What are we really fantasising about?

The latest study to rock the internet is all about sex, with psychologist Justin Lehmiller asserting that 97% of people have sexual fantasies. Well that’s no surprise there, but some of the results in his new book, Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Improve Your Sex Life, do provide some interesting insights.

4,000 people aged 18 – 87 were surveyed about their sexual preferences and their fantasies and the results are in. According to Lehmiller, there are seven key fantasy themes: group sex (threesomes), adventure, fetish, non-monogamy, rough/control i.e. Fifty Shades style, novelty, romance and erotic flexibility.

Of these seven fantasies, the majority admit that their ideal scenarios involve group sex, power, bondage and adventure.


The majority of participants also acknowledged that their fantasies take hold during the work day with the frequency being between several times a week to several times a day. Several times a day seems a little far-fetched to us because we don’t know about you, but there aren’t enough hours in the day to focus on what is happening in the real world let alone sub-consciously fulfilling our fantasies.

With all the Fifty Shades of Grey propaganda that has been floating around the last few years, it is interesting to see that Lehmiller’s study found that women are more likely to daydream about bondage and sadomasochism than men. While women appear to be more interested in rougher sex, both enjoy fantasising with an added emotional element (such as irresistibility) however men are more likely to focus on a specific person than women.

Interestingly (and if we think about it, not all that surprising) is the role your personality plays in your fantasies. Extroverts are more likely to have fantasies involving group sex and are more likely to involve someone praising their sexual prowess, while introverts are more likely to fantasise about passionate and more intimate sex.

One of the final surprising elements has to do with what the older generation wants. Lehmiller found that older people are more likely to want to add some spice in the bedroom by fantasizing about group sex and threesomes

What do you think about this study?

Written by Her World’s relationship editor

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  1. Vikki Sainsbury July 16, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Interesting! But doesn’t really surprise me especially with the internet and all the options you can look at/read etc about all of the above. Nothing wrong with fantasizing though! It can spice up your marriage!!

  2. Amanda Carr July 10, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    This is an interesting read I guess I havnt thought much about what other people think about and fantasise over. It’s also interesting about the older generation and what they want it sounds quite crazy. I wander what others think of this and the differences of men and women’s thoughts.

  3. Jen Wiig July 10, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Really interesting read, I’ve been told too sex gets better with age because often you’re more likely to want to play out your fantasies? Not sure how much truth there is to it… Yet haha

  4. Kym Moore July 10, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    Makes sense, we all have an imagination of some sort. It makes total sense that who we are as people (introvert/extrovert) will influence what we are interested in or imagine.

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