You're probably not as strange as you think, sex...
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Nov 05, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

You're probably not as strange as you think, sex study finds

One of the largest studies on sexual fantasies in the general population distinguishes the common fantasies from the not-so-common ones


Whatever you’re into, chances are good that a lot of other people are, too.

In a recent study, researchers with the Université du Québec and the Philippe-Pinel Institute of Montreal surveyed 1,516 people in the province — about half of them men and half women — to learn about their sexual fantasies.

“There are many things found in the general population that don’t fit the definition of ‘normal,’ ” said Christian Joyal, the paper’s lead author.

The study — one of the largest on sexual fantasies in the general population — was published on Sunday in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Many fantasies that the researchers described as generally considered to be unusual — voyeurism, fetishism of objects or specific body parts and submissive sex — were identified by more than 10 per cent of male and female respondents as their favourite fantasy.

Of the 55 fantasies included in the survey questions, just two (both of which would be illegal, if realized) were found to be rare.

More vanilla fantasies dominate the top of the list.

About an equal number of men and women reported having the same top five sexual fantasies, with sex in a specific place, oral sex and feelings of romance identified as the most common.

Most women (92 per cent) and most men (88 per cent) agreed that they “like to feel romantic emotions during a sexual relationship.”

Other common fantasies included “having sex in an unusual place,” like at work or in a public washroom, or in a “romantic location.”

Another common fantasy: slightly more men (83.4 per cent) than women (66.3 per cent) fantasized about sex with a specific acquaintance who was not their partner.

A majority of women also said they had fantasized about submissive sex.

“When you see that 60 per cent of women are thinking about submission, I don’t think we can call it ‘outside the norm,’” Joyal said.

But, he noted, most women who said they enjoyed thinking about submissive sex also said they did not want to live out those fantasies.

“It’s important to make that distinction, because there are many people who believe that if someone has a fantasy, it’s because they want to realize it,” he said.

The study also found that same-sex fantasies were common among people who identified as heterosexual.

Nineteen per cent of the study’s female respondents described themselves as gay or bisexual, but between 35 and 42 per cent said they had fantasized about having sex with other women, or watching other women have sex.

Similar fantasies were slightly less common among men, but more men who responded to the survey described themselves as heterosexual.

Between 20.6 per cent and 26.8 per cent of men said they had fantasized about sexual activity with another man, but just 10.5 per cent identified as gay or bisexual.

The study’s 1,516 participants were between 18- and 77-years-old and had a mean age of 30. Just 10 per cent of the study’s participants were over the age of 55, which was not surprising, Joyal said.

“If someone calls the house and says ‘Hello, madam, could you talk with us about your sex life?’ There aren’t a lot of people who will reply ‘Sure, no problem,’” he said, of recruiting older study participants.

Joyal said he hoped the study’s revelation of the variety of sexual fantasies in the general population would “start a debate, where we can talk about no longer stigmatizing people.”

“It would be better to say, if it bothers you, this fantasy, whatever it is, you have a problem and you should talk with someone to get help. Even if it’s a fantasy with a consenting, adult woman, but you think about it 150 times per day, you’ve got a problem,” he said.

Those changes may come as people continue to become more open about sex and their own particular kinks, he said.

Toronto Star

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