Coming to terms with weird sexual fantasies
July 26, 2007 3:31 PM   Subscribe

How does one come to peace with unfulfillable sexual fantasies?

I've been blessed with a number of sexual fantasies involving loss of control that are either impossible to fulfill (that is, they involve things that don't, in fact, exist in real life, such as tentacles and mythical creatures and the like), or immoral (rape, slavery, bestiality, etc).

The question of why these things are in my head may only be addressed with a hefty amount of money and time spent at a good psychologist's office, but I'm not all that interested in the why of it all. I'm fairly convinced that these fantasies aren't likely to go away, and so I'm more concerned with what I should do about them now.

Without further ado: Have you managed to come to peace with sexual fantasies you either can't or won't act out? If so, how? If you are in a serious long-term relationship, how have you worked it all out with your SO? (By 'peace', I mean comfortable and confident with yourself and your sexuality)

Background: Male, engaged to fantastic girl, sex is excellent & fairly kink-free. We're starting to talk more about all of this, but are at a bit of a loss as to how to proceed [For example, dressing up in costumes to have sex seems kind of silly to me at this point]. I've stopped masturbating to porn online, as I was fairly addicted to it, and it was very emotionally draining.

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posted by anonymous to Human Relations (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Previously on AskMe. Frankly I don't think the responses to that thread were so great (once we figured out what the poster was talking about.) Maybe we can do better this time.
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:09 PM on July 26, 2007

Well, for the "doesn't exist in real life" category (tentacles, mythical creatures, etc.), I presume there's anime/pr0n that exists on that score? (My knowledge of smut runs to the more conventional, I must admit.) And if so, would your girlfriend possibly be interested in watching it with you? Lots of couples watch porn together... if she's the proverbial GGG, this could be a way of sharing your particular fantasy without resorting to you watching it online alone, or searching (alas, probably in vain) for a sexy octopus costume.

As for the other fantasies... maybe she'd be game to play along with the rape/slave kink now and then in a way that's more about the exchange of power and less about various costumes and props?
posted by scody at 4:12 PM on July 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Do you read Savage Love? He talks about this briefly in a recent column and I think he has in the past as well. This person had a death fetish:

Like any poor motherfucker with an impossible-to-realize fantasy or fetish—people turned on by giants, boytaurs, U.S. senators in diapers—you're going to have to find an indulgent partner and "realize" your absolutely insane turn on through role-play and dirty talk. (Unless you're an actual U.S. senator, of course, and then you just have to hire an escort to diaper you.) Find an indulgent girlfriend willing to engage in safe, sane, and nonhomicidal "death play." She pretends to die; you derive as much pleasure as possible from the pretense.
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:12 PM on July 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

For some reason, the idea of creating/experiencing art out of such fantasies came to mind.

Perhaps there is some way you could either express your fantasies through an art form (if you're artistic) or you could model for an artist or commission someone to depict especially the more mythical aspects of your fantasies for you. Then you'd have a 'solid' expression of your fantasies without needing to act them out, yet you'd still have something for the spank bank, or possibly something you could share safely with your partner. Maybe you could make up some stories together (without getting into the more potentially cheesy aspects of role-play).

Surrealism and violence seem to mesh with sex once you get into animation- maybe some of the Japanese manga stuff would be a good place to go. Maybe that's what comics were made for- you can push the boundaries in a way you can't do with people (without incurring some heavy repercussions).
posted by solongxenon at 4:16 PM on July 26, 2007

My reading was that this question is more about the poster making peace with his dark side rather than trying to eliminate those fantasies altogether.

Anyway, I think the best way to deal with this kind of thing is to identify the specific thoughts that are bothering you - write them down! - and challenge them. This answer I gave to a different question recently illustrates the general method (which comes from David Burns).

E.g. you might be thinking something like, "If I were a good person, I wouldn't have these fantasies". If you think about it, you'll realize that this is just emotional reasoning - you don't have any logical basis for this conclusion, it just "feels true" to you. You could challenge the thought with a statement like "As far as I know, my sexual fantasies are normal and harmless". The idea is to find an alternative thought that you have confidence in and that challenges the thought that's bothering you.
posted by teleskiving at 4:31 PM on July 26, 2007

Not every fantasy has to be practical or attainable to be enjoyable. There plenty of things, sexual and otherwise, that we idly imagine for ourselves that are fun or interesting just to contemplate. People have offered good suggestions about ways to enact the fantasies, but what's stopping you from also (or instead) leaving some of them in your head and seeing all the interesting things you can think of, maybe along with solo or partner masturbation?
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:36 PM on July 26, 2007

For example, dressing up in costumes to have sex seems kind of silly to me at this point.

