A recent Boise State University study of 484 heterosexual women showed that “50% of the women had fantasies about other women that involved some kind of sexual experience”. Does this mean they’re bisexual? Lesbian? Bicurious? Who knows and, to a degree, who cares? We don’t need to label every thought that comes into our minds, unless doing so helps us in some way. I’d imagine that there are plenty of heterosexual men who’ve entertained a homoerotic fantasy at some point, but are reluctant to admit that for fear that doing so would “make” them gay. The same goes for sadomasochism and dominance and submission. Plenty of people get off to BDSM scenarios they wouldn’t necessarily want to try, yet too many are ashamed of these fantasies and don’t even fully admit them for fear of being seen as somehow deviant, when the fact is that eroticising power, helplessness and pain are extremely common.
Attraction and action are two distinct things. Sometimes they are one and the same, and visualising yourself in a given sexual situation will lead to wanting to pursue it, but not always. We need to put a higher value on the act of fantasising and recognise that it can help revive a relationship or be a tool in figuring out what arouses us. Maybe you fantasise about being with someone other than your longterm partner, or watching them with someone, or having sex in an exotic location, or being watched, or something that couldn’t ever happen in real life. Allowing yourself the freedom to simply explore what turns you on, sans judgment, is important.
What we need to let ourselves do is acknowledge that sex is a big deal for some people, and really not a big deal for others. We need to get better at saying “Eh, that’s not really my thing, but if you like it, rock on with your cock on” and meaning it. Otherwise, we will only continue to be opaque to each other. We will miss the enormous pain in someone who would really like to get some, but isn’t. We will miss the pain in someone who doesn’t want to have sex but feels obligated to. We will miss all the people who can’t reconcile the contradiction between their utterly filthy fantasies and the social role they find themselves in. Understanding can only arise from acknowledging our mutual incomprehension.