Are sexual fantasies normal?

Yes. In fact, sexual fantasies are quite common.

In certain ways, sexual fantasies allow people to explore sexual relationships and activities that might not be realistic or acceptable in real life. For example, a person might fantasize about having sex in a public place, like an elevator, beach, or busy city park. These locations might be exciting, but they are probably not practical, comfortable, or even legal. Still, the fantasy allows one to enjoy the idea on its own.

Similarly, a person might fantasize about having sex with someone other than his or her partner, such as a neighbor, a coworker, or a celebrity. Some people fantasize about threesomes, group sex, watching sexual acts, or having others watch them having sex. Heterosexual people might fantasize about homosexual sex and vice versa.

In 2014, a Journal of Sexual Medicine study discussed how common some sexual fantasies were.

A survey of over 1,500 adults revealed that over 84% of the respondents fantasized about romantic feelings during sex, having oral sex, and having sex in a romantic or unusual location.

Over half of the respondents reported fantasies about homosexual sex, having sex in public, having sex with two men, having sex with more than three people, having sex with a stranger, and spanking or whipping a partner.

Less common fantasies involved sex with animals or children, forced sex, rape, and sexual abuse.

Some couples share sexual fantasies as a way to spice up their sex life. They might try different sexual positions or activities, role play, dress in costumes, or engage in kink behaviors.

When exploring such fantasies in person, it is important for both partners to consent. They should also consider whether the activity will harm another person physically or emotionally, damage relationships, or lead to legal action.


International Society for Sexual Medicine

“Assessing Sexual Fantasies”

(November 11, 2011)

“How common are various sexual fantasies?”

The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Joyal, Christian C., PhD, et al.

“What Exactly Is an Unusual Sexual Fantasy?”

(Full-text. First published online: October 30, 2014)

Psychology Today

Neuman, Fredric, MD

“Sexual Fantasies”

(April 26, 2014)

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