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Click Now to Buy - Private Thoughts: Exploring the Power of Women's Sexual Fantasies"Sexual fantasizing is a natural, universal psychological phenomenon similar to dreaming," says Wendy Maltz M.S.W. coauthor with Suzie Boss of the newly released book, Private Thoughts: Exploring the Power of Women's Sexual Fantasies. "And, like with dreams, some sexual fantasies are fun and satisfying, while others may trouble us a lot." Maltz, a sexual health expert, encourages women and men to learn more about sexual fantasies. "The more you know about sexual fantasies, the more options you have about what types of sexual fantasies you entertain," says Maltz. "Fantasies that improve self-esteem and intimacy with a partner are usually the most desirable."

Private Thoughts is the first book to take an in-depth look at sexual fantasizing, exploring such topics as, where sexual fantasies come from, how they function, what they mean, and what to do when they are causing problems. Maltz and Boss also explain the differences between male and female fantasies. This book is filled with stories shared by the more than 100 women Wendy Maltz and Suzie Boss personally interviewed. The women vary widely in age, race, sexual history, and lifestyle, so nearly every reader should find some stories that resonate.

The groundbreaking research behind Private Thoughts shows that women experience an amazing range of fantasies, involving everything from sensuous horseback rides to tantalizing chocolate eclairs to erotic encounters with sexy aliens who arrive via spaceship. And women use sexual fantasy in some very clever ways to make themselves feel sexier, reach orgasm, safely satisfy their curiosity, and even relax. "Fantasy is like lavendar bath salts," confided a woman in midlife, "a little something special I do just for myself to help me unwind."

When life presents changes or challenges, we can also draw on sexual fantasy for help. Private Thoughts shares stories from women who have used their imagination to help rebuild sexual desire and enhance self-esteem after a mastectomy or other physical loss, for instance.


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One of the most poignant examples of the healing power of sexual fantasy is shared by a woman identified as Georgine in Private Thoughts. Recovering from a car accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down, Georgine used fantasy to get back in touch with her sexual thoughts and feelings. She gave her imagination free reign while lying in tanning beds. Under the lights, I'd feel warm all over. I'd kind of drift into these explicit fantasies. At first, they involved sensations that helped me relax. I remembered how it used to feel to lie in the warm sun and feel cool blades of grass against my bare skin. Gradually, I began to respond sexually. I would lubricate. Then, I started creating the same feelings by imagining myself with a partner." When she would have a particularly vivid fantasy, Georgine said, "I literally felt the heat from my imaginary lover's body." Since she has embraced her fantasy life, she has been reminded of how much she enjoys sensual, sexual energy, and how much pleasure awaits within her own erotic imagination.

People who are confused about whether their sexual fantasies are good or bad for them will find answers in Private Thoughts. Maltz provides a list of nine questions a person can ask themselves to help evaluate whether, and to what extent, a particular fantasy may be causing problems:

  • Does the fantasy lead to risky or dangerous behavior?
  • Does the fantasy feel out of control or compulsive?
  • Is the content of the fantasy disturbing or repulsive?
  • Does the fantasy hinder recovery or personal growth?
  • Does the fantasy lower my self-esteem or block self-acceptance?
  • Does the fantasy distance me from my real-life partner?
  • Does the fantasy harm my intimate partner or anyone else?
  • Does the fantasy cause sexual problems?
  • Does the fantasy really belong to someone else?

Drawing on Maltz's extensive background in sexual healing, the book devotes a chapter to healing unwanted or troubling fantasies that may be the result of sexual abuse or unresolved psychological issues. Maltz also shares guidelines for exploring fantasies with an intimate partner in a way that will enhance, rather than harm, a relationship. The book concludes with a delightful chapter on creating favorite fantasies, and the reminder, as we know ourselves better, we become more free to celebrate our natural erotic rhythms with whatever thoughts quicken our pulses and please our hearts.

What kind of fantasies can be dangerous? They're called "distancing fantasies."

next: Sexual Fantasies - Are They Dangerous? or browse the table of contents of the Sexual Fantasies section