This guest article from PsychCentral was written by Linda Hatch, PhD.
Wouldn’t we all like a way to interpret our sexual fantasies? Where do they come from? What do they mean? Often sexual fantasies seem to take hold for no apparent reason. Their meaning seems like some kind of mysterious code that we could crack, as we do in dream interpretation.
If you ask someone to describe their most compelling sexual fantasies, especially a sex addict, you will find that there is a central core, a rather specific set pattern as to where their imagination takes them.
Addictive fantasies are laid down early in development
For many people and for most sex addicts a specific thing, activity or imagined scenario becomes connected to sexual arousal. For sex addicts this can be a rather specific scenario that is played out in the sexual acting out behavior, in pornographic imagery or in masturbatory fantasies.
Intense early experiences can become "sexualized," meaning they can come to be associated with sexual excitation. Often these are experiences of frightening events or scenarios as fear (and other strong emotions) seem to be connected to sexual arousal in most humans.
Early experience can be particularly intense when it is part of how we relate to a caregiver. Often it involves the things we needed to do in order get love and/or avoid abandonment. If allowing ourselves to be threatened or punished in some way was necessary to maintain a bond with a caregiver then being threatened or punished can take on a sexual meaning as we develop sexually. Whether sexuality is connected to abusing someone or to being ourselves abused, the scenario is the same. We are just playing different roles in it. Keep reading...
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