fortunately delayed ejaculation can be treated efficiently using self help techniques.
There are several ways in which sex can be a problem.
If it's illegal: These days you're not likely to get in trouble with the law about sexual acts done in private with consenting adults.
But peeping into other people's windows, exposing yourself, trying to force your attention on women who aren't interested, and anything sexual with children can most certainly lead to the jailhouse. If you're doing any of these things, then you definitely have a problem and should get competent help.
If it's driven or compulsive: Some men's (and some women's) sexual behavior is compulsive. That is, the man feels out of control; he has to fantasize about sex virtually all the time, has to masturbate or have sex with his partner twice each day, or has to have sex every time he can and doesn't care who it's with. This implies some level of addiction to sex.
A man I saw some years ago felt he had to have sex three times each and every night with his partner. He didn't feel he had any choice in the matter; he just had to do it.
He had already lost several relationships because of this and was about to lose another. As the woman put it: "This is ridiculous. I'm so sore I can't sit down, and I'm so tired I can't stay awake at work."
The trendy term sex addict has recently been used to characterize such men. Although I have some problems with that term, there's no doubt that compulsive sexual behavior exists and is a source of great suffering for those so afflicted. These men need competent professional help.
If it gets in your way: If you are consumed by sexual feelings, fantasies, or behaviors to the point where you can't engage in the usual kinds of social intercourse or can't focus on your work, that's clearly a problem.
There are cases where a man felt driven to masturbate five or more times a day. Aside from getting a sore penis, he's also likely not to be able to do his work.
The major problem for many of those men who feel their sexual behavior is compulsive or addictive is precisely that it gets in the way of getting on with the other important aspects of life.
If it creates problems with your partner: If whatever you're doing or not doing causes conflicts with your partner and harms your relationship, then obviously it's a problem.
This could be the situation when, for example, your partner very much wants you to go down on her but you consider such behavior unseemly or disgusting, or when she wants much longer foreplay than you feel is reasonable or even doable.
The key to such issues is open discussion, honest self-disclosure, and intimate exchange of thoughts, feelings and fantasies by one partner to another. you can always find something that enables you to "break the ice" on any subject.
For example, if you're having problems being open about how you want to make love, find some pleasant way of sharing this with your partner - a tasteful website, for example.
Another kind of difficulty that occurs in couples is when, for example, you always require a special something in order to get turned on.
One woman whose live-in lover could rarely get sexually aroused unless she wore spike heels said this: "It feels like he's in love with the shoes, not with me. Given how he carries on about them, I think he should find a nice pair of shoes to marry."
I know of one couple where the man introduced bondage and dominance games early in their relationship.
The woman didn't mind, in fact thought them an interesting twist, but as time went on she got turned off completely when she realized the man couldn't get aroused without these activities. She then felt that he was "sick and abnormal."
Men who always use the same fantasy to get aroused (for example, the partner has to be nineteen and has to have a certain build) may condition their turn-on to that type of partner and be unable to get aroused with anyone else.
This, of course, can create serious problems in the real world.
Similarly, fantasies involving coercion are common among both men and women, but they can become troublesome if you fantasize only about forcing someone to have sex with you.
You may be conditioning yourself to get aroused only when coercion is involved, and that will create havoc in a relationship. As long as you enjoy a variety of fantasies, there's no problem.
There are often disagreements in relationships over preferences or conditions that almost no one would consider strange or abnormal.
For example, you may feel most sexy in the mornings and prefer that time for lovemaking, but your partner may feel as strongly about evenings.
Because of the conflicting preferences, you and your partner are going to have to work out an accommodation. It's important to understand this point.
Just because you and your partner don't have the same preferences or don't agree on when and how sex is to occur does not necessarily mean that anything is wrong with either of you.
It usually means only that the two of you have to negotiate a reasonable solution to your sexual preferences and differences.
Fantasizing can sometimes be bothersome in a relationship. For example, let's say that during lovemaking you trip out on a fantasy, and although this increases your arousal and you're having a great time, your partner feels alone and neglected.
She doesn't know you're fantasizing; she knows only that although you're having sex with her, you don't seem present. She may not voice her complaint as I have.
Instead, she may say that she has trouble getting aroused or maintaining the excitement, or has problems having orgasm. It may only be with further exploration that she can come up with the feelings I've suggested.
Although it seems far more common for women to feel lonely and left out in sex, it happens for some men, too. The reason appears to be the same. The partner gets more involved with her fantasy than she is with you.
Regardless of who feels left out, something needs to be done. It helps considerably if the one doing the fantasizing can admit it. There's no need for apologies or feeling bad, just a need to see what's going on and what could help.
Another kind of problem that can arise in a relationship is when the woman gets upset about a man's fantasies or erotic materials. Does his use of them indicate he no longer finds her attractive or desirable? In such situations, a good discussion about her concerns and his feelings is required.
Returning to where we started, with what's normal and what's not, my advice is to forget about the question as much as you can. Focus instead on how you feel about your sex life.
If it's not as good as you want, use these information and exercises to make it better. If there are serious problems, decide if you need professional therapeutic help.