Focusing on the costume is missing the point. Yes, some people dress up for sexual role playing, and the costumes are often the most visible aspect. But they're not the most important one, even for the people who do wear one. (Look at it this way: it's a rare pervert who would chose vanilla sex in a cool outfit over kinky sex naked.)

Anyway, I'm sure there are details other than clothing that stand out from your fantasies. Maybe it's that one thing that [mythical creature] always says right before it [verb]s you, or the look in your [rapist/victim]'s eyes, or the way you cower at the sight of an [alien appendage]. If you and your girlfriend can imitate some of that interaction in a way that you feel good about, then who needs costumes?
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:40 PM on July 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think your situation is actually totally normal and really common. (Well, the tentacles part is perhaps unusual, but the tension between your fantasies and your real life is completely normal.) Perhaps not quite "everyone," but certainly many people fantasize about things that are illegal, or impractical, or impossible, and those fantasies can range from the banal to the hair-raising. So one part of the answer is that that tension is a normal part of life, and one simply learns to live with it. You enjoy the thought, and you read the "Story of O" or watch furry porn or whatever, but you limit your actual activities to what your partner is cool with and keep you out of the state pen.

But the other part of my answer is that, selectively, and sensibly, and perhaps cautiously, you may be able to incorporate more of these fantasies than you now think possible. I say "selectively" because while you may not really desire to be dragged into the bushes, tasered, and forcibly anally probed by tentacled aliens (and even if you really wanted all that it will be hard to arrange, and the poor alien rapist risks jail time), your girlfriend might be willing to, as it were, consensually treat you with non-consent. (Or perhaps the non-consent goes the other direction; your question wasn't clear to me in that way.) Lots and lots and lots of people get off on variations of semi-consensual sexual activity that flirts around the edges of rape and slavery fantasies without actually engaging in actual rape and slavery -- if she is cool with it, and you are safe and careful and communicate communicate communicate, you are good to go.

So if dressing up seems silly, what about role play or story-telling in a pitch-black room? What about "when I come in the door, tear my (carefully chosen old and ready to toss) clothing off and have your way with me"? And for the things that are too out-there for your partner to even be willing to talk with you about, there is always the option of writing (under a pen-name, perhaps) fiction that explores those fantasies. I can remember reading as a teenager a paperback sci-fi porn series, that featured all sorts of combinations of sex with, between, and involving aliens, humans, and machines, for example, complete with rape, sexual slavery, and other niceties. So there is clearly a fairly wide audience who share your interests -- why not turn this tension into a profitable sideline?
posted by Forktine at 5:55 PM on July 26, 2007

Some ideations become persistent, simply because they are a short cut to pleasure. You've some idea of how that works, as you write "... I've stopped masturbating to porn online, as I was fairly addicted to it, and it was very emotionally draining. ..." So you know that by changing your approaches to sexual activities, and exploring other areas, you can successfully change your ideation, thus bringing yourself greater overall happiness. In doing so, you can even look back later to see that you were actually in a limited pattern of erotic ideation, for no good reason. In other words, the more you concentrate on the erotic nature of alien tentacles, the less time you have to become fascinated by the erectile potential of nipples. Etc.

Steer new points of your mental compass to explore new ports on different sexual continents!
posted by paulsc at 6:03 PM on July 26, 2007

I think solongxenon has it.

Get it all out on paper, with as much titillating detail as possible, and see where that leads. Maybe your girlfriend can read it and figure out how to act along in that universe thereby making your fantasy world a whole imagination bigger, maybe you'll just want her to read it out loud while getting herself off. You could storyboard it and figure out the best way to act it out... you could sculpt scenes out of sexy, sexy clay. That would probably get me feeling a little hot and bothered.

