When men are with a lover they don’t need to use fantasy because they are aroused by the presence of a lover’s body and by the opportunity for sexual activity with a lover. Men have a much stronger connection between their own arousal and physical with someone they find attractive. So men assume that the ‘real thing’ i.e. intercourse should always be more arousing than fantasy. If a man was offered the opportunity to act out his fantasy for real, he would do it (assuming all social implications were eliminated).
Women who masturbate to orgasm rarely talk about the pleasure they enjoy for a number of reasons. Women are highly embarrassed to admit the nature of their fantasies. This quite natural. Our fantasies represent aspects of sex that we find most arousing and taboo. Even men do not admit the explicit and crude sexual images that they need to focus on for orgasm. These are our most private and personal thoughts. Most other women react with evident disgust if masturbation is ever mentioned.
A woman knows that the scenarios that she uses for orgasm would be unpleasant and possibly abusive to her if acted out in real life. Having a fantasy about a particular sexual activity does not mean that a person wants to engage in that activity in real life or that they would enjoy such activity in reality. Nor does a fantasy represent an unconscious desire. This is why women are reluctant to tell anyone, even a lover, what they fantasise about.
Eroticism is a male portrayal of sex. Penetrative sex is arousing from the point of view of the penetrator. Penetrative sex is not arousing for the person who is penetrated by an erect penis (the receiver). So a woman needs to be able to identify psychologically with the male perspective in order to achieve orgasm. This is only possible when a woman immerses herself in an imaginary world in her head. In this world she can approach sexual situations from a male perspective and experience the kind of arousal that causes tumescence of the clitoral organ. Once the clitoral organ is tumescent a woman can massage the internal organ to achieve orgasm.
The concept of penetration by a penis is key to achieving arousal. Penetration involves the idea of ‘doing something’ to someone else. A woman cannot be the penetrator in real life but she can use fantasy to put herself in the male position psychologically. A woman obtains satisfaction from the idea of domination (doing something to someone else).
Fantasy allows a woman to be the man who is penetrating a lover while at the same time being the woman who is being penetrated. Women sometimes describe this technique as putting themselves in the ‘director role’. But this emulation of the male is instinctive and implicit rather than being a real-life impersonation of a man.
Fantasy is a mechanism for achieving orgasm rather than being an activity a woman engages in for itself. Women’s sexual fantasies (that lead to orgasm) do not revolve around intercourse. Women, who masturbate to orgasm, use erotic fantasies as a conscious psychological technique for the sole purpose of enjoying orgasm. A woman’s fantasy is a completely artificial construct that she uses purely for the purposes of achieving orgasm. A woman’s sense of release comes purely from the use of fantasy.
Women may regret the nature of their fantasises and consciously avoid masturbating, feeling that it is an immoral or unhealthy activity. This is not the case. When we fantasise we release from our minds the subconscious thoughts that are there whether we consciously admit on them or not.
Women may fantasise about rape but these fantasy scenarios are a long way from the real thing. Specifically, the sense of violation, the aggression and hatred are missing. Such fantasies allow the woman to take a passive role and to focus on the psychology of the male taking his pleasure.
Women have a limited menu of fantasies to choose from. This seems to be a result of a natural apathy towards making effort to find erotic material. A woman may have only a handful of fantasies that she uses on a regular basis, some of which originate from when she first started masturbating.
Reality and fantasy are further apart for women than for men … (Rachel Swift 1999)