Earlier I wrote about how the term sexual “deviance” has absolutely no scientific merit, and now just a few weeks later a new study comes out in the prestigious Journal of Sexual Medicine, which surveyed over 1500 respondent about their sexual fantasies, and determined that almost none of them are really that unusual.
Let’s take a closer look at the nuts and bolts of this survey. It breaks down the sexual fantasies into very specific details and separates participants by gender. Most interestingly, only two of the fantasies were found to be rare and men and women were found to differ significantly in the amount and content of their fantasies. The two more rare fantasies were having sex with a child younger than 12 (pedophilia) at roughly 1.5% (0.8% women and 1.8% men) and having sex with animals (zoophilia) (3%women and 2.2% men). Remember, these numbers reflect the people who were willing to disclose these kinds of fantasies– self reports like these are notorious for underreporting.
More unusual, but by no means rare fantasies included fantasies around urination (water sports) for both women (7%) and men (9%) and the following fantasies only for women: wearing clothes of the opposite gender (6.9%), forcing someone to have sex (10.8%), abusing a person who is drunk, asleep, or unconscious (10.8%), having sex with a prostitute (12.5%), and having sex with a women who has very small breasts (10.8%). NONE of these were found to be unusual at all for men. In general men had way more fantasies than women, and indicated a higher desire to experience them in real life.
Some other examples include (from an article in the Washington Post):
- 61.2 percent of men had fantasized about interracial sex; just 27.5 percent of women had
- 57.0 percent of men had fantasized about having sex with someone much younger; just 18.1 percent of women had
- 56.5 of women surveyed had fantasized about having sex with more than three people, both men and women; just 15.8 percent of men had
- 64.6 percent of women had fantasized about “being dominated sexually”; 53.3 percent of men had
The authors of the study continue…
“Among women, it was found that sexual fantasies (SF) of being dominated, being spanked or whipped, being tied up, and being forced to have sex were reported by 30%-60% … The fantasy of being dominated was significantly greater for women than for men, on average, whereas the fantasy of dominating was statistically stronger for men than for women, on average.”
“Clinicians and researchers should not rely solely on the theme of a sexual fantasy to determine if it is either pathological or unusual … Care should be taken before labeling an SF as unusual, let alone deviant. Although a pathological sex fantasy is easy to diagnose (e.g. involving non consenting persons, inducing psychological suffering to the person), we think there is no need to chose specific themes, no need to stigmatize interests toward consenting adults, and an important need to base diagnosis on evidence-based data. The focus should be on the effect of a sexual fantasy rather than its content.”
Of the 55 sexual fantasies studied, which included a wide gamut of scenarios, 36 were found to be common (more than 50%), including all themes of domination and submission, and 5 were typical (more than 84.1% of the sample).
This is just another nail in the coffin of sex-negative hysteria and I fully expect that future research studies will echo similar findings.