My guest today is Jennifer Valli. She has been on the show before to share her expertise and we’re very fortunate to have her back!
Jenifer has a Ph.D., has 26 years of clinical experience in psychiatry, and is an experienced therapist an AASECT-certified sex therapist and educator. She is professionally involved with many different publications including Men’s Fitness Magazine, and she did Post-Grad work in Sexual Health at the University of Michigan. These are just a few of her notable accomplishments and qualifications.
Most applicable to this particular episode is her training in fetishes/paraphilias through Johns Hopkins University. Within this talk, she explores the complex world of fetishes, and how we should approach them, some theories on their starting points, as well as ways to normalize atypical arousal.
Sexual Fantasies and Eroticism
I know I say it often, but this topic is one of my favorites. In this episode, I talk with Dr. Justin Lehmiller about the all-important topic of sexual fantasies.
Justin is a celebrated speaker, researcher, author, and a very effective educator on the psychology of sexuality. His blog Sex and Psychology gets millions of visitors every year, and he regularly contributes his writing to major publications. This talk about his research is guided by his expertise and experience in the field.
Listen to “89: Dr. Justin Lehmiller – Sexual Fantasies” on Spreaker.
The Most Common Sexual Fantasies
Justin says that when he surveyed almost 4,200 Americans from 2014 to 2016, the most common fantasies encompassed 7 different themes.
- Multi-partner sex
- Novelty, Adventure & Variety
- Taboo activities
- Emotional connection and fulfillment
- Homoeroticism and gender-bending
Justin describes these as the building blocks of fantasies, meaning that they are not mutually exclusive and many overlap. For example, you can very well dip your toes into multiple categories in your own personal fantasy life.
Are people ashamed of their fantasies?
As Justin states, he found that men reported more shame about their fantasies than women. Overall, the majority of study participants reported that they held a positive relationship with their fantasies, but there were still some who felt negative emotions towards their fantasy.
Another important thing he found during his research is that just sharing sexual fantasies can open up eroticism and alleviate feelings of embarrassment or shame for having certain fantasies.
The Differences between Men and Women regarding fantasy
Although the data showed that both sexes share a lot of commonalities, there were still some marked differences.
Men had more multi-partner fantasies than women did. And women had more fantasies about emotional connection with a partner. Women also had way more BDSM fantasies than men by a large margin. In addition, men usually had a specific person in mind during their fantasies, and the women-focused more on the setting and environment overall. Justin also found that the LGBTQ community had more sexually adventurous fantasies, as well as taboo fantasies.
Justin provides some insight on why women might like BDSM more than men, as well as the LGBTQ community and their sexual fantasy preferences. Listen in for that.
Sexual Fantasy by Personality Type
Justin shares some interesting insight on the correlation between personality type and sexual fantasy. For example, those who are more extroverted by nature will be more outgoing the bedroom. And for those who are ‘agreeable’ personality types, there will be a higher incidence of focusing on their partner’s sexual satisfaction in the bedroom.
He also talks about what conscientiousness has to do with fantasies, as well as self-esteem.
“Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar”
Justin says that sexual fantasies don’t really have to mean all that much. They can offer a glimpse into something deeper, but for the most part they are just a product of your environment and genetic makeup and can be left out of the examination room. Fantasies can be a good evaluative road map to follow for your own unique sexual satisfaction, though.
But when talking about sexual traumas, there were small connections between sexual victimization and types of fantasies. But there was a lot of inconsistency in the data.
Hear Justin explain the data on this subject.
How to Share Your Fantasies with Your Partner
Justin says that before you share with your partner, you first have to feel good about yourself. You aren’t alone in your fantasies, so there’s a normalization that needs to first occur.
He says to lay low and start slow. A gradual buildup for disclosing your fantasies to your partner is much more powerful than an overwhelming information dump!
He also goes into detail on how important sharing is for increasing overall sexual desire and satisfaction within the relationship.
Key Links for Justin:
Affiliate link for Justin’s book: Tell Me What You Want : https://amzn.to/2ZPPezs
His website: https://www.lehmiller.com/
Justin Lehmiller Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/psychologyofsex/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/justinjlehmiller/
The topic today is eroticism, which is our unique fingerprint of what turns us on. It’s a set of things or the theme of things that really arouses us – that we find highly interesting and erotic. We all have the things that we prefer in sex and things that we find more arousing than others. This is a useful concept and area of inquiry if we’re going to make our sex life as good as we can.
My guest is Mark Schoen. He is a prolific sex-education filmmaker–he has made over 50 of them!–and still very productive and skilled at his important work in the industry. As his focus attests, educating the general public about sexual topics is always necessary. We can never have enough sexual education throughout the world, so what Mark does is extremely important for making the world a better, more fulfilling, and more demystified place when we talk about sexuality and the whole spectrum of the subject. And although he originally thought he was going to be a hockey player, luckily for the world he realized his full potential in the sexual education sphere.