NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Are You Too Ashamed to Share Your Sexual Fantasies With Your Spouse?

Fantasies, including sexual fantasies, are a normal part of most people's lives.  Sexual fantasies have the potential to spice up a couple's sex life, but couples often feel too emotionally vulnerable to share their fantasies with their significant other. So, when faced with the question of whether or not to share your sexual fantasies with your partner, like so many other things, it depends (see my article: How to Talk to Your Spouse About Sex - Part 1 and Part 2).

Are You Too Ashamed to Share Your Sexual Fantasies With Your Spouse?

Why Are Couples Too Ashamed to Talk About Sex?
Over time in my work with individual adults and couples, I've discovered that many people feel too uncomfortable to talk to their partner about sex--let alone talk about their sexual fantasies.

Often, when I raise this issue in a therapy session, clients cringe.  Even people who have been in long term relationships have problems talking about sex.

When I explore this with individual clients, I often get responses like, "She'll think I'm abnormal" or "I would be too embarrassed to talk to my husband about sex" or "We just don't talk about sex."

The thought of talking about sex often makes people feel uncomfortable and too emotionally vulnerable.  They're afraid their spouse will shame them, make fun of them or dismiss their fantasies as "weird" or "crazy."  

Cultural, Religious or Political Beliefs as Obstacles to Sexual Fantasies
There might also be cultural, religious or political beliefs that create obstacles.  This isn't to say that in some instances, they're not right. Some spouses can be judgmental about fantasies, especially if they've never learned to accept their own sexual fantasies. 

However, when couples avoid talking about sex and sexual fantasies, they're often missing out on a rich source that would enliven their sex life.

Negative Judgments About Your Own Sexual Fantasies
Another possible obstacle is that a person might feel ashamed of their own thoughts and fantasies.  

For instance, a woman, who identifies herself as a feminist, might judge herself for having a sexual fantasy of being "taken" by a man.  In reality, she might never want this in real life, but in her fantasy, she gets turned on by it--at first.   Then, she feels ashamed of it.

Sexual Fantasies Don't Necessarily Have to Be Acted On
People often don't understand that their fantasies don't necessarily have to be acted on in reality.  These fantasies could be used to get things hot in the bedroom but, instead, they remain closely guarded secrets.

Sexual Fantasies For Self Pleasure
Aside from sharing fantasies with a spouse, sexual fantasies can also be used in self pleasuring/masturbation.  

Women, especially, could benefit from this because it helps them to learn what turns them on and, in many cases, it also helps them to learn about their genitalia.  

To Share or Not to Share Your Sexual Fantasies
At the beginning of this article, when addressing whether to share fantasies, I said, "It depends."  

For instance, if your sexual fantasy involves having sex with the next door neighbor, you might want to think twice about divulging this fantasy.  Then again--maybe that would be a turn on for your spouse.  

As another example, if you and your spouse have been having problems in bed, would it make your partner feel better or worse to hear your sexual fantasies?  Would it improve things or make them worse?

Some people would experience it as a blow to their self confidence. It might make them feel sexually inadequate or as one man said, recoiling after he heard his partner's fantasy, "You want me to do what!?!" 

For many other people, it would open up a dialogue that could inspire creativity in the bedroom.  

So, as I said, it depends.

Start By Asking Yourself: "Would I Feel Comfortable Hearing My Partner's Fantasies?"
It might be good to start by asking yourself what you would feel comfortable hearing from your partner.

For instance, even if you and your partner agreed beforehand not to act on the fantasy, would you feel comfortable hearing your partner's sexual fantasy about someone else?  

Would you be turned on or would it make you feel insecure?  Many people would feel uncomfortable, but others would be very turned on, especially if they felt safe enough in their relationship to know that the fantasy would remain between them.

Taking an Emotional Risk to Talk About Your Sexual Fantasies
Once you have a better understanding of what you would be willing to hear from your partner, if your partner is open minded, you might consider taking an emotional risk to divulge a sexual fantasy.

If your sexual fantasy involves your spouse, you could really spice things up in the bedroom when you tell them about it.  

But it's important for you to feel safe emotionally first. 

This is, of course, assumes that you're in touch with your own fantasies and that you don't brush them aside and dismiss them because you feel ashamed.

I'll continue to explore this issue in future articles.

Getting Help in Therapy
Many individuals and couples feel emotionally and sexually shutdown or they have other sexual problems. 

If you and your partner have problems discussing sex, you could benefit from working with a licensed mental health professional who has expertise in helping people to overcome these problems.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT and Somatic Experiencing therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.