Britain’s Sexual Fantasies

Last night while folding my laundry, I watched the rebroadcast of a show titled: Britain’s Sexual Fantasies. It was presented by Brett Kahr a psychotherapist who had anonymously surveyed 5000 British people on their sexual fantasies.
What I found most disturbing about his presentation was his theory that our sexual fantasies often relate back to some awful children trauma — typically emotional, physical or worse yet sexual abuse. Apparently we “co-opt these traumas and sexualize them to give us a sense of power over them.”
Since then I’ve been trying to analyze my own fantasies to see if they connect back in some way to some trauma from my past. Can’t come up with anything yet. But I find it upsetting to think that something that caused me pain (emotional or physical) would become the inspiration for that which would give me sexual pleasure — provided of course I acted on it.
Personally, I think sexual fantasies, should be left as fantasies because if acted out, they often don’t live up to the fantasy. Well that’s what I’m thinking anyway. I’ve never acted out one before.

The Times, October 5th 2005
Fearful fantasies
You might think that the safest sort of sex you can have is the sort that stays in your head. But the marital psychotherapist Brett Kahr who has polled thousands of Britons, says that our sexual fantasies are formed from the worst experiences we’ve ever had.
Results from his 55-item questionnaire indicate that many Britons’ relationships would implode if their partners revealed their fantasies to each other. About one woman in three, for example, fantasises about lesbian sex, while more than half of the men questioned by the YouGov pollsters imagine work colleagues while making love with their partners.
“You can be naked in bed with someone, but couples have almost no communication about the true content of their sexual fantasies,” says Kahr, who has made Britain’s Sexual Fantasies for Channel 5.
The key to people’s deepest fantasies is in our masturbatory thoughts, not the ones we have during sex, he says.
Most disturbingly, he says his work reveals that our sexual fantasies are linked to childhood trauma. He claims that we co-opt those traumas and sexualise them to give us a sense of power over them.
But are all fantasies pathological? “Critics might say that I have interviewed only people who may have problems with their fantasies, though that’s arguable,” says Kahr.
Phew, that’s me off the hook. And maybe you, too.

By the way, if you are interested in reading more about Kahr’s theory, you can check out his book: “Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head?: The Sexual Fantasies of the British” when it is published later this year (September 2006, ISBN: 0713999403).

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