Sexual Fantasy and Orgasm

What Women Really Think
Sept. 23 2009 3:30 PM

Sexual Fantasy and Orgasm

Thanks to the many women who wrote in over the past week, thoughtfully and candidly, in reply to my initial question:

What role does sexual fantasy play in your life? Some researchers say that erotic fantasy does not play a major part in women’s lives. Little is truly known. How often-and when-do you fantasize about sex? What are the fantasies? How long do they last? We at DoubleX hope you will get deeply into the details. Understanding lies in such depth.

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For newcomers, I am still interested in responses to this original question. To those of you have already written in, let’s continue exploring the subject. As always, send replies to desirelab@slate.com .

Several of the answers I've received note that fantasy is essential to reaching orgasm. Researchers are beginning to study the parts of the brain that are involved in sexual climax. For those of you who depend on fantasy to come, is your sense that fantasy is putting you over the edge by stoking up arousal? By shutting off the voices of inhibition? By creating a kind of distance between you and your partner? Is fantasy serving in some other way?

I noticed that very few of last week's responders said they do not often fantasize. Probably this was a product of the way I phrased the initial question. Please don't hesitate to write in with your thoughts if you fantasize rarely or not at all.

I'm going to post a few of the early replies now, with more to follow next week along with a comment on threads that are emerging. If you'd like to reflect on what you read, that would be great, but please remember to be respectful. This is a blog that aims not for judgment but insight.

Daniel Bergner is the author of the new book What Do Women Want? Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.