What Your Sexual Fantasies Say About You

Exploring your sexuality can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, and there’s nothing wrong with indulging in your desires, whether they involve fantasies and fetishes. These are simply thoughts or desires that may enter our minds at any time. However, there’s more to it than that. 

According to sex psychologist Dr. Justin Lehmiller, our sexual fantasies may be affected by life experiences. They can function as windows that reveal our deepest desires, beliefs, and needs.

Lehmiller is a social psychologist and expert on human sexuality at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. He conducted the biggest survey ever about sexual fantasies, then published his findings in his 2018 book, “Tell Me What You Want”.

There, he discussed the possible origins of different sexual fantasies as well as how they are linked to the personality of people. He achieved this endeavor by talking to over 4,000 people about the said topic. Among his most notable observations is that erotic fantasies are often linked with people’s emotional needs. 

Here’s a breakdown of some of the things he learned in his study.

If you think about polyamory or fantasize about group sex…

you’re most likely an extrovert, or at the very least, you are confident enough to approach strangers and initiate a conversation.

You might think that talking to one person might eventually become boring, and the same could be true in your sex life. So being with several people can keep things exciting (in and out of the bedroom).

If you have romantic fantasies with just one other person…

you are probably an empath. For you, one partner is enough. And in the sexual scenarios that you sometimes play in your mind, you and your partner intimately please each other.

Your fantasies also tend to not contain any elements of control or harm. Instead, you dream of passionate lovemaking with vocal communication and appreciation for each other. It won’t be surprising if you act the same in your relationship.

If you’re always thinking of new sexual experiences…

you’re probably a detail-oriented person.

You pay attention to the setting; how things get steamy; and whether you’re going to use toys (and how). Thoughts about organizing things keep your mind excited.

It is also possible, however, that your sexual fantasies may have details that contradict your daily life and environment.

If you have fantasies about BDSM…

you either want to give up control or have more of it. It depends on your usual environment, what you do for a living, or your fascination with power.

Stella Sonnenbaum, a sex coach and therapist, states that in sexual fantasies, people may often imagine themselves in roles or relationships they don’t have in real life.

Men and women who have high positions in their jobs and are required to give instructions regularly might be attracted to the feeling of submitting to someone’s will during sex. These people can find pleasure in relinquishing control and obeying commands for a change.

On the other hand, those who are often required to follow orders might feel excitement at the thought of having control over their sexual partner/s. This possibly stems from a desire to experience power over someone else. 

In other words, whatever reality cannot give you, you might desire to look for through outlets such as sex.

How do we develop our sexual fantasies?

There is no clear explanation for why people become fascinated with the sexual fantasies they come to develop. Two people may have totally different reasons for having the same type of fantasy. 

One suggestion that Sonnenbaum gives is that sexual fantasies can help some people deal with traumatic experiences from their past. Thus, erotic thoughts can have a “healing” aspect.

What should we do?

Nothing! There’s really nothing we can do about the things that pop up in our dreams and minds. What we can control is how we respond to these fantasies. That being said, it’s essential to keep open communication with our partners about our desires and boundaries. Doing so can build stronger and more fulfilling relationships based on mutual respect and understanding.


Sexual fantasies are a natural and healthy part of human sexuality, and they can offer valuable insights into our desires and needs. While there’s no one-size-fits-all explanation for why we have them, exploring and understanding our fantasies can be a powerful tool for personal growth and relationship satisfaction.


  • Brhlik, E. (2023, March 29). 7 Psychological Reasons Behind (Your) BDSM Cravings. Medium. Retrieved April 4, 2023, from https://bit.ly/3yWbVFZ 
  • Naftulin, J. (2020, July 30). What your sexual fantasies could say about you, according to a sex researcher. Insider. Retrieved April 4, 2023, from http://bit.ly/3KFzUQF
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