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Fetish versus Fantasy

Q. Dear TaMara

As a sex coach what can you tell me about this?  My fetish is imaging my husband having sex with another female even though I could not imagine it happening in reality. I am wondering if I should ignore it or what should I do about it?

A. Great news! You are not alone. Fantasizing about your partner having sex with someone else happens to be more common than people think. Survey research indicates that anywhere from 60-90% of women and men have sexual fantasies about someone other than their partner. And similar research suggest that healthy sexual fantasies are an indicator of an overall healthy sex life. People who have sexual fantasies are more likely to be sexually satisfied, and they even have more sex.

However, there is a difference between a fantasy and a fetish. Additionally, keep in mind that there is also a difference between fantasy and reality.  For your identified fantasy to be classified as a fetish, your sexual fantasy would need to be something that you needed in order to become aroused or to experience an orgasm. Additionally, your fantasy must be interfering in your daily functions and causing issues for relationship. If you find yourself consistently fantasizing on a regular basis, your fantasy may have become a coping mechanism for handling your feelings within your relationship or it may be a subconscious indicator that something may be going wrong in your relationship. However, if you’re happy with the level of intimacy and sexual connection you’re having with your partner then the fantasy is not a much of a concern.

Whether or not you discuss this sexual fantasy with your husband is your decision. Bear in mind that fantasy sharing may not go as planned. Potential issues may include the risk of upsetting your partner, jealousy, rejection, and hurt feelings. If you do decide to share fantasies with each other, the potential benefits may include becoming closer through the sharing of intimate thoughts, increased excitement, more arousal during sex and added variety to your sex life.  You can even take things one step further by “becoming” the other woman you fantasize about.

Set up the scenario: Dress up in something you normally wouldn’t wear – maybe a wig, different outfit, etc. Get a room at a swank hotel. “Meet” your partner at the hotel lobby bar. Order drinks, flirt a little, slip them your key as you sashay back to your room. Once your beloved joins you in your room, let your imagination run wild!!!

Accepting one’s sexual fantasies allows for a greater acceptance of one’s overall sexual self, which may increase one’s level of intimacy and greater pleasure during sex play. On the other hand, feeling guilty about sexual fantasies can cause anxiety, emotional stress and unnecessary drama with your partner, which could ultimately interfere with your relationship. While there is a fine line between the fantasy and reality worlds, hopefully with an open heart, loving communication and a fun imagination the two worlds can sometimes be merged to create a breathtaking sexual experience for both you and your partner. At the end of the day, the basic message that still remains is that sexual fantasies are just that, fantasies and them are natural and healthy.

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TaMara Campbell

TaMara Campbell

TaMara has more than 18 years experience of coaching, speaking, writing and teaching about human sexuality and intimate relationships so there’s very little that she hasn’t heard about sex.