Are His Sexual Fantasies Different From Yours?

Are His Fantasies Different From Yours?

A recent Spanish study reveals that while men and women both fantasize about their romantic partners, women tend to fantasize about romance with their partner, while men tend to look for trouble in their fantasies, in the form of orgies and cheating.

This affirms other studies we’ve talked about on this blog previously, particularly the one that suggests that men are more inclined to pursue sex with a variety of women and women are more likely to be content with varied sex with a monogamous partner.

My wife and I usually tell each other when we have sex dreams. And, sure enough, our dreams aren’t all that dissimilar.

As to what we’re dreaming about? I’ll leave that up to you to fantasize. 😉

Is anyone surprised that women fantasize about sex more than men? I’m not. Women also talk about sex more and in greater detail. Then again, women tend to talk about everything more and in greater detail than men, so it’s not such such a stretch.

Check out the article here and share your thoughts, please.

Join our conversation (29 Comments).
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  1. 1

    Uhm, it depends on what stage I am. In early stage I look for romance, later on I look for trouble….women bring out the greatest hits too you know!

  2. 2

    Interesting article.  The only part I found surprising was well, the “surprising”: that men include their S/Os in orgy type dreams.  I would have thought the two would be separate, with the point being that male fantasies were about the forbidden which includes sex with women that are not your S/O when in a committed relationship.  Kind of cool and reassuring, I guess.

  3. 3

    I disagree with the notion that women are content with having varied sex with one monogamous partner. As for myself and other women I’ve spoken with, we too like the idea of sex with a variety of partners. The difference lies in the attitudes towards this. Women tend to understand men’s desire for variety, but men find it harder to accept that women would want that too. It is easier for men to believe we would be just as happy with one guy forever, because that belief is more palatable to them. The double standard rides again!

    1. 3.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      No, Jane. You’re wrong. Just because the results of the study don’t apply to YOU doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to other women. You are in the minority. I don’t judge you for it. But don’t tell me that I’m lying or perpetrating a double standard. In general, according to that study I cited, men want variety, women want monogamy. The exceptions don’t disprove the rule.

      1. 3.1.1

        Wow!  Harsh response.   This “study” seems to be flawed …..what was the sample size, where the females married, unmarried, bi sexual, abused in their childhoods, etc. there is nothing in this study to indicate this is an appropriate sample, nor does it account for cultural and religious differences as I would suggest that those are factors that would impact a “Spanish” study versus a non Spanish study.

         So Evan, I would suggest that perhaps you may be wrong in your extreme support of this study. Believe it or not, we as women do in fact know what we do and don’t fantasize about more than you or this study may propose to push on to us.

  4. 4

    @Evan, post #4
    I see that type of rejoinder all of the time:
    “I don’t care that I haven’t put in the time studying a situation an expert educated in the subject has.  That conclusion doesn’t apply to me personally, so it isn’t true for anyone”

  5. 5

    women want monogamy but this doesnt mean that our fantasies are monogamous too. It also depends on the woman’s age. Personally, my fantasies were more romantic when i was younger. Now that i am more liberate, my fantasies are wilder than before..Fantasies are different from action. In action i am monogamous. Of course i speak for myself, i don’t know if i am in the minority.

  6. 6

    I believe that most woman WANT a monogamous relationship, but not sure it plays that big a role in most of our fantasies.
    Then again, I can only go off myself and who I know.
    We, as women, have for the most part, been raised to believe in romance and everlasting love is a beautiful fantasy.

    I enjoy both types of fantasies. I enjoy sharing with my partner as well. 
    Not surprised about the guys though. 😉

  7. 7

    hm) i guess i tend to be more on “man” side with my fantasies))) something really wild (no midgets, though)))
    i don’t think it’s about gender – mostly personality difference.

  8. 8

    Re Jane’s post in 3 and EMK response in 4.
    No she probably isn’t in the minority. I am the same way. I have very sexual dreams. I don’t have any romantic fantasies. I have more sexual fantasies. They actually have reduced over time because I’ve gained more sexual experience and therefore don’t need to feel the same desire in the fantasy. Been there, done that.
    I think this study has flaws like any other so I wouldn’t put my eggs in this basket.
    This study is terribly contradictory. First it says:
    “The study found that there aren’t significant differences between the genders when it comes to sexual fantasies.” and goes on to say later
    “Women fantasized about romance, while men’s subconscious travelled to the forbidden territory of cheating and orgies.”
    I don’t think the Jane’s and Me of this world are simply outliers. We represent something that cannot just be dismissed away as ‘we are the minority’.
    Didn’t you post earlier in a blog post that women enjoy sex just as much as men? This study certainly likes to dismiss its earlier finding that there aren’t significant differences between the gender but then says that women are more into romance.
    I call bunk on this science!

