Sex fantasies
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Fantasy Versus Reality
Here's the fantasy: a rustic cabin in the woods, pink Champagne and Benicio Del Toro. Here's the reality: a cramped studio in the city, Diet Snapple and a guy who hogs the remote. Don't get me wrong; I've got nothing against the keeper of my remote. As a 41-year-old woman who counts on kind lighting and public transportation, I'm pretty well grounded here in the real world. Everyday life is fine by me, as long as in the privacy of my own brain I can indulge in a bit of fantasy. And nothing beats a good sex fantasy.

The Sky's the Limit
If your body hasn't been called "perky" since Gymboree, in fantasy you can give yourself permission to swing naked from a crystal chandelier. If the phrase "Okay, honey, this time you be the panda bear and I'll be the ambassador to China" has never passed your lips, in fantasy you can give it a whirl. If coating Hugh Jackman with peanut butter doesn't appear to be a viable option, in fantasy you can follow up with a layer of raspberry jam and not even ruin your DKNY duvet cover. The point is that a no-holds-barred, rip-off-my-clothes-with-your-teeth-right-here-right-now sex fantasy is not only the safest, healthiest way to have more fun in bed, it's also a way to keep a long-term monogamous relationship from feeling like—dare I say it?—a long-term monogamous relationship. The occasional fantasy is to sexual pleasure what smoked salmon is to bagel and cream cheese: that little something extra that elevates the delicious to the sublime.

Should You Fantasize and Tell?
The real question is how much of your private fantasy should be incorporated into real life or, for that matter, even divulged. In a perfect world, the answer would be "However much turns you on." But unless Peter Jennings interrupted our regularly scheduled programming with some kind of news bulletin I missed, this is not a perfect world. So the answer to that question probably comes down to how shy you're feeling and how much you know and trust your partner.

Perhaps a smart rule of thumb is to ask yourself how much you really want to hear about your lover's fantasies. Would it excite you to know he's pretending the two of you are all alone on a tropical island? Terrific. Would it excite you to know that he's pretending the two of you are on a tropical island with another woman? Possibly. Another man? Maybe. The cast of Gilligan's Island...and you get to wear the Skipper's hat? Hmmm. You may choose to keep your more ferocious fantasies to yourself. Personally, I find it fascinating to share, and I love knowing what a man is thinking.

A Fantasy Faux Pas?
What you need to know is this: There's no such thing as an inappropriate fantasy. A rape fantasy is not proof that you want to be raped; a lesbian fantasy is not proof that you're gay, any more than a heterosexual fantasy means you're straight; a dominatrix fantasy doesn't mean you ought to run right out and invest in a pair of leather pants (unless you're Tyra Banks, believe me, they look much better in your head than on your butt). Whether you choose to explore your fantasies—however mild or wild they may be—is up to you, but by all means don't hesitate to let your imagination jump-start your body into a sexier sex life. Sometimes a girl needs a jolt of adventure—if only in her daydreams.

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