Are You Cheating If You Fantasize About Someone Else?
Sexual fantasies; the cheapest, most portable and most readily available sex aid – and, arguably, the one which causes the most distress but are you cheating if you fantasize about someone else?
So, I was reading a forum where a guy mentioned he often fantasizes about someone else. (He also went on to say that he sometimes actually WANTS to be with someone else, but that’s a whole new blog post right there!) Anyway, the responses basically tore him apart – calling him a worthless cheater, he should should leave his partner, remain single forever etc … you know the type?
It made me wonder though. Were they being too harsh on him? Were they right? Is it normal to fantasize or is it a form of mental cheating?
Statistically, it is very common to have sexual fantasies about neighbours, colleagues, strangers, superstars etc with over 92% of men and women admitting they have fantasized about someone other than their partner.
In fact, research has confirmed that sex with someone you know, who is not your partner, is in the top ten fantasies for both men and women.
Yet people still feel threatened by this behaviour. Many fear that by allowing a partner to fantasize about, or flirt with others they will end up acting on their sexual fantasies. Sometimes they feel they are printing a license to cheat. And sometimes the act of fantasizing leaves the partner feeling cheated on already.
So, What is the definition of “Cheating”?
Dictionary.com defines it as – to act dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage.
In general terms though, cheating can be described as betraying a partner’s expectations about the type of contact the cheater has with others. When a partner violates an expectation about what is appropriate, people feel betrayed.
Remember – relationships are emotional not logical!!!
As a result, cheating is difficult to define because people are different in the type of contact they feel it is appropriate for a partner to have with someone else.
As individuals we need to look at the meaning of love, eroticism, fantasy and sex in our lives. Take time to explore the difference between fantasy and reality. For example, to gain some relief from a harsh winter day, we may fantasise about moving to a Caribbean Island. However, in reality, very few people will quit their jobs and rush to the airport.
Fantasy is just that – your pleasant daydream – but with erotic potential.
Nonetheless, many still feel that it’s a betrayal of their real life relationships, especially if it involves sex with someone other than our partner.
Co-created fantasy can be a lot of fun though. If you want to act it out, it’s important to discuss the whole story, expectations, rules and safe words or behaviours which mean ‘stop’ beforehand. If you do decide to share your erotic fantasies about others with your partner, please proceed with tact and caution.
When It’s Healthy Versus Unhealthy
So we know that it’s happening and that it’s happening a lot, and that every person has their own reaction to it, so is there an objective opinion on whether it’s OK?
Well, overall, fantasizing is deemed perfectly healthy if it enhances an experience and doesn’t happen all the time. If you are fantasizing all the time, and prefer the fantasy over your partner then they may want to seriously think about your relationship.
On occasion, if you find yourself in the middle of doing the deed and fantasizing about someone else, don’t feel horrified or guilty.
If you find yourself fantasizing about someone else on a regular basis, your fantasy may have become something more. You could be bored or angry at your partner, and your fantasy becomes your defence mechanism or your way out. Don’t give yourself free reign to regularly fantasize about another, this may give you the option of the easy way out when you really have some work to do to figure out how to make your relationship better.
In truth – no matter what kind of relationship you are in – what is or isn’t OK should be more about what is or isn’t OK for you and you partner, not anyone else! Communication and mutual respect are vital in all aspects of sex!
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