Having Secret Fantasies in a Relationship Is Natural & Normal

Matt, one of our best commenters, took issue with reader Jo’s claim — made in response to “Wise Guys: How Often Do Men Think of Someone Else During Sex?” — that fantasizing about someone other than your partner during sex is “a bit rapey”:

Jo, you’re taking things that are well within the spectrum of what most people would call normal/acceptable in a loving relationship, and making them sound not only hurtful, but potentially something even worse (“rapey”?! I’m obviously not the only person who was stopped cold by that completely overblown designation).

Of course fantasizing about someone else ALL the time would be something to figure out, discuss with a therapist, etc… but for the most part, I’m not sure I want to know every single time my wife thinks about someone else. Honestly… who cares?

People are going to fantasize sometimes. Should they blurt out, mid-sex… “Oh, hang on, that hot newscaster just flashed across my mind. Carry on.”

You said, “The sex is gone, the moment you start thinking about other people.” This is a Disney movie version of a romantic relationship, and won’t serve anyone well who lives in actual reality.

It doesn’t mean someone’s less attracted to you just because they sometimes find someone else attractive, too. If they wonder what it might be like to kiss, or even fuck that other person, really, what’s the big deal? That doesn’t mean they don’t still want to kiss or fuck you, and it doesn’t mean they’re even remotely considering ACTUALLY cheating on you… it just means that their brain is doing what human brains do: wondering about things. This is going to happen with everyone you’ll ever be in a relationship with, like it or not.

I trust my wife that if something became a fixation for her, she’d mention it, as would I. We’d then figure out how to deal with it. But do we need to know everything going on in our partners’ heads? I think the world’s a better place without that being the case.

If you’re going to be throwing around words like “rapey” and talk about people getting kicked out the door for completely normal human impulses (and ones that can’t even always be controlled, mind you), the one thing you can count on is that your partner is going to be less likely to tell you anything (and, quite frankly, more likely to kick YOU out the door!). Honestly, this sounds like something that hits a real nerve for you, and maybe something I’d consider talking to a therapist about — why it bothers you so much, and what you might be able to do to see it in a more rational, accepting context.


Want to fess up to your naughty thoughts?
3 Easy(ish) Steps to Sharing a Fantasy with Your Partner