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The Naked Truth

Fantasy Land

Our survey shows you still fantasize about sex.

En español │As kids, we had fantasies about being an astronaut who explores new planets or being the first female president of the United States. As hormonal teens, our fantasies were a tad sexier, either when we swooned over Fabian or Elizabeth Taylor or some pinup star who made our pulses pound harder, wondering what it would be like to be "with" them. But now that we're all adults (we are, aren't we?), it seems that these latter fantasies haven't subsided … and that's a good thing!

NAKED: Fantasies

— Barnaby Hall

In the recent AARP Sex, Romance, and Relationships survey, we found out that 25 percent of you have sexy thoughts or erotic dreams at least once a day, with 16 percent having them more than once a day. Men are more than five times as likely as women to say they have such thoughts. For example, 45 percent of men and just 8 percent of women say they have erotic thoughts once or more each day. Many sex researchers have noted the fantasy gap and wondered why it exists.

Some experts feel that women's sexual imaginations have been so effectively criticized as "unnatural" that many women edit themselves by not allowing fantasies at all. Other researchers have noted that girls are much less likely to masturbate than boys and so they are less likely to create fantasies that help build and sustain arousal to orgasm. Personally, I think if society were to give women free rein—which approximates what we are doing now—the fantasy gap would largely disappear. Anyone who has read Nancy Friday's My Secret Garden, the classic book on female sexual fantasies, has a different picture of what varied and imaginative sexual fantasies that women are capable of having.

These fantasies decrease as we get older, though. Of those surveyed, more than half the men in their 50s say they are thinking sexy thoughts more than once a day, compared to 12 percent of women. When men reach their 60s, the frequent fantasies drop to about 42 percent; and in their 70s, to 27 percent. Only about 1 percent of women in their 70s think about sex that often.

Still, what's interesting is what everyone is fantasizing about. You might think it's sex with a mega-hot celeb—one like Angelina Jolie or George Clooney. Guess again.

Nearly 38 percent of all fantasies or thoughts are about sex with a stranger and sex with more than one person at a time (which comes in at a distant second place at 21 percent). Men report having fantasies about sex with a stranger (44 percent), compared to 28 percent of female respondents, and men are three times as likely to think about sex with more than one person at a time (30 percent, compared to 10 percent of women). Men and women were more alike about celebrity fantasies (20 percent, compared with 17 percent), and a similar number of men and women (9 percent and 8 percent) imagined having sex with someone of the same sex.

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