A new survey has revealed what men and women are really seeking in the bedroom.
A new book coming out next month, Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life by Justin Lehmiller, explores sexual fantasies, why we have them, and how they differ by age, gender and personality type.
First of all, don't pretend you don't have sexual fantasies. You fantasise. Your mates fantasise. Your frumpy Aunt Maude fantasises.
The survey results, reported by the Wall Street Journal, found that 97 per cent of participants admitted to having sexual fantasies — that is, a mental picture you have in your waking state that's sexually arousing.
Lehmiller identified seven key fantasy themes: group sex, powerplay (from being tied-up to full-on sadomasochism), novelty and adventure (like new settings), fetish, non-monogamy, passion and romance, and erotic flexibility (like gender-bending and sexual contact with the non-preferred sex).
Men's fantasies were more likely to include an emotional element — having their partners desire them. Women were more likely to fantasise about bondage, domination and sadomasochism (BDSM) than men were. Both genders fantasised a lot about group sex.
While women had a greater desire for domination, the results found men had more interest in taboo fantasies overall, including gender-bending scenarios.
The survey also found a correlation between one's first sexual experience and their fantasies; if your "first time" was unusual or adventurous in some way, you were probably more likely to have out-there sexual fantasies.
It could also be a matter of personality types. Extroverts were more likely to be keen on group sex and non-monogamy, while introverts were more likely to get off on taboo subjects. "They might have a harder time meeting people and establishing the kind of relationship they want, and this seems to lead some to find alternative sexual expression," Lehmiller says.
In terms of age, the results found older people were more likely to fantasise about group sex (possibly as a novelty factor after being in a relationship for so long) while younger people were more likely to want their emotional needs met.