If you aren't having kinky sex, you may be surprised at how hot it can get from just small hints of these fantasies. When your eyes are closed and you're in mid-fuck, a little bleating like a sheep or saying "I'm an alien and you're pounding my cold alien cunt real good, spaceman" can seem awfully real. It's gonad reality.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:40 PM on July 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think you need to find out the source of your sexual fantasy. Especially if you're that concerned/obsessed about it. It seems like your fiance doesn't know much about your fantasies and you're afraid she'll think you're a freak or something, especially if the sex is fairly kink-free, as you put it after saying it's fantastic.

I don't want you to become another guy looking for ways to commit "ethical adultery" 10 years from now because you were too afraid to say it in the first place.

But going back to the source of it all, you need a better understanding of the cause or attractiveness in order for you to come to terms with it. We are able to separate what is and what isn't real. Tentacle sex, isn't real. But, too much exposure, via porn, could get you thinking maybe. Everything in moderation, even moderation itself. Share your porn fantasies with your fiance. It makes it less realistic, as opposed to...watching it b yourself.
posted by icollectpurses at 12:55 AM on July 27, 2007

dressing up in costumes to have sex seems kind of silly to me at this point

Of course it does. If S&tC has taught us anything, it's that sexual firsts are usually akward, embarrassing, and silly. Don't take yourself, sex, and your fantasies & kinks too seriously. Have some wine or smoke some pot, get silly, put on silly clothes, laugh at yourself and have sex anyway. The worst case scenario is that you've spent a little money on clothes you'll never wear again and you've had some very silly sex.
posted by Martin E. at 10:00 AM on July 27, 2007

Perhaps you could pay someone to write targeted porn for you to indulge these fantasies.

You're not really clear on whether this is a philosophical question about not being able to have it all or if it's negatively impacting your non-fantasy life. If it's the latter I would just suggest you enjoy your fantasy in whatever ways you can (daydreaming, masturbation, pretending in your head during sex) and don't sweat it much beyond that - we all have unachievable goals and dreams.
posted by phearlez at 11:48 AM on July 27, 2007

I tend to go against the GGG grain on impossible fantasies and believe that not all fantasies need to be embraced in their most realizable conclusion like we're all fated by the Creator to fulfill each our own pervy destiny.

The truth that nobody ever talks about is that even those with totally attainable, and attained, fantasies believe that their lives are unfulfilled. I mean, look at the fantasy lives and downfalls of the uberrich and celebs in the US. That's the truth of being human: We are always reaching for something better. The trick is to define "something better" in such a way that you can be happy and at peace with both what you have done and what you have ahead.

The human mind is plastic and maybe loses plasticity with age, but even then it is nigh infinitely adaptable. Sometimes the path to being the best self that one can be requires sacrifice. Sometimes it requires embracing new experiences. And yes, sometimes it requires embracing a part of yourself that you've been shamed into hiding. Sometimes it means realizing your own limits. Knowing the difference between A, B, C and D, or times when it requires a combination of the four is what's important.

The right therapist (or a really brilliant mentor, but you're much more likely to find an objective therapist) helps you see these choices and reflect on the way to go. I only say that because, whenever someone says they don't need to see a therapist, it's big 'ol red flag. Everyone, everywhere could benefit from therapy because everyone, everywhere had an imperfect childhood with imperfect parents in an imperfect society and, as a result, everyone, everywhere has demons and confusions to confront. Anyone who denies this truth is really blind (or subservient) to their demons and really, really needs some guidance.

That being said, the biggest danger of all is to suppress your sexuality and judge your worth as a person according to silly stuff like sex fantasies.

In other words, be the master of your own destiny, owner of your own history and the creator of your own fantasies. Don't hide from them and don't be shamed by them. Meanwhile, build a philosophy of life and a repertoire of experience that allows you to be happy in any of the myriad of possibilities that your life can bring. I know that's all useless, pithy, pie in the sky stuff, but the specifics of what that's going to look like for you are something you have to find for yourself.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi are often held up as pinnacles of self-actualization, but both undoubtedly had hidden sexual guilt. MLK Jr. was deeply religious and yet had affairs. Gandhi sought to prove his moral willpower by platonically sharing a bed with teenaged girls, yet, it has been argued (Erik Erikson in Gandhi's Truth, IIRC), that his sexual suppression was the result of guilt partially brought on because he was not present at the critical hour of his father's death because he was making love to his wife. So, they didn't have all their feelings about sex figured out, but they are still considered incredible people because of their will, vision and refusal to be a slave to circumstance.
posted by Skwirl at 5:55 PM on July 27, 2007

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