By Suzannah Weiss. Photos: Stocksy.
If you consider yourself straight but your sex fantasies involve other women every once in awhile (or a lot)—either during solo sex or when you're with your partner—you're definitely not alone. One Boise State University study found that over half of straight women were attracted to other women, "lesbian" is the term women most commonly search for on Pornhub, and a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that most women physically responded to videos of both naked men and women. So why is this so common, and what does having another women in your sex fantasies say about you?
The short answer: Whatever you want it to. Don't feel like you have to question your sexual orientation solely based on what gets you off. "Our fantasies don't overlap 100 percent with our actual desires," says sex therapist Vanessa Marin. "Most people have entertained fantasies about things that they don't actually want to do in real life. Sometimes fantasizing about something we know we wouldn't do in real life is exactly what makes the fantasy so hot."
"Just because you enjoy lesbian porn or fantasies doesn't mean that you need to identify as such or live the fantasy out" if you don't want to, agrees Dr. Kat Van Kirk, a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified sex therapist, and Adam and Eve's resident relationship and sex expert. "There's only a question of orientation when you can't get aroused or have an orgasm without the thoughts. Also, if you begin feeling compelled to see what it's like."
That said, if you want to act on your fantasies, obviously go for it. A third of women have hooked up with other women, according to an Adam and Eve survey, even though only about seven percent of American women identify as lesbian or bisexual.
But if you have fantasies that you don't want to act out IRL, there are a number of other things they might mean. For example, sometimes the women in our fantasies are actually stand-ins for ourselves, says Marin. "Fantasizing about a very sensual or sexual woman can also be a way for us to access our sexuality in a way that we don't feel confident enough doing on our own." In that way, you could think of that woman who keeps popping into your head as your own inner vixen.
Other times, women enjoy lesbian porn or fantasies because they consider them less intimidating than those involving men, says Dr. Van Kirk. Some women dislike heterosexual porn, for example, because they find it degrading to the women featured.
P.S. Guys are probably doing this, too—even if they don't admit it. "Most people lie somewhere on the spectrum between gay and straight, but it's much more socially permissible for women to acknowledge same-sex curiosities," says Marin. "It's likely that there are just as many men out there with same-sex fantasies, but they don't feel comfortable acknowledging them."
In the end, says Dr. Van Kirk, "sexuality is far more fluid than what we once thought."
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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