My partner recently shared his sex fantasy with me, and that he fantasizes of people such as my friends, colleagues and strangers on Facebook. I will have felt less stressed if he fantasized about porn stars or actresses but this freaks me out and I wish I hadn’t asked. Do I need to address this with him or not talk about it again?
How frustrating it must be to have asked and wish you didn’t! Alas that is the minefield of really getting to know someone you love.
Fantasy life is as varied as people are different. Some people never fantasize (what’s the point?), some people only reminisce about past experiences in fantasy, some people revisit the same fantasies over and over, and other people thrive on fantasies being novel and numerous.
That your partner fantasizes about friends and colleagues and Facebook strangers is neither unusual or a cause for concern. My interest is in addressing what makes you feel freaked out. Do you worry that he might act on it? Do you feel repulsed by imagining him having sex with them? If so, take a deep breath and remember that neither of those things are true. (And if they ever happen, you can freak out about it then).
If the upset you feel is not dissipating, I’d suggest talking to him about it. But be clear that this is about you, not him. Go to him for support, not as an appeal for him to change or feel badly. Which means beginning the conversation like you would if you saw a kid with a puppy and felt sad for the puppy you never had as a kid. Nothing is wrong – not the kid, not the puppy, not even your sadness. You would just like some love for being freaked out, and perhaps some reassurance (that he’s not after your best friend or hooking up on Facebook).
And, since this is about you and not about him, you can also get support from friends. If you don’t want to put them or your partner on the spot, you can just start by talking about your curiosity about sexual fantasies in general. If you have friends who can be very honest with you, I think you might feel soothed by hearing how common it is to fantasize about all kinds of people.
And certainly, you can put this all behind you and not mention it again. But the bonus of talking to any loved one about this is that you let them know you – about the quirky ways you are stressed out, about your worries and your vulnerabilities. It’s a chance to deepen your relationships, and an opportunity to ease sexual anxieties (which everyone has).
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Karen B. K. Chan is a sex educator, emotional literacy trainer, and speaker in Toronto, Canada. Above all, she’s dedicated to widening the definitions of what’s erotic, cultivating ease and acceptance, and proving that emotional literacy, play, and honesty are sexy. Read the rest of her profile below!
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