Kahr also found that sometimes fantasy is a way of putting a positive spin on a negative childhood memory. For instance, he describes a happily married woman whose fantasies help turn memories of sexual abuse by an older brother into an arousing experience. In this way, fantasy can be a coping mechanism. However, even if you fantasize about abuse, it doesn't necessarily mean you're a survivor of abuse or want it to happen. Women may fantasize about being dominated by a stranger, but we are able to control every one of their actions. Our minds are a safe place to try new and risky deeds without ever getting hurt. In the book, Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies, Michael Bader writes, "Safety is the concept that functions as the key to unlocking the meaning of our fantasies." Being bound and gagged by a dominating partner may not seem safe, but somewhere in the unconscious, submission is desired.
All this is somewhat reassuring. Rather than feeling guilty about thinking about another person while having sex with your partner, we can see it as a way to help spice up the sex, without committing any transgressions. Just keep it in your head.
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Written by Brie Cadman for DivineCaroline.
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