Chapter 9

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<br />The Function of Sexual Fantasies


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Lecture Notes

Sexual fantasies serve many functions.

They help direct and define erotic goals. They take generalized sexual drives and give them concrete images and specific content.


Sexual fantasies help plan for or anticipate situations that may arise. They provide a form of rehearsal, allowing a mental practice on how to act in various situations such as on a date or in bed with a partner.


Sexual fantasies provide escape from a dull or oppressive environment. Routine or repetitive behavior often gives rise to fantasies as a way of coping with boredom such a sitting through a dull lecture.


Sexual fantasies are a way to bring novelty and excitement into a relationship. Fantasy offers a safe outlet for sexual curiosity.


Lastly, Sexual fantasies have an expressive function in somewhat the same manner that dreams do. Sexual fantasies may offer a clue to current interests, pleasures, anxieties, fears, or problems.