  9. 9

    Thank you PAULA for backing me up!!!

  10. 10

    Is it possible to be both? To be okay with monogamy, to feel it is the only sane way to go, but at the same time to have night dreams that involve multiple people? lol

    Fantasy, to me, means conscious, or daytime dreaming. So, yeah, during the day, when I think of my bf, it is a monogamous thing and I’ll think about us together later, etc. But at night, dreaming, boy, it is, and has always been, very different and my orientation seems to be more male (multiple partners).  

    I’ve also seen studies that say men are the more adventurous in bed, then others that contradict that (that women are in fact more adventurous). I think it must depend on the individual. You are either creative or not I think. If you want to stay in love I suggest spending some time thinking of surprising things to do together.  

    I often wonder how religion has messed people up sexually. But that’s another topic for another day.

    PS Evan, got Carol Allen’s latest email (astrology) and I really think a good topic for discussion is the “highly sensitive female” vis a vis online dating. She is a whole other species……  

  11. 11

    Dagaz Said: something really wild (no midgets, though)
    What is wrong with “midgets”?

  12. 12

    ShortAndSweet: nothing in particular. i was quoting/referring to the original study – they have mentioned it there.

  13. 13

    Moral of a story is men understand to keep excitement alive they need number of women and women dont.

  14. 14

    I think there is a difference between dreams and fantasies… Well, for me anyway.  My fantasies are something I create purely for my own pleasure, the people in them have been entirely created by me, as in how they look, and are my idea of perfection, as is the scenario, it’s never people that I know. And yes, multiple people *do* form part of my fantasy because it’s something I never would/could do in real life.

    Sexual dreams on the other hand, for me, are entirely unexpected.  They always involve someone that I know, not necessarily my partner. Once I dreamt about my vet (total surprise) and could never make eye contact with him again after that! 😉

    @Ellen # 11:    Yes, I would love to see an article/blog post on highly sensitive women in dating and relationships. There is far too little written on this. Being a highly sensitive person this would be particularly beneficial to me.

  15. 15

    I’m not surprised by the findings regarding the men fantasies.

    But for women, this is somewhat unexpected for me. I think women fantasies are way more complicated and wild than most people (men) would ever imagine.

    I remember reading a book on women fantasies 4-5 years ago and my god…let’s just say women have a great sense of imagination.

    I’m not hating. I actually find it amusing. 

    You can check out the book here: My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies by Nancy Friday. 

    It’s an extremely interesting read (for both men and women).

  16. 16

    Gotta agree with Jane. I’m in my thirties. When I was younger, I fantasied more romantically. Even I liked to be more romantic in bed. Now I’m pretty far away from that. I’m more of a sl#t these days. My man loves it.

  17. 17

    Jane, I agree with you that female sexuality is a very complex thing – heck, sexuality is a very complex thing and it is not necessary a given that women look for monogamy under all circumstances. There are lots of anthropological/primate/physiological studies (sexual dimorphism, robin baker’s sperm wars etc) out there that indicate that both sexes seek out multiple partners for a variety of reasons, some speculating that aside from genetic variety, female promiscuity could serve a function of protecting young by confusing paternity and preventing infanticide and ensuring all males have a vested interest in protecting all the young (because they can’t be sure they are definitely not fathers of the young they are protecting). There is absolutely no biological function for women to crave romance apart from culture and socialisation.
    However, that being said, testosterone does play a very big part in sexual behaviour and sexualisation of the brain. Transexuals who have made to break from female to male and undergone testosterone therapy relate how testosterone brings a more domineering and controlling and objectifying edge to their sexuality – hence the more aggressive, impersonal and pornographic nature of men’s fantasies. While women may have fantasies involving multiple men (or maybe not), the relationship/emotional element of their fantasies definitely would feature more prominently than in men’s fantasies. Having several men fight over her love is actually quite common.

  18. 18
    Karmic Equation

    When I “dream”, uncontrolled by consciousness – the sex is romantic. Intense and emotional, sensual even.
    When I fantasize, controlled by my consciousness, the sex is raw, earthy, and energetic, non-emotional, sometimes sensual, sometimes not.
    Not exactly sure what this means, though. LOL
    Overall, I’d say +1 to Maya #17…

  19. 19
    One woman

    Hmm.. I almost never get romantic fantasies – only raw sexual and they are about 99% of my fantasies.
    Sex on a elevator with a stranger, to the table.. images flash in my mind – but almost never I get similar romantic ones.. never kissing or anything such boring stuff.
    Only if a man writes something romantic to me, I can see it as an image.. other than that it is SEX in different ways, and most of my fantasies even politically incorrect nonk.


