A patient and I spoke today about her fantasies, or more accurately about her lack of them and how important fantasies can be in keeping up one’s interest in sex. Part of the reason she doesn’t think she can get what she wants in her fantasy is that she believes she is unattractive by common standards. This may or may not be true (I’ve long ago come to realize that what we think of as pretty and what is attractive sexually bears little resemblance), but what is absolutely true and almost universal about her situation is that often we can’t really get exactly what we might want sexually. That can because what we want is not attainable (say, George Clooney and Julia Roberts in the same room coming onto us), what we want we wouldn’t really want in real life (say a gang-bang at a rock concert), what we want is too expensive (sex on our own private beach with a diamond necklace as a parting gift), we feel guilty about what we want (our best friends lover), or because it doesn’t really exist (sex with a martian – at least I don’t think it exists).

I believe that one of the pleasures of fantasies is the privacy they afford. You can have everything and anything you want — if you just use your imagination. The bottom line is that your brain can take you anywhere, match you up with anyone, hold an unlimited amount of dates (say include 10 someones) and make the impossible real. That’s why fantasy is so unbelievable. I encourage everyone to develop their fantasies and include them in their life as often as possible. Fantasizing is cheap, legal and feels great. It can also rev up your sex life. There’s really nothing more powerful when you’re talking about your sex life.

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