Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken by researchers at Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal and Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal, affiliated with University of Montreal. Although many theories about deviant sexual fantasies incorporate the concept of atypical fantasies (paraphilias), the scientific literature does not describe what these types of fantasies actually are. In North America, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) refers to "anomalous" fantasies, while the World Health Organization talks about "unusual" fantasies in defining paraphilias. But what is an unusual sexual fantasy exactly? The prestigious Journal of Sexual Medicine published the answer today.

"Clinically, we know what pathological are: they involve non-consenting partners, they induce pain, or they are absolutely necessary in deriving satisfaction. But apart from that, what exactly are abnormal or atypical fantasies? To find out, we asked people in the general population, as simple as that," said Christian Joyal, lead author of the study. "Our main objective was to specify norms in sexual fantasies, an essential step in defining pathologies," he noted. "And as we suspected, there are a lot more common fantasies than atypical fantasies. So there is a certain amount of value judgment in the DSM-5."

Since the majority of studies on sexual fantasies are conducted with university students, this study required finding a sample of adults willing to describe their sexual fantasies. As a result, 1,517 Quebec adults (799 men and 718 women; mean age 30 years) responded to a questionnaire describing their sexual fantasies, as well as describing their favourite fantasy in detail (hybrid quantitative and qualitative research design). The results are more than interesting.

Results

  • The nature of sexual fantasies are varied among the . Few fantasies can be considered statistically rare, unusual, or typical (see glossary).
  • However, not surprisingly, the study confirms that men have more fantasies and describe them more vividly than women. The study also tells us that a significant proportion of women (30% to 60%) evoke themes associated with submission (e.g., being tied up, spanked, forced to have sex).
  • Importantly, unlike men, women in general clearly distinguish between fantasy and desire. Thus, many women who express more extreme fantasies of submission (e.g. domination by a stranger) specify that they never want these fantasies to come true. The majority of men, however, would love their fantasies to come true (e.g. threesomes).
  • As expected, the presence of one's significant other is considerably stronger in female fantasies than in male fantasies. In general, men in couples fantasize much more about extramarital relationships compared to women.

"One of the most intriguing findings has to do with the significant number of unique male fantasies, for example, regarding shemales, anal sex among heterosexuals, and the idea of watching their partner have sex with another man. Evolutionary biological theories cannot explain these fantasies, which, among males, are typically desires,

"Overall, these findings allow us to shed light on certain social phenomena, such as the popularity of the book "Fifty Shades of Grey" with women," noted Joyal. "The subject is fascinating. We are currently conducting statistical analyses with the same data to demonstrate the existence of homogeneous subgroups of individuals based on combinations of fantasies. For example, people who have submission fantasies also often report domination fantasies. These two themes are therefore not exclusive, quite the contrary. They also seem associated with a higher level of satisfaction."

Glossary

  • Rare fantasies - E.g., sex with a child or animal
  • Unusual fantasies - E.g., "golden showers," cross-dressing, sex with a prostitute, abusing an intoxicated person
  • Typical fantasies - E.g., sex in a romantic location (female), receiving oral sex, sex with two women (male).

Explore further

Spanish study shows that men and women have the same sexual fantasies

Journal information: Journal of Sexual Medicine

Citation: Sexual fantasies: Are you normal? (2014, October 31) retrieved 15 September 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-10-sexual-fantasies.html
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Oct 31, 2014
You're not brave.

You're a sad, sick, little man.

Oct 31, 2014
@Vietvet - Unfortunately, a lot of people share verkle's position. Calling them sad/sick isn't accurate in that context. The better parts of society have advanced a lot, and it's inevitable that a lot of people will get left behind, even if only out of sheer inertia.

Verkle, how exactly would you define evil? What makes something evil? What, fundamentally, do you mean when you call something evil?

Also, "unnatural"? Compared to what?

Oct 31, 2014
The better parts of society have advanced a lot


Unfortunately, there's no way to call one part of society better or worse because any such judgement is necessarily subjective to the part itself.

