You know this world well. In a fragment of a moment, you can appear in a sexually charged situation and leave again before it’s your turn at the teller window. Or you can linger for literally hours in your own serene erotic world partly solo priapic pleasure and partly otherly. Such an imaginary world is common to man.
And why would anyone disclose their private fantasy world to someone who doesn’t get it? When you’re in your world of fantasy, it’s definitely real. It has a history of characters whom you’ve met, known, or contrived yourself. Your fantasy has a connection to a lifetime of imagination, interests, and desires. You don’t risk revealing these secret journeys to another unless you believe even they have a similar life of fantasy.
And, like you, most guys believe their own sexual fantasies are wilder, more terrible, and more wonderful. No one could have fantasies like these. No one.
And that’s where fantasy can get disturbing. You’re lost in private reverie and erotic dream only known in your fantasy when out of the distance you hear the familiar shout of social shame. The only-to-you familiar sights, sweet sensations, and sounds of fantasy scramble and blue-screen as your private moments are now challenged by other voices.
Is this real? Is this okay? Is this normal?
“Yes. Yes. And yes,” you scream, wanting to believe that it really is “yes”. And here’s where disturbing feelings enter the room.
The guys in my college dorm dissected the modern dilemma of masturbation and sexual fantasy one Saturday afternoon. How could masturbation possibly be acceptable for a guy with all the accompanying sexual stuff going on in his formerly virgin mind? After all, this sexual thinking and all these imagined erotic images are wrong. Right?
I don’t think I would have attended the school these days.
Even then, I stood alone, drafty and naked in my views that masturbation was totally possible apart from sexual fantasy, that you could indeed dwell only on physical sensation while your dominant hand dwelt on precisely the same.
OK, I was desperate, and my argument weak, but before I could re-balance for the sure onslaught of derision, I blurted out that you could think only of a red rose and masturbate just as easily.
It was a while before I realized where I had gone wrong. I, like my dorm mates, missed noticing the more important issue: the reality of erotic fantasy. Fantasy isn’t the absence of reality in an unhinged male mind but is a reality in its own right. Fantasy allows you to behave in one world while erotically dreaming in the other.
You only get into trouble when you fight your existence in the fantasy world instead of just letting it be. This battle is the starting gate of a sure-to-last-forever moralistic war that leaves in its wash, pain, confusion, and ravaged self-respect. You need not threaten your relationships, morals, or values with fantasy any more than you need to assign a meaning to every fantasy. You may never know what it means — just that it is — a living and divinely creative dimension of your sexuality in your personal world.
I’m afraid my dorm mates are anxiously wringing their hands over their battle to sanitize their imaginations of every sexual thought when the rest of guy-dom is living peacefully with a lively fantasy world, self-respect, and godly values.
The obvious beauty of erotic fantasy is its entertainment value. You can view end-to-end 25-cent flicks for absolutely free. Or view your favorite episode for days or years. Fantasy can be the history channel of your sex life. Or sci-fi other-world close encounters that might wind up in your next erotic thriller.
What’s more fascinating is the “what if?” feature of fantasy. You play in a virtual playground of sexual experimentation unbound by the borders of social mores. Here you splash erotic colors on the canvas of your imagination. The question of “Could I really do this?” isn’t important, yet often fantasy breeds energy and sexual dimension making your sex life all the richer and more intriguing. In your imagination, you will create possibilities that later really do show up in your relationships and with your lover. Your lover asks with wide eyes where that came from. You wryly say, “I’ll tell you later.”
On the same playground, you might find yourself involved in a game that doesn’t otherwise strike you as your style. Some guys are disturbed that their fantasy includes sexual play involving gender or a high level of intensity to which they’re not accustomed. This sense of surprise is natural and even beneficial. It may indicate growth or a needed sway of perspective. The anxiety is never worth it, though. It only comes when we question our okay-ness. Growth is an important part of living sexually. Fantasy is fantasy.
Another event on this playground as on any is when fantasy reveals an unmet desire, fear or anxiety. The connection between the sexual image in your mind and the underlying emotional trigger might not be immediately accessible to you. It’s still beneficial to allow the fantasy to reveal itself to you as it can be an exercise in knowing yourself more intimately. It’s an exercise in personal integrity. To gain further clarity, you may want to discuss the scenario with someone trusted or even a therapist.
Healthy erotic fantasy should never displace growing sexuality in your relationships or threaten a sense of security in your lover. Your open and self-revealing approach to relating breeds curiosity in a relationship and a desire to know more about your mind. When you let your lover in on your fantasy life, cultivate a sense of generosity, inclusion, and trust.
Writers and artists of erotica, art, music, drama, and sculpture both of our time and history left us a rich source to inspire the imagination. Their work not only washes us in erotic creativity but provides the sweet external validation that assures us that, like us, men’s minds have enjoyed sexual fantasy since the moment God gave humanity breath.
Photo by Tatiana Morozova | Dreamstime.com