Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m deeply fascinated in social taboos. I remember going down a “cannibalism” rabbit hole when I took an anthropology course in college. One of my favorite books (of the few I’ve ever actually finished since I’m not much of a book reader) is The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson, which—you guessed it—tells you how you can spot a psychopath.
When I found out that someone with whom I went to high school was arrested for serial flashing, I took to the internet to try to understand his motivation. And if I’m being totally honest with you, words to the effect of “Why are you watching stuff on child molesters?” have popped out of my partner Phillip’s mouth upon entering the room when I was glued to my YouTube app.
I’m always trying to understand the motivation and general psychology behind social taboos (and you could sometimes say “criminal acts”) because they’re like the forbidden fruits of most casual conversations.
But Enough About That. Let’s Talk About Sex!
Some of you might be cringing after reading all of that, and I don’t blame you. Those examples are taboo for a reason, but that discussion goes beyond this blog post.
Stay with me here, because I want to talk about the social taboo of sexual fantasies. (If you’re anything like me, you asked yourself, “Wait, why is this a taboo?” Here’s one answer.)
As you know, I help women say “Sayonara!” to their relationship anxiety and insecurity as if they bought one-way tickets to the land of peace. So, if you have trouble communicating your needs in your romantic relationship, then discussing your sexual fantasies would be a wonderful (albeit possibly stretchy) exercise in getting past that mental roadblock. And we have data to prove it.
(All paragraphs before this one were the foreplay and buildup; now, let’s climax!)
Sexual fantasies researcher Mike Anderson gave an entertaining TED Talk on this very topic (peer-reviewed paper for nerds here) back in 2015 about how the disclosure of these desires can play a pivotal role in romantic relationship satisfaction, sort of like how I argue that conflict is like the leafy greens you need in a healthy relationship. In the talk, Anderson read a couple of very specific sexual fantasies that were submitted to him during his graduate studies. One was about receiving oral sex in a tub of pudding, while the other was about being dominated in a candle-lit room. (Is it just me, or is it getting hot in here?)
He found that couples were most satisfied when they opened up about their fantasies and acted them out. And even if couples didn’t act them out, they cultivated a deeper bond because they improved their communication. Once that seal was broken, they could share other thoughts and feelings they might not have otherwise.
On the other hand, the least satisfied study subjects were those who had elaborate fantasies that they painfully locked inside of themselves, sort of like a man with “blue balls” (my metaphor, not Anderson’s).
Moreover, the women in the study pretty consistently disclosed fantasies related to dominance and submission, while men were all over the map. However, the largest percentage (about 15%) of men fantasized about having multiple partners, some of them being men and some being women.
And perhaps most surprisingly, whenever a specific additional partner was named, that person was most frequently Flo from those Progressive commercials. I’ll be damned!
Now That We’re Hot and Bothered…
This research gives us permission to release our fear of judgment when communicating our needs to our partners, even if those needs seem a bit outrageous in our heads. Would you rather take a chance on yourself, your partner, and your relationship so you can be one of those satisfied couples, or would you rather live in fear and imprison your needs like a horny inmate? Would you rather get it on with Flo or get metaphorical blue balls? It’s your choice.
If the time is right and you need help moving away from relationship anxiety and insecurity and toward peace, then hit me up here!
Interested but not ready to commit to a coaching relationship? Take this “Relationship Insecurity Quiz” to see where you stand romantically, get tailored results, and get a special surprise afterward!