In his millennium hit, "What's Your Fantasy," Ludacris raps about a lot of raunchy stuff, including having sex in public — specifically "in the DJ booth." Sex in public is one of those sexual fantasies you've heard about. A lot. But it's also taboo, right? Perhaps you've even thought of it as "crazy."
Yet according to a study published last Friday in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, many sexual fantasies we might commonly think of as unusual turn out to be regarded as quite common ... by a lot of people. By keeping fantasies to themselves (a natural thing to do), people seem to be skewing public perception of what's common and what's not.
The study surveyed approximately 1,500 adults, asking them to rank their fantasies from a list of 55 possible options. There were five fantasies categorized as "typical," as they were favored by 84 percent of participants; these included wanting to feel romantic feelings during sex, oral sex, having sex in an unusual place (who knew Ludacris' sexual fantasies were "typical"?), and having sex in a "special" atmosphere.
39 out of 55 fantasies were deemed "common" by the study authors, as they were favored in the rankings of 50 percent of participants. Among these "common" fantasies were dominance and submission, bondage, group sex and anal sex. In short, 44 out of the 55 fantasies listed were favored by at least half of the study participants.
Sure, there were 11 total fantasies that didn't make the cut — they were not identified as typical or common. Bestiality and pedophilia were the only two fantasies considered numerically rare (2.3 percent or less of participants chose these). The remaining nine were considered "unusual": only 15.9 percent or less reported interest in them. Urinating on one's partner is one such "unusual" fantasy.
Despite these results, it's important to remember that having a fantasy, and wanting to act on that fantasy, are two different things. For instance, 65 percent of women and 53 percent of men reported a fantasy of being submissive (e.g. dominated) during sex. That said, only half of the 65 percent of women who reported this desire said they wouldn't actually want to be dominated in real life.
Regardless, this survey made progress in further shedding light on the complexity of human desire. At the very least, it has opened up a dialogue about the mysterious world of sexual fantasies. Now after almost 15 years, Ludacris is in good company.
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