Recently, I reflected on the first chapter of Justin Lehmiller’s Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How it Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life.

My focus was the seven major categories of fantasy for Americans; I rated those categories top to bottom for myself and then had my Husband do the same, for comparison’s sake. We found a fair amount of difference, which I plan to tackle in this post and few upcoming posts.

Chapter two goes into greater detail on the top 3 categories, the most popular being Multi-partner sex, followed by Power, control, and rough sex, and then by Novelty, adventure, and variety.

When I look at my own and my Husband’s results, we line right up with the majority of people who were surveyed. Mr. D’s 2nd choice is the most popular in the country…while my second choice is the 2nd most popular. His 1st choice is the third most popular fantasy.

My top two: Passion and romance & Power, control, and rough sex
His top two: Novelty, adventure, and variety & Multi-partner sex

While it doesn’t make much difference, it’s interesting to note that our fantasies, for the most part, are pretty “pedestrian”…or at least, they are very common.

Let’s take a deeper look at these top three fantasies.


Multi-partner sex:

According to Lehmiller’s study, more than 1/3 of his survey participants, both men and women, chose multi-partner sex (namely threesomes and orgies or gangbangs) as their favorite fantasy, with threesomes being the most common type. This is definitely one of my Husband’s fantasies, and while we have, to some degree, fulfilled this fantasy in our swinging activities, it remains a top choice for Him. This is a fantasy I feel I can get on board with, though I am less into it than He is (at least at the onset).

I am more comfortable with foursomes, though the more bodies in the bed, the more confusing it can be (because who does what when?). This is something we are currently working on, as we are in communication with at least two couples we plan to meet up with once it’s Covid-safe “enough.”

While I’ve had fantasies of gang-bangs (interestingly…more often than threesomes), I’m not necessarily interested in acting one out in real life. I’m more likely to feel less anxiety with fewer bodies in reality. Let’s be honest, not all fantasies are meant to come true, and not all fantasies play out the way we think they will in our head. At least with swinging, I kind of know what I’m going to get, for the most part, and I feel somewhat at ease because of that.

Mr. D would like to try double-penetration, though the idea makes me a bit nervous. I’m not completely against it, but for some reason a threesome with two men OR two women (me being one of them) make me equally uncomfortable. I have jealously issues – I’ll own up to that, and I have some insecurity issues, as well…not gonna lie. So, I suppose I’m more open to a threesome with two men than one with two women.

According to Lehmiller, the appeal of threesomes has “more to do with the fact that the activity creates a state of sensory overload than anything–it’s really about amping up our arousal by bringing in another body that we can look at, touch, and experience in an overpowering way that allows us to get lost in sensations.” He also notes that those of us in relationships tend to put our current spouse or lover in our multi-partner fantasies “which tells us that people who want threesomes aren’t necessarily in troubled relationships, nor are they looking to replace their partners–instead, they’re usually looking to share an experience together that everyone will enjoy.” I can verify this to be true, at least for us, because I know that is exactly what motivates Mr. D. He wants me PLUS someone else…not someone else instead of me. And when I consider multi-partner sex, I prefer Him to be at the core of it, controlling what I do and what anyone else can do with me or to me. After all, He’s my dominant, and I like the safety that this provides, both in my fantasies about multi-partner sex and in real-life multi-partner situations. In the past, we’ve also found that our multi-partner experiences have brought us closer together, since it was an intense shared experience.

In my multi-partner fantasies, I’m usually the center of attention, which matches up with Lehmiller’s findings. Apparently, it’s most common for people to see themselves at the center of the fantasy, which makes sense. Lehmiller says that it’s “likely to increase feelings of personal validation–you’re likely to feel more attractive and desired when you’re getting most of the action. Plus, for those who feel a little insecure, being the center of attention would likely allay any potential concerns that your romantic partner is into someone else more than you.”

Apparently, also, people were most likely to conjure generic partners for their multi-partner fantasies. I know that I do…usually the only partner that I can pick out of the bunch is my Husband. It seems that most of us are less concerned with who we are fucking in our multi-partner fantasies, or where we are fucking them, than the act itself.


Power, Control, and Rough Sex:

More than 1/4 of the survey participants in Lehmiller’s study chose this as their top fantasy. In fact, only “4 percent of women and 7 percent of men had never had them.”

