For women, it may feel difficult speaking about our secret sexual desires or fantasies. Women are implicitly and explicitly taught to keep their sexual desires to themselves. It’s impressed from an early age that being too sexual or being too vocal about what you want might give people the wrong idea or might make you look unattractive in a certain light — two things that make me say, “To hell with that.”
A 2014 Journal of Sexual Medicine-published study revealed that among the top sexual fantasies women have were things like sex in an unusual place, being dominated and group sex with three or more people. In 2017, Refinery29 collected the fantasies women had, and while some fell into similar categories, new ones cropped up, including voyeurism, exhibitionism and having sex with someone you know, like a coworker.
Revealing your secret sexual desires and guilty-pleasure fantasies can be liberating for you, and to others, it can be enlightening. It was also something I was curious to know about; specifically, I wanted to be able to pick the brains of my friends (some who I’ve known for 10 years or thereabouts) and see what they desired most. When it comes to sexual fantasies, there’s many a road the mind can wander down. What road did the minds of my friends wander down when they wanted to get frisky or channel their inner sex goddess?
For Julia,* her secret fantasy was one she summarized neatly and yet left so much to the imagination: “Surprisingly, it’s not just hot guys that turn me on but hot gay guys in action — and I’m a straight girl,” she wrote to me in a private message on social media. While Julia was hesitant to tell me more about this turn-on, and by extension sexual fantasy, Glamour did explore this further in a 2016 article in an attempt to understand why women might be into watching gay porn. According to the testimonies they acquired, it’s the idea that multiple men are coming together to engage sexually that makes it feel like an embarrassment of riches for straight women to enjoy at their discretion.
According to Georgia,* the mere idea of being allowed to control the kind of sexual encounter she is having completely excites her. “The concept of being in control is incredibly sexy to me,” she writes. “I think women get the short end of the stick a majority of the time when it comes to sexuality because we are often catering to what our partners want or what their perception of sex is that we lose the ability to control our own experience. That ability to have the time to control what you are experimenting with regarding your own body or your partner’s is sexy. Just the thought of it even gets my mind and body going.”
That idea of control and domination, of being allowed to take back the reins from a society that prizes heteronormative, gendered roles even during sex, seemed to open the door for multiple women, revealing to me that their sexual fantasies fall into the category of BDSM and kinkier sexual play.
As Amber* revealed to me, “I’ve been super-into BDSM and identify as a submissive. I enjoy impact play, teasing and edging and being collared. I’ve been to a few kink events and I’m a member of a private fetish club.” Amber’s interests not only sound thoroughly exciting but very much in the vein of the Fifty Shades of Grey-like sexual play we as a culture seem keen to explore these days.
Meanwhile, Kim* had a similar fantasy, although it was turned up to 11. “[My] big fantasy: public play. Getting felt up on the subway [and] minor aspects of CNC [consensual non-consent].”
Finally, Tracy’s* biggest fantasy is one she’s still trying to make a reality, and it seems to be intersecting (and possibly at odds with) many of her core beliefs. It’s finding this balance and bringing it to life that seems to make her sexual fantasy burn that much brighter with desire. “I have a weird gangbang fantasy of at least 8 men,” she writes. “I actually tried to set one up once! I found and vetted 4 willing men and then got scared. I figured I need at least one guy there that I truly trust to make sure that things wouldn’t go south. But as hard as it is to find decent men willing to do that, it’s even harder to make sure that at least one of them is trustworthy to you on such a personal level to ensure your safety. I know it’s really strange, especially since I identify as a staunch feminist but still hope to do it someday.”
The truth is what I heard from my friends in combination with the fantasies previously disclosed by women for other publications show the things women fantasize about are wide-ranging, intense and passionate. The depths of female desire seem to be limitless and quite frankly incredibly exciting.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of interview subjects