Sexual fantasy refers to the mental image of a person, object, or situation, often but certainly not always involving a sexual component. Human sexuality is a dimension of social life that is often rich with many different sorts of fantasies. Sexual fantasies often entail mental scenarios involving persons other than one's regular partner and include sexual activities considered culturally inappropriate or unacceptable.

What Triggers Sexual Fantasies?

People vary considerably in their ability to fantasize and in their enjoyment of this behavior. Fantasies may supplant reality for some or may serve as a poor substitute of sexual reality for others. Fantasies are often triggered by external stimuli, such as an attractive stranger or an erotic picture, movie, or story.

Researchers have varying views on gender differences in fantasizing. Some argue that males are more prone to fantasize while others assert that fantasy is more common among women. Linda Wolfe studied a sample of 15,000 women ages 18-34, and less than three percent said they never fantasize.