Erotic fantasy is a pattern of thought, or an idea or image, that stimulates someone’s sexual response or is sexually arousing. It is a necessary part of human biology and mental activity and response, without it human reproduction would be compromised.
Erotic fantasy will be different for each of us. For some people, the thought that their partner has their own erotic identity is troubling and provocative and one of the sources of conflict, for example in retroactive jealousy.
It is a problem of the internet that when you google ‘erotic fantasy’ you are directed to porn sites rather than sites that write about the importance, or the meaning behind the erotic fantasy. Perhaps erotic fantasy has done the most to drive the development of the internet. Whatever, it is hard to get beyond the titillating and think about what is behind our need and interest in erotic fantasy.
What to make of our partner’s erotic fantasies?
One of the problems in human love relationships is when our partner’s erotic imagination cannot be accommodated. It is probably easier at the start of a relationship to be interested in your partner’s erotic fantasies. But lust and desire wane. How are we supposed to have satisfactory and fulfilling love relationships when erotic fantasies become less important?
It is a biological imperative that erotic fantasies drive reproduction
But once we have children there is less need for them. It is necessary for mothers to put the needs of their children first. It is a challenge for men to know what to do with their erotic fantasies when they are no longer required in their love relationships.
Freud and Erotic Fantasy
Whatever we make of it, we all have our own erotic imaginations. For Freud, our erotic identity was fundamental to our development and progress. For him, all conflicts were rooted in the libido, which in Freud’s view described our sexual energies. For Freud, our psychology always has a biological root.
It might be helpful not to demand to know all about our partner’s erotic fantasies, or to recognise that part of their erotic fantasy life is outside of the relationship. It might not be a problem, the fact that your partner has erotic fantasies might be ordinary and not harmful. Having a fantasy doesn’t imply that it needs to be acted upon or fulfilled.
One of the interesting developments in Freud’s line of thinking is when he comes to recognise that an erotic fantasy may affect our psychology without it being linked to a real event. Freud came to see that an idea of having been seduced might be as powerful as having been seduced.
Psychoanalysis recognised the power of the fantasy and sought to understand the way erotic fantasies might lie at the root of our subsequent problems. Even though those problems might not present as erotic problems in the first instance.
Carl Jung and Freud parted over an argument about whether it is too restrictive to think of libido as only referring to our sexual energies and impulses. After Freud, and particularly in the UK, psychoanalysts came to think more of the importance of early relationships on our development and there was less focus on the importance of sexuality.
Our erotic fantasies are like our fingerprints
They are distinct. We are all turned on by specific erotic fantasy. Love relationships that go well, might, among other things, be relationships that allow for a certain meeting and accommodation of each person’s erotic fantasies.
It is this individual and particular aspect of what makes up erotic fantasies that might explain the particular appeal of different sexual acts for each of us. One of the problems of a long and enduring relationship is how do our erotic lives remain satisfying?
A Billion Wicked Thoughts – Ogi Oggas and Sai Gaddam
In research that updates Kinsey’s enquiry into twentieth-century sexual fantasy the neuroscientists Ogas and Gaddam observed the raw sexual behaviors of half a billion people. By combining their observations with neuroscience and animal research, these two young neuroscientists finally answer the long-disputed question: what do people really like?
Having the chance to speak in a confidential setting is often key to developing a clearer understanding of our erotic fantasies, of how they developed, of how they might create barriers to authentic living and loving relationships.
By giving yourself a safe space to look at these things you may start to discover a greater sense of possibilities, and this may be the beginning of developing a greater sense of understanding how to relate to your partner.
The chance to reflect on ourselves, our feelings and experience can be powerful and transformative. Out of this, you may be able to develop a clearer understanding of how you and your sense of your problems have developed.
I have been working with people on issues such like this for more than twenty years. My work is built around helping you to develop greater insight into who you are, and how you live.
Contact me to arrange a free telephone consultation to discuss how my approach might help you.
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