Awhile back, I did a post on The 3 Things Almost Everyone Fantasizes About, and I promised to come back to the topic and cover the other types of fantasies that are most common, based on the study done for the April book pick Tell Me What You Want. These last four are tied together by the theme “breaking the rules”: taboo & forbidden sex, swinging/partner sharing/polyamory, intimacy/romance/passion, and homoeroticism & gender-bending.
Intimacy, Romance, and Passion
I’m going to start with intimacy, romance, and passion, because this was my #1. Sadly, it was Mr. D’s #5, which is one of the problems we’ve struggled with over the course of our marriage.
Having a good handle on your partner’s fantasy language (I guess that’s something like a love language, right?) is necessary for successful intimacy. And while He can meet my romance needs, it’s not been a focal point for Him, and during the times when we’ve been at our lowest intimate connections, it’s been hard for either of us to want to meet the other’s needs. Now that we’re on good footing and we’ve made the commitment to start learning and speaking each other’s fantasy languages, not because we expect the other to be native in that tongue, but because we expect the other to at least attempt learning some basic phrases so we can communicate more happily and effectively, He’s making a concerted effort. I like gifts…I like nights devoted to quality time together…I like date nights…I like making love, and holding hands, and cuddling on the couch.
And it’s not like He doesn’t have some similar needs. Everyone likes to feel desired and wanted. Humans, for the most part, have a pretty deep emotional need to belong…and belonging to/with a particular person can create a very deep, intimate connection that fulfills us and provides a foundation for everything else in our lives. According to social psychologists, we humans have a need for social connections that is second only to basic survival needs, and when those needs are not met, we suffer physically and mentally…to the point that it can even affect how long we live. Lehmiller says, “Perhaps the single most important way we can [meet this need] is through our romantic and sexual relationships.”
I find it interesting that Mr. D placed this 5th on His list, because one of the arguments that has been at the foundation of many of our arguments/problems over the years has been His perception of not being wanted or desired. The underlying assumption here is that He meant sexual desire…but really, at the core, is that both of us want a strong intimate connection. He just prefers that connection to be met through sexual means or physical affection, while I prefer it to be met through dates, gifts, and quality time together.
While some might believe the fantasy for romance and passion is more common among women, Lehmiller’s research showed that men and women were just as likely to desire romantic, passionate, intimate relationships.
Swinging, Partner Sharing, and Polyamory
I’m going to follow with this one, because it was at the top of Mr. D’s list and at the bottom of mine. There-in lies the rub, eh?
Back 12 years ago, when Mr. D first brought up the idea of swinging, my reaction was pretty negative. But, I did my research and tried hard to understand His interest. (Here’s and early post about our first experience. And another.) We had some decent experiences, and met some interesting people, some of whom have remained friends over the years, but while I could find peace with casual sex as a way to “spice things up,” Mr. D needed deeper connection in His relationships. So, while swinging initially scratched an itch for Him, it didn’t satisfy Him, and it wasn’t particularly satisfying for me, either. I could get behind watching Him fuck other women. And I have some bi-tendencies, so being with other women was pleasurable to me. But, so many of the men were disappointing. They either weren’t prepared to see their wives with other men, or they were selfish in the sack and used the experiences to get themselves off without worrying much about my pleasure. It felt like work, to be honest, and that put a bad taste in my mouth.
Somewhere along the way, Mr. D asked to move into a three-way polyamorous relationship with a nearby submissive woman He found on the internet. I was pretty tentative about the whole thing, as I’m fairly jealous and was quite insecure. We were just back to trying D/s again, and I wasn’t wholly convinced we were ready for a big step like this, but back then, I did a lot of shutting my mouth and following along, even when I didn’t want to do things. My communication skills pretty much sucked.
We met up, negotiated ground rules, and I honestly did try hard to figure out how to provide this for Him. But, in the end, it fell apart. We both handled it poorly and navigated it like children. And the resentments we planted grew deep roots for both of us.
Over the next several years, the conversation about polyamory resurfaced repeatedly. He’d tasted the sweetness, and He wanted it again. But me…I was pretty sure it wasn’t for me.
It’s not a “problem” that’s gone away, either. One can’t just stop wanting what they want. Desire isn’t that convenient. So, it’s a conversation that will probably surface again for us. For now, I’ve agreed to going back to swinging, with the caveat that the men are carefully vetted by Mr. D to ensure that my needs are met. It’s a Pandora’s Box, though, and once it’s been opened, it’s impossible to put shit back in. And it’s hard not to let the past color the future. That’s something both of us have been working on with some minor success.
Taboo & Forbidden Sex
I think a lot us like the idea of breaking rules, whether we do it much in real life of not. I can own up to being pretty intent on following protocol and living up to expectations. I was raised to do so, and I seek it through submission, as well. Rules make me feel safe.
But, in my erotic fiction, and in the back of my mind, the freedom of breaking those rules set by society (or, really…by myself), especially when it comes to what is expected of me sexually, is a big draw.
That’s been there from early on, and it drove much of my early sexual activity. The problem was, because I was hyper-aware of the rules and expectations I was breaking, guilt followed hot on the heels of those euphoric feelings of freedom. I often found myself seeking periods of celibacy after doing something sexually outrageous (in my own opinion). But, because I continually told myself no, the forbidden continued to have an allure, and I continued to go back to it.
So what exactly am I talking about when I say “taboo” or “forbidden”? These are sexual activities that may be labeled as possibly disgusting, illegal, or abnormal “by society’s standards”. They include things like fetishes and kink, cheating/adultery, voyeurism, and exhibitionism, but they also include things that are much more deviant and extreme, like pedophilia, bestiality, incest, erotophonophilia, necrophilia, etc.
I put this one 4th on my list, not because I engage in (or even want to engage in) any seriously taboo or illegal activities, but I do have interest in BDSM, watching and being watched, and I’ve had recurring rape fantasies. These are the ones that make me the most uncomfortable, though…and they are the hardest to admit, because of course…they are labeled as being “wrong” or “unacceptable” by the culture in which I live.
These kinds of fantasies often elicit feelings of guilt, for precisely this reason, and they are usually the ones we hide from others.
Homoeroticism & Gender-Bending
This is the desire for flexibility with respect to one’s gender and/or sexuality. Because neither my husband nor I have much need to be anything but the gender we are, I’m not going to spend much time on this one, other than to say, I do have bi-tendencies and can easily enjoy sex with the right woman. But if it were to come down to a decision between men or women, I would always choose men. I’m more often attracted to them, and I desire sex with men more than I desire it with women. Mr. D can swing (sort of) both ways given the right situation, too, but He’s most definitely a lover of women. Really…He just won’t be offended if swords cross, and He likes the feeling of something (namely a finger or a toy) up His ass on occasion – but since the prostate is there…I can’t image any man not liking that sensation if they really gave it a chance.
Neither of us put erotic flexibility too high on our lists.
So…after looking at all of these 7 categories…what would you choose as your own fantasy language(s)?
Next time round, I’ll cover the content in Chapter 3 “Mars and Venus: How do Men’s and Women’s Sexual Fantasies Differ?”