Do you use fantasy to enhance your sexual experience, to bring you to orgasm? Many of us aren’t so sure about the role fantasy can and should play within our relationships. The very nature of our erotic imagination and what it may reveal, can make us uncomfortable, confused and guilty. Yet our fantasies reflect a deep well of sexual psychology and when examined, can unlock and free our true erotic nature.
By its very definition, fantasy (that which is improbable or unrealistic) is a forbidden landscape of sexual desire. When lust collides with taboo it releases us, and the goal - orgasm - is achieved. It is within the mind that we can be fully realised sexually, yet there can be a measure of guilt within that realisation. When we explore the strange, taboo, ‘abnormal’ realm of fantasy - the fantasy that brings us to orgasm - we can begin to understand our unique sexual psyche. "It is the mind that carries the genesis of sexual life, inhibits us from orgasm or releases us."
Nancy Friday, suggests that fantasy and masturbation are very closely tied, and that for women, masturbation without fantasy is rare. It is from our very earliest experience of our sexual self that fear, the forbidden, anger and the desire for control are born. "Fantasy is where the sexual drive does battle with the opposing emotions, the selection of which comes out of our individual lives, our earliest sexual histories. What were the forbidden feelings we took in as we grew?"
Even if we were brought up to love our bodies and feel no guilt, we have generations of judgement, fear, guilt and suppression in our collective subconscious. We may feel that we are sexually liberated, yet the majority of us, men and women, still feel embarrassed buying a sex toy for example - admitting that we masturbate and able to provide our own pleasure.
Where once, not so long ago, masturbation was considered ‘bad’, today women must contend with mental shame associated with their genitals. Women are still being taught that their vulvas aren’t pretty enough or clean enough and pornographic images are endlessly photoshopped so they don’t have to see their intrinsic ‘ugliness’. Men are reminded that they have to be well endowed, have warrior like endurance and be able to satiate the most demanding partner.
It is fantasy that lifts us above our fear of reprisals and guilt and into the forbidden interior world that is our own sexual psyche.
Within our relationships, the use of fantasy to give us sexual release can still fill us with shame and remorse. We believe that it should be our partner who provides satisfaction and climax, not ourselves. Fantasy and masturbation disempower our lovers and give us a measure of sexual autonomy. It is that autonomy, the power of our deep erotic nature that can threaten us.
The beauty of a rich fantasy life, is that it allows us to explore the limits or our true erotic nature. When we examine our inner sexual landscape, we are given the tools to understand ourselves more fully and free ourselves from society’s rules. We are fuller and more whole, able to give of ourselves more truly to our lovers and richly rewarded with a deeper sexual life.
All quotes from Women On Top, by Nancy Friday
Images by Jan Saudek