Are my fantasies sick?

Dear Sex Educator,
I’m not certain if I’m asking a question, so much as asking for insight. I don’t believe I was a victim of physical sexual abuse, but wonder if perhaps I’ve been a victim psychologically. I don’t know how to find the source of this bothersome mind process, if there is a source, or if I should be concerned about it in the first place.

As early as seven years of age I’ve had this abusive type of sexual fantasy where I am caught masturbating by a man of authority and taken to the town square, where I am placed in the stocks and my genitalia is flogged. I would act this out somewhat under the covers during nap time in my bedroom. It’s interesting to me that the male is the authority, when my mother was the first line of discipline in my real life.

My first experience with masturbation was in my early 20s. I’m nearly 40 years old now and masturbate maybe once a month, if that, IF I can talk myself into engaging in such behavior. Usually after reaching orgasm, I feel discontented.

When I have sex with my partner, I often fall into a fantasy where I’m to be spanked if I don’t reach orgasm. The thought of such a threat usually helps me to reach orgasm. Most of my fantasies involve being spanked by a male. These fantasies have not changed since coming out of the closet nearly four years ago.

Previously, I had been married to a male in a loving relationship for 13 years. I’m currently in an awesome, loving relationship with a woman, but still find myself slipping back into these “sick” fantasies in order to reach an orgasm. Your thoughts?

Thank you for your question. It’s very common for us to have fantasies that are very different from any reality that we would choose. The role of fantasy is to provide a different stimulus. If you fantasized about things that you would normally do, the fantasy would not have much of an impact on your arousal. It’s a strange, but true, dynamic.

So there is nothing wrong with having a wide variety of fantasies to help yourself achieve a higher state of arousal. Sometimes people try to consciously replace their fantasies if they find them to be too disturbing, but this is very hard to do, and ultimately not very successful.

Your fantasy doesn’t have anything to do with abuse or anything that happened in your life. Many of us find a great deal of arousal in fantasies of struggle, overpowerment, or punishment. The way the mind experiences arousal is sometimes surprising, but what you’re describing is not “sick”.

I would encourage you to explore other fantasies – heterosexual and lesbian – by reading erotic stories or true-life fantasies that are available. This might help you broaden your fantasy repertoire. Books like “Women on Top” by Nancy Friday, or the Herotica series of erotic short stories might be fun for you to explore.

But mostly I’d encourage you not to worry about this. It’s very common, and not harmful to you or your relationship.

Take care.

The Sex Educator