  20. 20

    I think the “50 Shades of Grey” phenomenon proves women have a healthy enough sexual fantasy life…

  21. 21

    Have to agree with Jane Et Al. 

    Women are told from a very young age, they are monogamous(men are not) or that they are content with monogamy(men are not) etc etc. The shame put onto females at a very young age, is also very prevalent, usually as a result of jealous males, who don’t “get any”.

    Evolutionary speaking it doesn’t make a lot of sense, for females to want monogamy and men to want polygamy.  It doesn’t fit, and the two are diametrically opposed. Just given what we know about evolution I am surprised that men still believe these studies and subscribe to them. 

    Women lie about their sexuality all the time. Get a hold of the book “Womens infidelity”. One of the most honest books about female sexuality I’ve come across.

    Add to that, historically women were “required” to be virgins upon marriage, even at the threat of being ostracized or even killed. If women were so hell-bent on monogamy, why would society have even needed to create these rules, if women were so naturally happy with monogamy.

    It simply isn’t true Evan. It’s what a lot of men want to believe, and it’s what a lot of women want to believe, but it doesn’t fit with how women behave especially those of us who have gotten past the slut-shaming of our youths.

    It is much better to be honest about these things, stop believing what one wants and sticking ones head in the sand, and dealing with the fact that monogamy is not natural or the preferred state for either men or women. If you can accept that, you can then work towards actually creating that kind of relationship through honesty instead of women just saying “I have a headache” or “I’m tired”. lol. 

    1. 21.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      This kind of shit infuriates me. A study exists that illustrates a certain point. Someone reads that study and says, “it’s not true; it doesn’t apply to me.” For god’s sake, people, don’t you understand that there is no study where 100% of all subjects agree? That doesn’t invalidate the study.

      If 54% of the country votes Democrat and 46% of the country votes Republican, we can say that the country voted Democrat. This does not mean we are “slut-shaming” the Republicans!

      So, Annie, since you seem to have missed it the first five times I posted this, here is the post that illustrates that YOU’RE wrong. You’re not wrong that some men are judgmental about women and sex. You ARE wrong about the study that illustrates that women are more likely to prefer variety within the constructs of a monogamous relationship and men are more likely to prefer a variety of sexual partners. Just because this doesn’t apply to you or because you don’t like the results doesn’t mean it’s not true.

      “When researchers decided to look at this issue to develop a Sexual Boredom Scale, they found that for men, sexual boredom was correlated with variety in partners (or lack thereof), while for women, it was more related to variety in activity. In other words, women were more likely to be satisfied by changes in the sexual what, while men (gay or straight) were more likely to respond to a changes in the sexual whom. It’s a simple, unavoidable truth almost everyone knows to be true, but few dare to discuss: variety and change are the necessary spice of the sex life of the male of our species. But even having an intellectual understanding of this aspect of many men’s inner reality doesn’t make acceptance any easier for many women.”

      Apparently, it doesn’t.

      Next time you choose to disagree with me, try coming to me with facts instead of feelings.

  22. 22

    Evan wrote: “Next time you choose to disagree with me, try coming to me with facts instead of feelings.”
    Evan, you know I think you’re terrific. That said, I’m surprised by your strong reactions to the women who disagreed with some of your points here (#4 and #23). Jane never accused you of lying; she said she disagreed with a particular notion. AnnieC, likewise, wasn’t accusing you. She seemed to be evenhanded in her treatment of the subject (I think when she wrote “you”, she meant generic you, not you specifically), yet you called what she wrote “sh*t.”
    In fact, it turns out not to be sh*t. Here is what the science has to say. I looked up the original paper from which your link is based. The results were based on three separate studies. The first two studies were conducted amongst youngsters: undergraduates and attendees of a psychology course at Kansas State (median age of the latter: 20.9). The only gender difference was that the young men had greater “sexual boredom.” But boredom wasn’t defined by number of partners; it was a multiscale questionnaire that concerned many different topics, of which number of partners was only one.  The third study was among slightly older individuals, where the median age was 28.  Here – there were no significant gender differences whatsoever in the survey!
    Given that those who read your blog are generally much closer to the age of those in the third study, it seems that those results are more pertinent to your audience. In any case, the results of these studies cannot be used to support a point that one gender thinks or behaves more monogamously than another.

