Even when we’re not aware of it, sex is bound up in many complex emotions. Even the most open and sex-positive among us can sometimes feel less than clear about our innermost desires. It can be tempting to dismiss some of our most common sexual fantasies as somehow wrong. More likely than not, however, even your most taboo sexual fantasies are very normal and even healthy. Research suggests that those who entertain erotic fantasies cope with less anxiety and have stronger self-esteem. Acting on a mutual fantasy with a partner may even improve your sex life!
Here are some of the most common sexual fantasies out there:
Sex with Multiple People
Sex with multiple people involves sexual intimacy with more than one partner of any gender. There’s the ever-popular threesome of course, and anything larger is known as an orgy. A 2017 study on university undergraduates showed that 64% had some interest in multi-partner sex. If you have a partner and wish to invite someone else into the mix, always be sure to discuss it thoroughly–mutual consent is 100% necessary (and hot). If you feel called to larger group sex, always ensure that trust and safety are in full effect!
Roleplay and Cosplay
Although some may confuse them, roleplay and cosplay are two distinct types of erotic play. Roleplay can take many different forms. Some common sexual fantasies involving roleplay include police officer and prisoner, plumber and housewife, and teacher and student–to name a few. Many roleplay-based kinks involve an authority figure and a power differential that can be delicious to explore. Cosplay, on the other hand, often involves dressing up as a character from pop culture (i.e. books, movies, or video games) during sex. No two sexual fantasies are alike!
Gender-bending and Homoeroticism
Gender-bending and homoeroticism do not necessarily go together–but they can. When a person challenges society’s expectations of their gender by dressing and/or acting a certain way, they are gender-bending. Homoeroticism involves sexual acts with members of the same sex, regardless of sexual orientation. A 2018 paper suggests that 3.6-4.1% of men and 7.6-9.5% of women report some level of same-sex attraction. Whether you identify as heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise, homoerotic fantasies and/or gender-bending are very normal.
A Romantic Affair
Romantic sex can mean many things to many people. After all, what’s considered “romantic” is subjective! Usually, however, romantic sex is focused on simultaneous emotional and erotic depth. It might be slow, sensual, and deeply connected–much like tantric massage–or it might be on the sensual domination side of things, involving more of a dominant-submissive dynamic while still being highly sensual. Social psychologist Justin Lehmiller has found that 91% of straight men, 88% of straight women, and 87% of gay and bisexual men and women have romantic sex fantasies about their current partner.
‘Rough’ sex, too, can take many different forms. It can be aggressive, primal, or even a little violent. It’s important to know your boundaries and stay away from abusive dynamics. The line may seem faint, but there is a line! That said, with caution and mutual consent, rough sex can be both safe and extremely sexy. A common sexual fantasy in the world of BDSM (bondage, discipline, domination, submission, sadism and masochism), your version of rough sex might involve tying your partner up, pinning them down, spanking, gagging, and a whole array of other sexual acts.
Voyeurism and Exhibitionism
If you fantasize about watching other people engage in sexual acts, you’re having voyeuristic sexual fantasies. One study found that 54% of men have such fantasies, while another study found that 7.7% of people became aroused watching other people have sex. On the opposite end of the sexual spectrum is exhibitionism, which involves becoming aroused at the idea of others watching you engage in sexual acts. Both of these kinks are perfectly healthy if all parties are consenting adults, but it immediately becomes problematic if this is not the case–so be sure to educate yourself on the importance of healthy boundaries.