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The Most Common Sexual Fantasies For Both Men and Women

The Most Common Sexual Fantasies For Both Men and Women

Have you ever wondered about your partner's sexual fantasies? Or have you ever wondered if the things you fantasize about are common? Fantasizing about sex is a normal and healthy form of sexual expression that can help us work out what turns us on and get us in the mood for our next encounter. In this article we unpack why we have sexual fantasies and what the most common sexual fantasies shared by both men and women when it comes to daydreaming about time between the sheets.

What is a sexual fantasy?

Sexual fantasies are simply thoughts or images of sex that a person finds erotic and they can suggest that a person is comfortable with their sexuality. Both men and women, single or married, experience some degree of sexual fantasy. Sexual fantasies come in a variety of forms. In the past sexual fantasies by both men and women were historically viewed negatively, while now it is considered that sexual fantasies carry a positive effect and indicate a high degree of sexual desire. Sexual fantasies are healthy as long as they are approached with respect and involve consent. There is no harm for a person to think about something or someone that arouses them. Sometimes one may discuss a fantasy with their partner or even talk about acting one out together. Sharing your desires with the person you care about is a great way to build intimacy in a relationship. 

Why do we have sexual fantasies?

Sexual fantasies are a part of normal sexual health. Sex is a topic that can spark many complicated feelings and may leave one confused about their arousing, erotic mental images and sexual fantasies. It’s important to realize your sexual fantasies mean you are human. Your fantasies may be linked to a desire to give up control or to loosen up, whereas others might represent a need to break free from the constraints placed on one through typical gender roles. Sexual fantasies may fulfill a psychological need. You may fantasize about certain sexual acts to cope with stress or anxiety or temporarily escape from the demands of daily living. Your sexual fantasies are about far more than simply experiencing pleasure or increasing arousal. They also serve a wide range of psychological functions. Notably, these include helping one meet unfulfilled needs, offering a handy source of comfort and distraction on command, and allowing you to mentally work through sexual scenarios before acting.

Most common sexual fantasies.


According to research, one of the top female fantasies is being dominated. This includes any general sexual scenario in which the female plays a more submissive role and can even include instance of being forced to have sex. Rough sex may be included in this fantasy of dominant sex. Rough sex needs not to be inherently dangerous or abusive but most importantly must always be consensual. Rough sex can be aggressive and animalistic but harmful. You might want to use BDSM toys to really spice things up.


Having a threesome is one of the most common sexual fantasies for men. A 2017 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior involving 274 Canadian university undergraduates revealed 64% of participants had some interest in multi-partner sex. 

Another study published in Personality and Individual Differences involving 1862 men and 2905 women found that men specifically may fantasize about multi-partner sex. Male participants of the study were more likely to think about sex with multiple people and with anonymous partners. Meanwhile, women's fantasies were more likely to include same-sex partners and famous people. 


Voyeurism is arousal caused by watching an unsuspecting person or people engaged in a private, intimate sexual act. A 2006 Swedish study found that of 2,450 adults surveyed, 7.7% had reported becoming aroused watching other people have sex.


Exhibitionism is on the other end of voyeurism, it is the act of becoming aroused by others consensually watching one have sex or by exposing parts of the body to unsuspecting participants.

Having Sex in Public 

Sex in public or in an unusual location is another popular fantasy that may fall under exhibitionism. One study found that approximately 80% of men and 84% of women were aroused by a public sex fantasy. 


Roleplay and cosplay despite their similar names are two other different sexual fantasies. Roleplay is the assumption of another identity. During a sexual act, roleplay can be part of many fantasies. It can help one play out fantasies of power imbalances, i.e. boss/secretary, etc., or as strangers. Roleplay is an excellent indicator of strong emotional bonding and feeling physically safe with one's partner. 


Cosplay is the act of dressing up like someone else, often from a book, movie, or video game. It is not inherently sex, but some people enjoy impersonating a character during sex. 

Is there a difference in the way men and women fantasize about sex?

It's important to note that while studies report differences between men and women's sexual fantasies, everybody is different and whichever way you like to fantasize about sex is completely normal. Men tend to have more sexual fantasies than women and are more likely to pair them with masturbation. Men are likely to create a visual image of a woman's sexual body and imagine watch her or seducing her or being seduced by her. Women are typically less visual in their sexual fantasies and are less focused on genitals. Women are more focused on the emotional feelings of a romantic encounter and/or romantic location. Many women have difficultly imagining an explicit sexual encounter, but readily acknowledge the excitement of sexual feelings while engrossed in a romantic novel or movie. Either way there are a myriad of benefits that come with masturbation, so get to work! 

Sexual fantasies are normal and are part of one's sexual health. These fantasies are nothing to be embarrassed about and can increase desire. Desire is a key part of sexuality and having fantasies is not only normal but common and healthy. Both men and women formulate sexual fantasies and one's fantasies can contribute to their relationship and increase one's self-esteem. Trying out fantasies with your partner can be exciting and thrilling! You could even try out a new BDSM or couples toy to really spice things up.

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