In everyday life, most of us aren’t walking around talking about our greatest sexual fantasies and desires. For sex therapists, however, such conversations are all in a day’s work.
Their clients tend to bring up certain turn-ons time and time again, giving these professionals a good sense of what’s popular across the board. We asked our network of sex therapists to share the fantasies their clients mention most frequently. Here’s what they told us:
1. Having a threesome“Singles and couples alike fantasize about having three people in the bedroom. Part of the appeal is the sensual overload — so many different body parts all intertwined. A lot of couples like the idea of a threesome for bringing some spark and excitement back into the bedroom.” ―Vanessa Marin, sex therapist
2. Dominance and submission“We see both men and women interested in dominance and submission. While men are generally more interested in dominating and women more interested in being dominated, this isn’t always the case. Some women are dominant and some men submissive. Fantasies of domination are about power, feeling like you are fully in control of an experience and that the other person will submit to your every whim. There are two super sexy things about submission: The first is the feeling that the sub has all of the attention of their dom, their full focus. The second is the feeling of letting go of control and being taken or used for the pleasure of another.” ―Danielle Harel and Celeste Hirschman, sex therapists and authors ofMaking Love Real: The Intelligent Couple’s Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion
3. Foot play
“Foot and shoe fantasies are very common, with mostly men reporting them. The fantasies could include being genitally stimulated by a foot, being walked on ... usually in shoes, or just visualizing different types of shoes to get aroused. The image of a foot in a particular type of shoe is very stimulating to some people. This fantasy often starts when people are very young, and it persists. When you think about how shoes are sold and displayed, it’s not surprising that some people eroticize them. It can get stronger when it’s kept secret (which it often is) or when a partner is upset about it. Then the foot fantasy becomes stronger through association with shame, being forbidden fruit.” ―Gracie Landes, sex therapist and marriage and family therapist
4. For straight people, having sex with someone of the same sex“We tend to think of sexual orientation as binary (heterosexual or homosexual), but these categories are socially constructed concepts that may speak to our general sexual desires but miss the nuance of our innate sexual fluidity and curiosity. When we fantasize about being sexual with someone of the same sex, we get to ponder what it would be like to be touched in ways that are both foreign and familiar (when we touch ourselves) and to break free from some of the gender assumptions that we normally enact.” ―Ian Kerner, sex therapist and author of She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman
5. Giving your partner multiple orgasms “For heterosexual men, bar none, the most consistent fantasy I hear, year after year, is about having an enthusiastic partner who is having a genuinely good time and is freely expressive and responsive to his touch. It may be memories from a previous (particularly hot) sexual experience, or it may be images from porn, or it may be fantasy about a secret crush. But in every case, the woman is enjoying herself immensely and having multiple orgasms.
“This fantasy stems from men often feeling like they need to convince their partners to have sex. Many men share that it is difficult to stay aroused when you know (or suspect) that your partner is not into it. In addition, many men share that when their partner is super turned on, it makes them even more excited, which enhances their sexual satisfaction. It also helps a guy’s ego if he feels he is competent in bed.” ―Kimberly Resnick Anderson, sex therapist
6. Watching your partner have sex with somebody else“With so many of us striving to be in monogamous relationships, there’s something inherently provocative and taboo about the fantasy of watching our partner have sex with someone else. Watching another’s hand touch our partner’s body or another’s mouth kiss our partner’s mouth reinforces our partner’s desirability while making a predictable attachment suddenly feel unpredictable, taking us back to the early days of infatuation. In the position of the voyeur (even in our own imaginations), we can be in power with our watchful gaze or powerless. Either way, through the lens of fantasy, pain becomes pleasure.”