By: Schuyler Biedron
Have you ever woken up from a sex dream or slammed your laptop shut after indulging in some it-was-a-good-idea-at-the-time porn and thought to yourself … “What the fuck was that?”
I began feeling ashamed of my sexual fantasy life at a very young age. Like most people, my sex education class in middle-school was bogus and prepared me for pretty much nothing. I didn’t have an older sibling to ask questions to and was beyond uncomfortable confiding in my parents about these kinds of intimate thoughts. No one was there to teach me about these new feelings, that it was ok to be turned on by what turned me on, and that it was normal to be both excited and confused by my desires. I had no idea what was going on - and I felt bad, weird and alone.
Through my own introspective work, conversations with friends and my studies to become a relationship therapist, I have learned that I am neither bad, weird nor alone. That many women struggle to understand and accept where their minds take them sexually when unshielded and vulnerable. Here’s what I’ve learned to be true:
- Sexual fantasy is completely normal, healthy and okay
- We can have wild, messy, beautiful, dark desires and imaginations
- We can be turned on by taboo people/objects/situations
- We can fantasize about partners who we would not normally pursue in “real life”
- Keeping secrets about our sexuality preferences often results in internal suffering
- Being honest and vocal with a therapist or trusted friend about any sexual shame, guilt or embarrassment is a significant step towards true sensuality
I think where I went wrong as an insecure teen was the moment I began giving my fantasies all this negative, heavy power: this means I’m straight, but this must mean I’m gay, this means I’m fucked up and disgusting, etc. I have since learned that our sexual fantasies don’t actually mean what we think they do. Our bodies and minds crave pleasure, so our unconscious often brings forth the quickest path to get us there...aka...whatever pattern or dynamic turns us on the most. Maybe it's something that’s perceived to be "wrong" or "naughty" in our society. Either way, it doesn't really matter, because it's not always the people or the content that get us going in a fantasy, it's the relationship dynamic. Maybe you like feeling powerful, being dominated, or experimenting with someone you don't know, or whom you would never sleep with in reality. Hell, maybe you’re even attracted to pain. Whatever it is, it's ok. As I mentioned, taboo turns us on, and it's all good.
Sexual fantasy can also show us how we’re feeling about ourselves in real life and what baggage we need to heal. Maybe you’re feeling unwanted and find yourself dreaming of scenarios where you’re a powerful goddess desired by multiple men to combat that low self-esteem. Maybe you’re grieving a breakup and find yourself imagining secret, hot breakup sex again and again on your train to work. Maybe you’re fantasizing about an unattractive older man or dreaming of someone other than your current partner (yes, these are all personal experiences and not even close to some of the strangest ones).
I once heard that there are infinite ways to be human. Well folks, then there are infinite ways to be turned on. I mean, some of the most Googled porn searches in America over the last few years include incest and Fortnite! We are human; we love chasing highs, we easily get turned on by something naughty and are often drawn to people who feel raw, dirty and animalistic. Thus, we enjoy sex, fantasy, porn, and dreams involving complicated, forbidden and risqué people and situations. Why? Because it feels good baby.
Moral of the story: We must stop feeling so bad about what makes us feel so good. Our thoughts are just thoughts. By letting go of internal judgment and embarrassment, we have the opportunity to heal past traumas and insecurities, and embrace those feel-good moments without guilt. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I will never fully understand or even like my crazy mind. I will, however, allow myself the freedom to have kinky, unconventional sexual fantasies without beating myself up or ascribing some false meaning. Sometimes, we just want to get off. Own it.
Schuyler Biedron (also known as Sky, or Shoe!) is training to become a Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles. She also runs an emotional wellness newsletter, Loving Shares by Shoe, that includes learnings from her psychology studies, insight gained from her own funny, honest experiences, favorite quotes from those much wiser, and more. To sign up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.