Over the last few decades, views about sexual fantasy have been changing. Sigmund Freud believed that only sexually unsatisfied people fantasized about sex. Today, many researchers believe that not only are sexual fantasies normal and healthy, but they may be a driving force behind human sexuality. Liberal attitudes and more sexual experience have been found to be associated with longer and more explicit sexual fantasies (Gold & Chick, 1988; Person et al., 1992). Conversely, those who do not have sexual fantasies have been found to experience a greater likelihood of sexual dissatisfaction and sexual dysfunction (Cado & Leitenberg, 1990).

Both men and women may use sexual fantasies both during sexual intercourse and outside of sexual activity, although men tend to have these fantasies more often (Leitenberg & Henning, 1995). Men have also been found to have more sexual cogni­tions, or thoughts about sex, than women (Renaud & Byers, 1999). The sexual fantasies of homosexuals and heterosexuals have also been found to be more similar than differ­ent, except for the sex of the fantasized partner (Leitenberg & Henning, 1995).

Подпись: ReviewQuestion Compare and contrast the various models of sexual response that have been proposed. Подпись:Подпись:Подпись:Overall, research on men’s and women’s sexual fantasies has shown the fantasies are becoming more similar (Block, 1999). In fact, women have been reporting more graphic

and sexually aggressive fantasies than they have had in the past. Overall, however, most men and women have a select few fantasies that are their favorites. These fantasies can arouse them over and over again, and sexual fantasies are used for a variety of different reasons. They can help enhance masturbation, increase sexual arousal, help a person reach orgasm, and allow a person to explore various sexual activities that he or she might find taboo or too threatening to engage in.