Learn how to fantasise

Many of us tend too feel shy about having sexual fantasies, or even guilty. But the experts say that a vibrant fantasy life is an important element of healthy sexuality, and should be encouraged in people who’ve suppressed it or simply haven’t had many fantasies before.

Some people complain that they ‘have no imagination’, but in fact that’s not true. If you’ve ever thought about what you’d like for lunch, or pictured a dream holiday destination, then you’ve used your imagination. Similarly, if you’ve ever looked forward to sex, or wondered what a favourite film star looked like naked, then you’ve had a sexual fantasy. So the basics are there for everyone. But if you’d like to make your erotic fantasies more elaborate and potent, so that they really add an extra dimension to your sexual experience, then you might need to exercise that mental facility a little. Here are some ideas that might help:

Take some time to think about what really turns you on sexually. Don’t stop at physical attributes; think about settings too, whether it’s a passionate clinch before a fire on a rainy night, or outside in a meadow or on the beach. Think about previous sexual encounters, and what aspects made them special, then incorporate those elements into your fantasies and expand on them or make them more exaggerated or vivid. You’re the director of your own movie here, and anything goes. Even better than a movie, you can bring all the senses into play: don’t forget about how the sound of someone’s voice, or certain scents or textures, have erotic power.

If you find you’re a bit lacking in material, then why not tap into other people’s fantasies and select what appeals to you. The most common male fantasies include: having sex with an existing partner, giving and receiving oral sex , having sex with more than one person, being dominant , being passive and submissive, reliving a previous erotic experience, watching others have sex, trying new sexual positions. The most common female fantasies include: having sex with an existing partner, giving and receiving oral sex, having sex with a new partner, romantic or exotic locations, doing something forbidden, being submissive, reliving a previous experience, being found irresistible, trying new sexual positions.

You could also try erotic books, magazines, art and movies for inspiration. Even those that aren’t explicitly erotic may serve to turn you on: some people find sweet old-fashioned love stories do it for them; others get excited by action movies.

Practise fantasizing sexually
A good way to start is on your own with a few simple relaxation exercises. Choose a quiet time when you won’t be disturbed, and relax each part of your body, breathing slowly and deeply. Be aware of each part of your body, especially the erogenous zones. Then start to play the ‘movie’ you’ve been developing in your mind, and see where it takes you. Some people just enjoy running through the fantasy as a relaxation or mild turn-on, others use it together with masturbation.

Practise your newly developed fantasy techniques when you’re sexually intimate with your partner, by merging the real lovemaking with the fantasy. Some couples enjoy sharing their fantasies with each other and sometimes acting on them. If you think this would benefit your relationship, but haven’t tried it before, then suggest it to your partner – just take care to reassure him or her that the reason you wish to try this is not because you desire someone else (e.g. the Brad or J-Lo you’ve cast in your movie) over them, but that you feel it could enhance the existing attraction between the two of you.

If the subject matter of your fantasies makes you feel uncomfortable, remember that thinking something and acting on it really are worlds apart. The great thing about fantasies is that you are free to think, be and feel anything you like, because there are no consequences. But fantasising should be a positive experience; if you feel as if it’s getting out of control, or the thoughts are becoming intrusive and distressing, then banish them from your mind. Remember: you’re the director of this movie.

(Health24, updated April 2011)

(Picture: couple fantasy from Shutterstock)

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