There are a lot of misconceptions, though, when it comes to these fantasies.

BDSM is the most common term for this collection of fantasies, but it’s a wide wonderland of possibilities and there is no one-size-fits-all. Lehmiller addresses one of the common misconceptions when he says, “Although it’s certainly the case that some practitioners of BDSM have (or want to have) their own dungeon and some of them may enjoy (or fantasize about enjoying) intense pain, it turns out that BDSM rarely takes this form in fantasy or in reality.”

No need to explain, I’m sure, as I’ve devoted much of this blog to our BDSM pursuits, but we’ve gone far from the fantasy world on this one, as it is simply a part of our daily interactions and way of life.

Let’s take a look at each letter of the acronym for those who may be new to it (though I suspect most of my readers are very familiar with it).

B = Bondage = involves one person surrendering control of their body to another. It turns out, this is a pretty common fantasy. More than 3/4 of Lehmiller’s survey participants reported having had fantasies about restraining someone or being restrained. I’m all over this one, and can see us adding this to our repertoire even more often than we do. I like being held down, my limbs bound, my neck squeezed in His grip. In the past, He’s considered the use of ropes, so there is always the possibility of getting into the art of Shibari. (If you are interested in rope bondage…you might want to check out bluesubmission.com – she is amazing.)

D = Discipline = a type of psychological restraint used to control someone’s behaviors by way of rules and/or punishment. Similar to bondage, one person surrenders control to another.

D = Dominance = one person gains (sexual) pleasure from having power and control over another.

S = Submission = one person gains (sexual) pleasure from surrendering power and control to another. Lehmiller explains that submission, which is a more common fantasy that dominance, “psychologically changes you from a person to an object and helps to take you out of your head. This is something that may be appealing to people who are easily distracted or tend to be anxious during sex.” While I don’t believe Mr. D necessarily sees me as an object, even when I am actively and sexually submitting (that’s hard to do when love is involved, I think…but I could be wrong), I do agree that it allows me a way to get out of my head and simply feel and be.

(Granted, some who practice D/s do not do this for sexual pleasure…but as we are talking fantasies here, I’m sticking with the type that is related to sexual gratification.)

S = Sadism = obtaining (sexual) pleasure from giving pain.

M = Masochism = obtaining (sexual) pleasure from receiving pain. I’m getting there on this one. I like to be spanked…and I’m interested in exploring this a bit more – hot wax, unique hitty things, being bound, tweaked, pinched, clipped, etc. While it isn’t my favorite thing – to feel pain – there is a draw to what pain provides…mental reset, focus, psychological cleansing.

Forced sex fantasies (or “rape fantasies”) are a part of this genre, as well. I can admit to having had rape fantasies. I like the idea, theoretically, of being taken and made to do things, but I’d never want these fantasies to happen in real life. I could see a role-play of some sort, but in this type of situation, there is still consent at the heart of the activity.


Novelty, Adventure, and Variety

This is probably the easiest way to add spice to your sex life. New toys, new positions, sex in different rooms or unusual places, role-playing, different types of sex, watching porn, using food, playing sex games, wearing lingerie.

Of course people crave “new” and “different.” Nobody wants to just do one thing forever. When I look at my own Erotic Bucket List, the majority of items listed would be put in this category.

Lehmiller says that, “It makes perfect sense that fantasies about sexual variety are so popular in light of a mountain of research finding that our arousal tends to habituate or lesson over time in response to the same sexual stimulus. In order to get the juices flowing again, so to speak, we need to mix things up.”

He notes the Coolidge Effect, which I’d heard about before reading this book. I can see that this may very well be a part of my own libido issues, as it is for many others. Seeing and doing the same thing over and over is bound to lead to the blahs.


Next time, I’ll review the remaining four fantasies, but for now, suffice it to say, our (and likely your) fantasies are pretty darn normal. And, for the most part, Mr. D and I are on the same page when it comes to these top three. While Multi-partner sex is more yummy to Him, and Power, control, and rough sex are possibly yummier to me, we both need Novelty, adventure, and variety to keep the fires burning. And both of us have the ability and the openness to see to each other’s top fantasies.

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2 Replies to “3 things almost everyone fantasizes about”

  1. Striving for novelty is the eternal tragedy of the human race. We always want something new, new discoveries. This craving for the new is the engine of progress 🙂

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