Fantasies J ust about everyone has had some sort of sexual fantasy. Many persons, however, find their fantasies to be quite troubling; fantasies can lead to repetitive acts of masturbation genital self-excitation that ultimately become more frustrating than satisfying, and, if the fantasies have a criminal or anti-social trend, they can trap a person in feelings of shame, guilt, and fear of discovery.
Well, the answer begins with the fact that fantasies are intellectual products, not acts of will. Maybe that statement needs some explanation. By this they mean that the crime is so brilliantly designed as in a detective story that one can actually admire it intellectually. Or so we would hope.
Fantasies occur simply because it is intellectually possible to conceive of them. If you walk past a bank and think of how it could be robbed, you are thinking only of a possibility. The fact that a fantasy occurs does not necessarily say anything about who or what you are as a person. Now, at the stage of hypothetical contemplation, the crime is nothing but an intellectual product. But to carry it out a person would have to will its execution, and even deliberately overcome any moral qualms about doing so.
So you can see that there is a big difference between the intellectual product and the willful act itself. And this difference between the intellect and the will leads us to another radical concept: But still, in missing the point, Freud points to the right thing: Think about this for a moment.
What experience must every infant encounter? And in this experience are complex emotions of both pleasure and violation. Consequently, adult sexual fantasies have two components: The Desire for Acceptance The desire for acceptance in our adult sexual fantasies reveals a deep yearning to gain access to the unknown and to transcend a profound existential lack, a hunger for the ecstasy of real love from our parents that then extends to a hunger for an emotional closeness to others that is sadly missing in our limited, bodily reality.
The governing drive of all these fantasies can be represented as an arrow that, in its deepest unconscious sense, does not seek out another in real love but instead returns narcissistically to itself, in a desire to make itself seen in the presence of another, and thereby to make itself into an object for its own satisfaction.
Instead, these fantasies point to some emotional wound from childhood you are unconsciously trying to resolve in yourself. In a similar way, a man who looks at the genitals of another man may be looking for the strength and protection his father did not give him; at the same time, he may be looking at the other man with an admiration that wanted his mother to have for his father.
Or, the fantasies may be unconsciously re-enacting a molestation that occurred in infancy, an experience with vague emotional memories but not accessible to conscious memory. The Desire for Revenge The desire for revenge in our adult sexual fantasies is very subtle, and most persons either do not recognize it in themselves or they deny its reality.
Nevertheless, whenever we experience pleasure by imagining or seeing others seemingly having erotic pleasure, we are using them for our own satisfaction, in the expectation of our immediate, tangible gratification, often in defiance of moral responsibility. Hence these fantasies lead you right into the psychological dead-end of sado-masochism. On the surface, it may seem that pornography is simply about erotic pleasure.
But when the human body is made into a biological toy, it is stripped of all human dignity, and this defilement is an act of aggression. The hostility may be unconscious or it may be openly violent, but, either way, it has its basis in resentment.
And to whom is the resentment directed? Well, as in all things psychological, the resentment primarily goes back to the parents. The resentment can also be directed to individuals responsible for a molestation that happened in childhood.
None of this drive has anything to do with real love, except for the fact that, in all the arousal, real love is missing. With this, then, we return to the opening question.