Sexual fantasies? You naughty thing you. Whether you get lost in a deep reverie of James Bond rescuing you from a burning tower only to rid you of all your clothes in one fell swoop, or you dream of dirty trysts with your Italian neighbour(s), we all have them (sorry, mother dearest, but it's true). How, we've often wondered, do the fantasies of men and women differ and what's more, are our sexual fantasies normal? Once again science is here to set the record straight.
In an attempt to scientifically define sexual deviances for the first time ever, a Canadian research project asked 1500 men and women about what tickles their fancy. In short, herein lies the difference:
Men were more likely to fantasize about an extra-marital affair and the standard two woman threesome (one being their own partner), while women's fantasies were more of the 50 shades, red-room-of-pain variety. It was also reported that the majority of women fantasize about their own partners. Interestingly, women are very good at distinguishing between fantasy and desire, meaning that while the majority of men would quite enjoy the idea of their fantasies coming true, women wouldn't necessarily want their sexual thoughts to unfold in real life. Thanks to Christian Grey, and this one's a little bit disturbing, between 30 and 70 percent of women fantasize about being tied up, or other activities in which they are submitting to a man. Meanwhile men, they discovered, have far more fantasies than women and describe them more vividly than their female counterpart.
In their quest to distinguish between the ordinary and the atypical fantasy, lead researcher Professor Joyal explains: 'Clinically, we know what pathological sexual fantasies are. They involve non-consenting partners, they induce pain, or they are absolutely necessary in deriving satisfaction. But apart from that, what exactly are abnormal or atypical fantasies? Our main objective was to specify norms in sexual fantasies, an essential step in defining pathologies. And as we suspected, there are a lot more common fantasies than atypical fantasies.'
Through questioning 1500 Canadian adults, the researchers determined that sexual fantasies vary quite significantly from person to person, which makes it hard to define something as statistically rare or unusual.
Commenting on their findings, Joyal continued: 'Evolutionary biological theories cannot explain these fantasies, which, among males, are typically desires. Overall, these findings allow us to shed light on certain social phenomena, such as the popularity of the book 'Fifty Shades of Grey' with women.'
And now comes the part where you divulge your deepest darkest fantasies with us lovely IMAGE folk. Lol jk, we'll let you keep that one for the bedroom.
Study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine