We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's a difficult subject to study because people are not likely to reveal their more taboo fantasies. Furthermore, in my field we tend to believe that most of our fantasies (sexual and otherwise) are kept safely beneath our own awareness.
As a Psychiatrist, I can tell you that quite normal people commonly contain all sorts of aberrant and "abnormal" fantasies which they would never act on or tell even their spouses about.
The study found that one of the most common sexual fantasies, after the five “typical” ones, is submission, with approximately 65 percent of women and 53 percent of men fantasizing about being submissive. More men than women fantasized about dominating their partners. Still, there remains a distinction between fantasy and reality. Of the women who fantasized about being dominated, half said that they wouldn’t want to actually be dominated in real life. Reading 50 Shades of Grey, for example, could be an outlet to imagine these fantasies without acting on them.
'quite normal people commonly contain all sorts of aberrant and "abnormal" fantasies which they would never act on or tell even their spouses about.' If that is so- I refuse to disclose what I would do if I hit the lottery.
This study is naive and imprecise. It asks what people think about when they consider pleasurable sexual activity, and it mislabels those thoughts as fantasies. On reflection, I realized that my sexual thoughts are virtually all memories. That's important: consider the distinction between, for example, an animated cartoon featuring unicorns and flying carpets on the one hand, and a documentary on the evolution of Hollywood's spy films on the other. Yet for the purposes of this study, both of these types of scenarios are called "fantasies". One cannot rationally proceed from this bad definition to a coherent attempt to distinguish the normal from the abnormal.
When we engage in sexually-themed wool-gathering, we are musing about things that are provocative. From a catalog of the themes involved in wool-gathering the experts proceed to proclaim a scale of quality that runs from abnormal to normal. Note, however, that the spectrum is not calibrated in normatives. All one can do is make statistical statements about frequency and tie those statements to themes.
As interesting as that might be for some scholarly voyeurs (or for us folks who are just curious), it is not normative. It is purely quantitative.
Yet the general understanding of "normal" and "abnormal" does indeed include judgmental elements. Who, after all, would enjoy being told, "Well, Fred, your sexual fantasies are abnormal"? That certainly implies a need for therapy, does it not? ...Oh.
The study is also fundamentally flawed in that it assumes people list things as fantasies rather than things they really do, or would do given the opportunity.
A lot of people would thrive in a D/s relationship for example, if only there weren't the massive social stigma against it.
As a result, even people who are involved in it tend to hide it from the outside world (and yes, I know some of them) because admitting it to friends and families tends to losing those friends and family.
Friends suddenly no longer speak to you, shun you, family casts you out, disinherits you, you're no longer receiving invites to birthdays and Christmas parties, etc. etc.
And if word gets out you lose your job, and find it impossible to find another.
It's much the same with transgender people (and yes, I know several of those as well) and homosexuals (in many places with a strong religious community especially).
And no doubt it's the same with other non-mainstream sexual interests and leanings.
Basically, unless your idea of sex is limited to doing it once a week at most in a dark room under the covers in the missionary position, you'd best keep quiet about it to everyone, including snooping "scientists", because the social and economic implications to yourself and your partners if you do let word slip are severe.
Good point! It's reality become fantasy for self-protective purposes. It seems to me that example impeaches the study because the object of study has not been, perhaps cannot be, accurately defined. I think we all assume that real life is distinct from fantasy, but here we have a second instance in which the two are one and the same. The survey does not seem to anticipate that.