    (Ed. note: @Helen – You’re right. I’m wrong. I looked only at the Psychology Today abstract, with the conclusions that they drew. I did not look at the original study. I think this is a perfect example of how the internet can perpetuate false information. I didn’t think it was necessary to fact-check Psychology Today, and I was wrong. I’m sorry. And yet despite being wrong and being sorry, my original point still stands: just because you don’t like the conclusion of a study doesn’t mean the study is wrong. If Annie had come to me with the facts that you did, refuting my claim, I wouldn’t have gone off. I would have admitted the error of my ways. Thanks for providing the facts. I rely heavily on them to form my opinions. – EMK)

  23. 23

    I’m confused. And worried! Much of what I’m hearing in studies such as these is that men are “hard-wired” to seek sex with multiple partners, and women should be understanding and forgive them for following their instincts. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but that seems to be my takeaway.) So then why do men get married? Is it purely because of the social and/or religious expectations that come with child-rearing? What’s a woman who is past child-bearing age (or who simply doesn’t want to have children) supposed to do? Are we biologically “worthless” and should expect to die alone and unloved? (I’m just being dramatic to make a point.)  And how do we learn to let men have their fun and stop feeling so hurt by it, especially when we’re expected to be faithful to them?

    I’ve been with a great guy now for over a year who I believe loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me (according to what he tells me), but articles such as these make me question whether he’s biologically capable of it. Maybe some men ARE wired this way, but others are not? It makes me wonder why any woman who’s seeking a monogamous relationship (and I think most of us are) should even bother.  Isn’t that what this blog is all about—learning to understand men so we can be the kind of woman a man would want to be marry and be faithful to? What am I missing? Should women stop obssessing about monogamy, or should men conform to the modern, civilized expectations of monogamy?

    1. 23.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Wendy – You’re overreacting.

      Of course men are biologically capable of monogamy. That’s why there are hundreds of millions monogamous men around the world. Just understand that it’s a CHOICE. What he gains from monogamy is greater than what he gains from screwing around and ruining the relationship. The fact that he’ll forever be attracted to other women? Who cares? He chooses YOU. If you freak out that he still desires other women, but doesn’t act on it, you’ll have a rough time with men. This is basic stuff. Accept it, pay attention to your man’s character and commitment, and choose wisely. You can have monogamy – but not if you’re always freaking out about monogamy.

  24. 24

    Evan your last comment is what has made me totally disregard many of the other comments that somewhat confused me (i am 3 months into what i hope will be a wonderful long term relationship and am taking on alot of your advice).

    My guy is on a 1 week holiday with friends (yes a couple are single, though he’s not attracted to them, and i have met them), to an amazing villa overseas, arranged before we met. It was my worst nightmare initially TILL i dealt with the reality. HIS fantasy may be lustful but the reality is- we are onto a good thing. Why ruin it!?

      He invited me a month before going (i couldn’t go in any case). I am sure he invited me to show there was nothing to worry about in reality knowing i couldn’t go.

    So i am trusting he believes and wants monogamy also. Yes he looks at other woman E.G “The girls have their pins out tonight”, when we pass 2 women on the way to dinner in short skirts and heels. I am sure he has had fantasises while at this amazing villa. BUT the reality of him doing something with them, i am going to trust is that he won’t.

    I am choosing to believe he’s chosen ME. I met ALL of the people going on this trip. 

    I do feel this study is right for the most part. Or at least it seems to feel right to me, here in Sydney. Isn’t it universal stuff?? 

    Back to the topic. My fantasies are just about him. My dreams, well i’ve dreamt i slept with my acupuncturist! Not with the needles in mind you lol. BUT i don’t want to sleep with him!

    I’ve dreamt he cheated. But then i was cheated on by my last partner. Dreams are indeed symbolic of other things going on or subconscious thoughts and worries (or desires in SOME cases).

    Fantasies, well i can assume he fantasised about sleeping with those 2 women in short skirts and girls on this trip. Hell, it’s a bloody island!  

    I don’t want to have a rough time. I have only heard from him once (he is quite remote) BUT i am trying the “his holiday isn’t about me, it’s about resting after working 70hr weeks”. It’s about thinking of the reality and not the fantasy.

    AND not torturing myself unnecessarily.

  25. 25

    Women don’t have fantasies? OMG.  That really made me laugh.  I did share my fantasies with my beloved of the time and he was so shocked!
    Wendy 25
    “What’s a woman who is past child-bearing age (or who simply doesn’t want to have children) supposed to do.”
    Ahem – she could be fantasizing too – in real life or with a partner.  Your penis doesn’t drop off after 60, and your womb is usually working. 

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