That is because you can't define "better" without appeals to consequences, which in the end will just turn out to be a judgement of your personal self-interest. The reason why you want to be good is because you believe it is somehow going to turn to your own advantage, in whatever ways you think are advantageous.

Even if you say "Jesus would want us to be kind to homosexuals", another person can simply go "So what?"

Also, "unnatural"? Compared to what?


"Unnatural" in this context typically means something that goes against the nature, or the default and purposeful behaviour of a being. It is not in the nature of man for example to have three arms.


Oct 31, 2014
Verkle, how exactly would you define evil? What makes something evil? What, fundamentally, do you mean when you call something evil?


He means exactly the same thing as you mean when you say some people are "left behind" in social advance.

He means something he doesn't want to exist.

Oct 31, 2014
they involve non-consenting partners, they induce pain, or they are absolutely necessary in deriving satisfaction.

What if they induce pain but poth parthers are consenting?

Since they say:
The study also tells us that a significant proportion of women (30% to 60%) evoke themes associated with submission (e.g., being tied up, spanked, forced to have sex).

That would make these fantasies by one (or even several) of their criteria pathological. And I don't think one can really argue that.

Oct 31, 2014
Importantly, unlike men, women in general clearly distinguish between fantasy and desire. Thus, many women who express more extreme fantasies of submission (e.g. domination by a stranger) specify that they never want these fantasies to come true.


And that's Why Men cannot understand women. Why in the F&$@!! would you NOT want your fantasies to come true? How can they even be fantasies? Its a contradiction!

Oct 31, 2014
@AA - Personally, I think you shouldn't try too hard to analyze the DSM-5. Looking back on history, the reality is that psychiatry tends to reflect the prevailing cultural norms of the time. That's not to say that psychiatry isn't a valid field - my parents are psychiatrists and I respect their work a lot - but from what I've seen the field has strong unscientific tendencies. A lot of it is basically anecdotal in nature, or insufficiently researched/unconfirmed. To put it simply, because they can't do hard science on the brain (at least not easily) a lot of nonsense is allowed to build up and opinions are given excessive weight.

@Eikka - Sure, I'll concede that better is relative. And I suppose you could say that altruism is "to your own advantage", since people are altruistic because it feels good to them. So I'll just keep it simple and state that my version of "better" is "people being happier and suffering less".

(continued)

Oct 31, 2014
@Eikka - I would disagree with your implication that homosexuality is not natural. On the contrary, the fact that >5% of the population is homosexual indicates that it is being actively selected for. In other words, it is advantageous if some percentage of the population is gay. There are various theories about what exactly these advantages are, such as the "gay uncle" theory.

http://en.wikiped...entation

And besides, it's logically strange to consider sexual orientation as more moral in nature than any other oddity. For example, I can't play guitar because my arm doesn't rotate as far as most people's arms - does this make me "evil"? There's no real difference between something like that and homosexuality - people only assign a difference because of faulty emotional biases.

At any rate, I'm still hoping that verkle will get back to us...

Oct 31, 2014
"I can't play guitar because my arm doesn't rotate as far as most people's arms" - "There's no real difference between something like that and homosexuality"

I agree homosexuality is something some people want or need, and some don't. However, Constitutionally protecting homosexuality as a civil right is the same as giving a good guitar player extra rights.
It's been proven for years that married families benefit society. Therefore, States gave married couples a benefit in the State to get married even though marriage was a religious act. A homosexual couple should have that same opportunity to benefit from creating a family even though homosexual family's haven't been proven to be a benefit to society, they should have the same chance. Calling it Marriage is where I see an issue. Since it's a religious act, and that lifestyle is not accepted in the religion.
A homosexual shouldn't want to call what they have "marriage". They would never call wishing for something a "prayer".

Oct 31, 2014
@verkle

You are totally blind to your hypocrisy. You made highly unchristian and vicious comments about Tim Cook and you expect civility in return.

Oct 31, 2014
@Eikka - I would disagree with your implication that homosexuality is not natural.


I wasn't. I was simply arguing semantics.

Oct 31, 2014
If you have no standard of what is good and what is evil, then it is all up to debate and discussion. It is decided by ourselves. Going down that path will make the world a sicker and sicker place.


