So you saw the movie Fifty Shades of Gray, and it turned you on. Now you find yourself fantasizing more often. You are wondering whether it is normal to be so stimulated by the idea of your man telling you what to do in bed. Well, welcome to the world of sexual fantasy. Yes, it is normal to fantasize; almost all women do. And if descriptions of “kinky fun” turned women off, why is the book an international bestseller and the rather lame movie breaking records? Relax, you are not weird. Fantasizing can enhance sexual arousal and orgasm both when you are alone and when you are with your partner. There is no indication that fantasizing means you are unhappy with your actual sex life – it is simply another healthy aspect of the spectrum of sexual pleasure.
So what do most women fantasize about? Well…having sex! With one person or two, with strangers or people they know, in different positions (hello Kama Sutra), in different locations (hello sex on an airplane) and the usual stuff. As for unusual stuff, if I was going to write an erotic book for women, I would focus on one of the most common female sexual fantasies; the ravishment scenario. And then I’d be fifty shades of rich.
In the ravishment fantasy, the woman imagines a gorgeous, sensual, powerful man. He is very sexually drawn to her. She resists his overtures. He is often imagined as breaking into her bedroom and taking control of her sexually. She is extremely turned on by him, and he tells her what to do. They have explicit, hot, naughty, taboo sex. He may make her get on her knees and give him oral sex, or he may tie her up, or even spank her. He is in command, but she loves it. This of course describes the sexual side of Christian Gray, the fictional character of the hottest book of the decade.
Now remember, this is the woman’s own fantasy! (well, you know, reader, because you have this man-in-control fantasy yourself, as do more than half of the women surveyed by researchers). So according to psychology, why do women love this scenario? The sexual blame avoidance theory proposes that by imagining the man telling her what to do, the woman is able to give herself permission to do the raunchy, hot sex stuff she feels a little embarrassed about but deep down really wants to try. I have found many of the women I see for sex therapy report that they are torn between their inner desires and the fear that they will feel “slutty” or “bad” if they act out their passions. With the ravishment fantasy, she can have her hot pleasure without the guilt (he made me do it! Innocent grin).
Another theory is that some women are simply more open to sexual experience. These ladies do not need permission to be “bad”, they are sexually liberated and guilt free. For them, a rich sexual fantasy life that includes plenty of ravishment is part of their healthy sex life. These women tend to have positive attitudes toward sex and high self-esteem.
In Fifty Shades, the female character Anastasia Steele starts out sexually inexperienced and unsure. She has a sexual awakening without guilt because she does not ask for the kinky stuff; therefore she avoids sexual blame. What’s more, the author also makes sure to write that her fictional man as falling madly in love with Ana. He reassures her constantly that she is special, gorgeous and perfect. She feels loved, not used, and therefore she feels safe to play. As she matures, she becomes a sexually confident woman, no longer needing the permission granted by a dominant lover. She grows to be bold, creative, and very in tune with her sexual self.
Remember however that sexual fantasy is just that – not reality. Your actual sex life is likely fifty shades of beige. And some fantasies should stay in your head (acting out a threesome is almost never good for anyone involved, for example) But it can be a lot of spicy fun to try some new things with your partner, and I recommend that you do. Your man will be thrilled you saw the movie, and are in the mood to play.