Fantasies remove you from reality. They lift your attention off the tarmac, leaving reality at the gate with its nose pressed against the window. But scientists have only recently discovered that they lift something else, too: Libidos.
Let me explain how they figured this out. For years, researchers have known that sexual thoughts increase arousal by elevating testosterone, a crucial hormone for female sexual functioning.
For example, testosterone levels increase the day before women in long distance relationships see their partners again.
There’s a difference between anticipating sex with someone you’re already intimate with (sexual thoughts) and daydreaming about making love with someone who may not even exist (fantasies).
Libido For Women
Sexual thoughts are based on experience, memory and real-life triggers like wearing your partner’s shirt to bed when he’s gone. Fantasies are not. They are mostly made up of whole cloth.
Researchers wanted to know if fantasies had the same libido-raising properties of sexual thoughts (a key factor in the study of sex drive for women), so they designed an experiment in which women were asked to imagine a positive sexual encounter with an attractive person. They intentionally did not specify the person nor the sexual activity to allow test subjects to self-define who or what turned them on. In other words, the women were asked to fantasize.
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The results were dramatic. As academics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor noted in their study in Hormones and Behavior:
“Women can influence their testosterone levels by simply thinking sexual thoughts…Our findings suggest that imagining a sexual encounter produces a similar testosterone response to actually engaging in sexual behavior.”
Given these findings about low sex drive in women, it behooves you to cultivate your imagination–to find the hidden, unacknowledged or undiscovered revelries that can make you sit up, stand tall… and swoon.
In the next post, we’ll help you figure out what your fantasies are. In the meantime, check out the top 10 women’s sexual fantasies.