"sicker" is also a relative standard. The fact that you don't prefer it doesn't mean nobody else can. The point is that all standards are subjective and arbitrary, and if we are to have morality then we must have a barter.

The rule is logical and ethical consistency, because that's the first thing anyone has to agree about to be able to agree about anything else. After that is established, anything goes, and its your own responsibility to come up with rules that don't end up kicking you back in the shin.

For example, if you demand that gays be ostracized and your fundamental justification to that end is simply that your people believe so, then you must likewise accept it if people believe you should be ostracized for any of your qualities. Do unto others.

Oct 31, 2014
Rational debate with a fundamentalist is a contradiction in terms.

Oct 31, 2014
I choose not to go that way. What evil is is fundamentally decided by the one who put us here in the first place.


But you already chose to go that way by choosing to believe in a creator, and by choosing to believe that we were made in a certain way for a certain end.

You say, "Of course, but I happen to be correct. I know what it really is - it's been revealed to me." - but so does everyone else. There are probably no three people on this earth who share your vision of what that certainty is in the first place, who or what the creator is, what it was all for. Why - if you truly knew God, you would be god yourself, but you aren't.

You simply made up your own private God, just like everyone else did, because that's the only thing anyone can do, and the irony is that if you keep worshipping this imperfect, mere image of a god, you're committing the sin of idolatry.


Oct 31, 2014
In my opinion it is all about politics. Implanting strict rules about sexuality in young minds makes very compliant adults at a later time. We very well know that when it comes to sexuality rules will always be broken and a person that breaks the rules will want to compensate by being more compliant in other ways toward the controlling entity.

Oct 31, 2014
Look animals can be gay, so it's not something specific to humans.

I am 100% Hetero and could not be convinced to become gay. I also believe that a 100% Gay person could not be convinced to become Hetero. If they could then they would be classified as Bi. Anyway, what I'm trying to say, is that it should be obvious that people are BORN the way they are. They don't CHOOSE one way or the other. Sure some people may get confused, but a lot do when growing up and experimenting.
I am completely amazed that SOME people seem to want to persecute others, and not allow them the freedoms that others have, based on consensual adult sex preference. I mean come on.
Anyway, I still think those with closed minds, tend to be of the religious type.

How on Earth do you classify consensual sex between adults as Evil. It's a basic freedom that we enjoy. Why the feck does it bother you so much what other consenting adults do in their bedrooms???

Nov 02, 2014
And that's Why Men cannot understand women. Why in the F&$@!! would you NOT want your fantasies to come true?

Perhaps because you are in charge of your fantasy, but you would not be in charge of the same initial situation playing out in real life? Seems like a relevant difference to me.

Judging by the popularity of action movies, lots of men have fantasies of heroically rescuing someone. I read of some who acted to make their fantasies reality, setting fires so that they could be heroes. I read about them because they were being tried for arson. That I read about this only occasionally suggests that many men don't wish very strongly that their fantasies should come true, at least when the fantasies are not sexual.

How can they even be fantasies? Its a contradiction!

A fantasy is a scenario you like to imagine. No contradiction if you want to leave it at that. You describe a wish. Not the same as a fantasy.


Nov 02, 2014
What evil is is fundamentally decided by the one who put us here in the first place.

That would be the divine command theory of morality. So if the deity of your choice commands you to kill all the members of another tribe, except for virgin girls, (it's in the old testament) that becomes good?

Unnatural would be something that does not follow the way we were created.

So now evil = unnatural? Radiation therapy against cancer is quite unnatural, unless you want to say that what is natural for humans includes what we can invent. But invention also covers sexual practices.

I know your response already. "Believe in evolution instead, and we can forget about what is evil."

Only if you believe both the divine command theory of morality and also that evolution is incompatible with the existence of a deity. Someone who disagrees on either point can accept evolution and still be concerned about evil.

Nov 02, 2014
Due the self reporting nature of this study, there may be a bias towards typical and away from unusual or rare. A data base of fantasies, portrayed as written stories, could be used to judge autonomously what people would choose to read and fantasize about.

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