I spend a lot of time with patients talking about fantasizing. For many women it’s not something they do naturally. It’s something that they have to learn. I’ve come to believe that fantasizing is a skill like many others. While some people take to it more naturally than others, everyone is capable of doing it and the more you practice, the better you get at it — sort of like math. There are people who seem to “get” math easily and enjoy doing problems. There are others who painstakingly learn to think mathematically. But with effort everyone can learn to do basic math.
Interestingly, it seems like the more you exercise the part of your brain that does math the stronger that part becomes. We are becoming more and more aware that the brain is like other muscles. When you exercise a part of it, it becomes larger and as a result stronger. If more neurons are firing in a certain part of the brain then it is easier to use that part, it works more efficiently and produces better results. Research now shows that our brain and nervous system are not rigid or unchanging like we once thought but are “neuroplastic”, or capable of adapting and re-wiring.
We know that childhood is the peak period for growth and development of the brain but until recently we just assumed it was downhill from there. Now we are learning that you can learn new skills and get better at them all through your life.
So let’s get to work on fantasizing. Your brain is, in the end, your largest sexual organ. You have to figure out what turns you on: who, what, where, when, how. The best way I’ve seen patients learn to do this is by reading erotic literature and honing in on the elements of the stories that seem to turn them on. Then I have them get to work on creating a reel in their head that is exciting to them. You may find that it feels strange or difficult when you start. But your brain will learn to do it more naturally and easily and over time you will find that creating erotic fantasies for yourself becomes easier and easier. Essentially, you will be getting better at it!
Keep in mind that everyone’s fantasies are different. For some it may be imagining specific people. For others they will imagine body parts, conversations, places, scenarios. Everyone fantasizes differently and your job is to learn how your brain fantasizes best. Don’t think you have to fantasize a certain way for it to be “right.” Just let your brain sift through thoughts, images, words, conversations that turn you on. And for goodness sake do NOT edit your fantasies to be politically correct, proper or “the right kind.” Just go where your brain takes you. So go ahead. Pick up a book, or watch a few minutes of erotica and get to work growing the erotic part of your brain. It’s easier and way more fun than you think!