Can we take a minute to talk about the realm of human sexuality?
It’s kinda crazy to think about the things that turn us on. I’ve talked to a bunch of my friends about the fantasies they have, and while some of them were hesitant to chime in, many others happily divulged their vulgar sex dreams, their biggest desires, and the fantasies that confused them the most.
The most common “confusing fantasies” I heard were friends who said they often found themselves fantasizing about their non-preferred gender – i.e. straight friends having fantasies of gay/lesbian sex, or gay/lesbian friends having fantasies about the opposite gender. I didn’t want to admit to myself, but I’ve actually had those types of fantasies, too – and even briefly entertained the idea of dating my male best friend, just because I thought I was seriously confused.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret, though: You can fantasize about the opposite sex and not be confused. You can fantasize about the same sex and not be confused. The things that you fantasize about actually have very little to do with your true desires – otherwise, I don’t think rape fantasies would be a real thing, or diaper fetishes for that matter.
Your fantasies are 100% their own monsters, largely unrelated to everything else. Don’t believe me?
We often fantasize about things we don’t quite understand.
I’m sure you’ve experienced the phenomenon in other areas of your life before: You’re going along, minding your own business, when suddenly you can’t help yourself – you’re pulled into a daydream about something completely random. You know the things you’re thinking don’t exactly make sense, but you don’t have all the information for your brain to put together the right answer – so it guesses.
This is basically the mental equivalent of when you know the right word, and were thinking of the right word, but for some unknown reason, you say the wrong word. Your brain took some shortcuts and filled in the information and, basically, screwed it all up. This type of fantasy is significantly more likely to happen when you’re tired, sick, or distracted. The only thing you can really do about this one is accept that it’s going to happen sometimes and move forward.
We often fantasize when we’re worried we’re missing out.
If you’ve never had sex with a man – or even given any serious thought to the idea – but have straight and bi friends, it’s perfectly normal to think about the “what-if’s”. It can even happen when these criteria aren’t met, because our brain is – yet again – screwing it all up. If you’ve ever been on a diet or any other restrictive (but voluntary) life changes, you should understand this one a little deeper.
Let me put this another way: You’ve decided that you’re not going to drink anymore, because you don’t really drink that often anyway, or maybe you’ve got something else going on in your life and drinking would interfere with that. Now, suddenly, even though it was never really a desire before, you can’t stop thinking about it! (Thanks a lot, stupid brain.) This type of fantasy is most common when we’re in a serious relationship. You always want something more when you can’t have it, and committing to spend the rest of your life with your current partner is a huge decision.
Our fantasies don’t explicitly reflect our desires.
One of my biggest sexual fantasies is to have sex somewhere incredibly public – such as on a stage or a live webcam feed – but I would never actually let someone watch me have sex (unless it was the person I was having sex with at the time). I also fantasize about having some huge horror-themed haunted house wedding, but more likely I’m going to elope so I don’t draw attention to myself. Does this mean that my fantasies are “wrong”? Well, sort of.
The truth is, our fantasy scenarios aren’t much different from dreams. Both are largely uncontrollable, and largely unconscious. I’m sure you’ve probably had a dream that you really wished you could have woken up from – so why wouldn’t you have fantasies you wished you didn’t have? Once you start manipulating your fantasies, you enter an entirely new level of lucid dreaming and thought – but we’re not going to get into that right now.
Your sexuality probably isn’t black-and-white – but that doesn’t mean it’s invalid.
Let’s picture the plane of human sexuality as a bunch of intersecting triangles. One triangle represents your gender identity – male, female, or neither. Another triangle represents your romantic interests – male, female, or neither. The third triangle represents your sexual interests – again, male, female, or neither. Finally, we have some random points that represents your intellectual interests, which aren’t even necessarily sexual at all.
Your “position” on each of the triangles is most likely going to fall somewhere on the surface, instead of on the edges. Once you factor in the differences between biological, mental, and hormonal gender, things get really complicated. But, let’s face it – geometry and algebra are terrible, and no one actually wants to sit down and fully evaluate their life just to quantify things and put a label on it. So, instead, we come up with our own identities – and, throughout the course of our lives, we’ll define what that means for us.