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  • feedwordpress 10:00:22 on 2017/05/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , male sexuality,   

    What You Don’t Understand About Sexual Fantasies 

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    “What is sexual fantasy?” – Dylan, Columbus, OH

    People sometimes confess to me that they don’t have sexual fantasies. They assume they have no imagination. I want to tell you that everyone has the capacity for fantasy.

    But what is fantasy? The idea of it has been coopted so that we view it through a narrow lens. It has come to mean costumes, porn-star poses, elaborate accouterments and role-play. You can certainly introduce role-play into your relationship and here’s how.

    But here is the radical but simple definition of fantasy: sexual fantasy is simply anything that enhances excitement or pleasure. Whether it’s the time of day, the way the breeze drifts across a field or a story you create about the way someone looks at you. Let’s continue to unpack the idea of fantasy.

    Fantasy is a story

    This story – our fantasy realm – is what allows us to distinguish between sexuality and eroticism. Sexuality is instinct or biology. Eroticism is sexuality that is transformed by the human imagination.

    We all have these imaginative resources that allow us to play and be curious, to go beyond our lived experience. The wonder of fantasy is that it allows us to bypass reality; we can let go of the constraints of age, physical limits, material realities, health conditions and religious restrictions.

    What a relief to know that the central agent of the erotic act is our imagination rather than the toned abs we can’t ever quite seem to achieve. Fantasy is our very human ability to come back to something and forever change or relive it. Fantasy has the power to connect us to hope, playfulness, and mystery. I believe, if we didn’t have fantasy, we couldn’t live.

    Fantasy is a gift

    It can transform the traits that irk you – your shyness for instance – into something that you imagine turns someone else on. Or you can become all-powerful and confident – fearless and bold – in your fantasies.

    Fantasy allows us to bifurcate our inner blocks. The fears, anxieties and inhibitions that roil inside you can dissolve so that you can experience the joy of sexuality. The pitfalls of your relationship can be sidestepped in the moment of fantasy.

    Fantasy is an imagined place

    Does that mean that the fantasies that you have are what you really want to happen? Not necessarily. As we’ll discuss in detail next week, a fantasy is a game, an imagined place. Fantasies are different from what we want in the cold, harsh light of our daily reality.

    If you know how you want to experience sexual pleasure, even if it’s simply the way someone strokes your hair, you are already in the realm of sexual fantasy. Embrace it.

    Let me know your thoughts about the definition of sexual fantasy. And look out for an upcoming post on how to deal with your partner’s unsexy fantasies.

    The post What You Don’t Understand About Sexual Fantasies appeared first on Esther Perel.

  • feedwordpress 13:00:45 on 2015/05/01 Permalink
    Tags: , male sexuality   

    Affairs: Traumatic Experience or Opportunity for Growth? 

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    Common assumptions about male sexuality posit that:

    1. Men are creatures of biology and women are creatures of meaning.

    2. Male  Sexuality is more frequent, more stable, and their preferences are fixed  more early in life.

    3.  Men’s arousal templates are  more rigid,  more narrow,  biologically driven, concordant with their physical arousal

    4. Male sexuality  is less affected by mood and  internal states

    5. And finally ,  it’s less related.

    It is not because women’s sexuality is more subjective rising on a lattice of emotions, and more contextual and interpersonal, that men’s sexuality is devoid of it at all. In other words, as my colleague Marta meana puts it:  It is not because women care more about something that men do not care at all.

    This notions that sexual desire in men is uncomplicated,  a simple biological force that is either indiscriminately seeking an outlet or impaired by hormonal deficiency, and that men’s mood does not affect them, are oversimplifications, and not true. In fact, we know that depression and anxiety are also strong factors influencing male sexual desire; 42% of men respond to depression, 28% to anxiety. But what is different maybe is that men will turn to sex, to regulate their mood.  The same experience of anxiety in men will lead them to sex  and  masturbation whereas  women  more likely will  shut down.

    How can we say that male sexuality is not relational, when we know that what turns men on more than anything is  to see their partner turned on. A partner’s desire- male or female,  the pleasure and their contribution to the pleasure of their partner is essential to them – so it’s extremely related.

    Male sexuality if often affected by shame. Societies all along made sex look dirty, and men as predatory, dangerous, and aggressive – so there is a lot of shame, and  lot of guilt: “I don’t want to hurt anybody”, and  finally there is the fear of rejection and fear of inadequacy for men around their sexuality.  If these are not relational components I don’t know what other way to look at male sexuality. Who is rejecting them: a partner, who makes them feel inadequate? A partner. Who makes them feel guilty or with whom they feel guilt? A partner. It is extremely relational and so I think that men are often more lonely than selfish in their experience of sexuality and that we often emphasize the selfishness of male sexuality and not loneliness. And we often emphasize the aggressive and violent part of male sexuality and not vulnerability. I invite you  to look at the sides of men that are less acknowledged, even by men themselves, as  they get obscured in favor of the common views,  that have truth to them but they don’t nearly capture the whole picture. Let us not see women as complex and men as simple.

    The post Affairs: Traumatic Experience or Opportunity for Growth? appeared first on Esther Perel.

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