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The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

Sexpert Says: Sexual fantasies include land, sea, sun and space

Jules Wood
Teresa Ashford sits at Interzone Coffee on July 28th. Ashford has been dubbed Oregon State University’s “Sexpert”, she works to make content educating students on various topics.

When the editor of the Barometer shared this month’s theme with me (land, sea, sun and space), the first thing that came to mind was people’s sexual fantasies. You might be thinking, “What? How does OSU’s designation of being only one of two universities in the country with a Land, Sea, Space and Sun Grant designation connect to sexual fantasies?”

Stay with me here.

In the human sexuality course I teach, we spend time discussing that sexual fantasies are pretty typical and there are many benefits of these visualizations. Part of this discussion covers common sexual fantasy themes along a gender binary.

One of men’s top five fantasies is “sex on the beach.” One of women’s top five sexual fantasies is sex in “places other than the bedroom.” So there we have it – sex on the beach (sea) and sex somewhere other than a bedroom (land). What about the sun? Perhaps sex on the beach would be much more comfortable on a sunny day? How you manage the sand in your pants is a problem for another article…I’ve got nothing for space, but perhaps it’s more about having the metaphorical space to engage in sexual fantasy?

But back on track, what do we know about people’s sexual fantasies?

What is sexual fantasy?

  • Sexual fantasy involves any visualization that you find erotic. This can be any mental image that comes to mind when you’re awake resulting in arousal. This is not the same as dreaming when you’re asleep. We typically don’t have control over our dreams like we do when we’re awake. 

Are sexual fantasies “normal?”

  • Firstly, let’s do anyway with the term “normal.” What is normal anyway? Let’s focus instead on what is typical. According to research done by Justin Lehmiller (social psychologist and Kinsey Institute research fellow), upwards of 97% of Americans report experiencing sexual fantasies. 
  • Some people’s fantasies are less sexual than others, and some fantasies may not be explicitly sexual at all. Fantasies may even involve sexual activity between fictional characters. There is a lot of variety!

Benefits of sexual fantasy:

  • ­Using one’s imagination can create or enhance sexual arousal, either alone or with others.
  • ­Confidence can be improved as you block out negative thoughts or performance anxiety.
  • Stress is alleviated by releasing those feel-good hormones. 

Fun fact!

  • Just because you fantasize about something doesn’t necessarily mean you want it to happen in real life. Same-gender fantasies, fantasies involving power and/or coercion and those with someone other than your current partner – all typical!

Sometimes acting out one’s fantasies within the context of a safe environment can spice up one’s sex life! Want to act on your sexual fantasies? Consider laying this groundwork:

  • Establish consent
  • Talk about boundaries
  • Use contraception and/or barrier methods
  • Do your homework and pace yourselves
  • Review local laws about sex and nudity

When is too much, too much?

  • If your sexual fantasies are pervasive or preventing you from functioning in real-world relationships.
  • If you can’t engage in sexual activity in the absence of fantasy. 
  • If acting out your fantasy is physically harming yourself and/or others.
  • If it involves criminal acts.
  • If you’re wrestling with immense shame or guilt.

If you’re struggling with too much sexual fantasy, consider connecting with Counseling and Psychological Services.

So whether your fantasies involve sex in astronaut suits (space), sex on the beach (sea and sun), or something else entirely, the only limit is your imagination.

Or rather, the “sky’s’ the limit!”

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