Monogam-ish Questions Answered

What does it mean if I think about someone else during sex? Is fantasizing about a celebrity during sex a form of cheating? Who’s more likely to fantasize about someone other than their partner – women or men? Jess tackles these questions and more in this week’s podcast.

**This transcript is our best automated version of the live podcast.**

Welcome to the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast. This is Jess O’Reilly, your friendly neighbourhood sexologist, and today I am in Phoenix for a cool event Body, Sex & Business and my next stops are in New York and Dallas, so perhaps I’ll see you in your city over the next few days.

This episode is brought to you by Desire Resorts and Cruises. Set sail on a clothing optional experience from Barcelona to Rome with me at the end of April. There are only a handful of cabins left, so get ‘em while the getting’s good.

Today I’ll be answering more listener questions about sex and relationships and we’re receiving a boatload every day. I’m having trouble keeping up, so I’m trying to categorize the questions thematically so that I can answer related questions all at once.

In the past few weeks, I’ve received a bunch of similar questions with regard to fantasizing during sex and they all have so much in common which tells me that this is a serious concern for many of you.

These questions tie in with the topic of my TED talk, Monogamish.

If you’re not familiar with my TED Talk from TEDx Vancouver, Monogamish, I’ll tell you a bit about it now:

It’s the single piece of media that elicits the most hate mail and I hope it remains so — meaning that I don’t want to produce something else that gets people just as angry at me. The haters call me everything from a dumb porn star to a pedophile. I read the comments on it once totally by accident and I started crying, so I’ve never been back. But you’re probably more concerned with the content than with my personal experience, so to sum it up, in this TED talk, I argue that the state of the modern relationship seems to be in crisis when we examine divorce rates, marital satisfaction rates, and infidelity rates. I argue that so-called pure monogamy, the notion of only having eyes for one soulmate forever and ever is unrealistic for most people if you want excitement and a hot sex life. Open relationships work with similar outcomes to monogamous ones, but they’re not for everyone and so I present an alternative option (not a solution), but an option, I call monogamish. This is the middle ground between monogamy and consensual non-monogamy and it involves looking at other people, thinking about other people, maybe even interacting in a flirtatious way with other people and sharing all of this with your partner to heighten the connection, growth, and passion in the relationship. If you want more, go watch the talk…so I can get on to the questions.

We’ll start with two questions from the same listener. She says I can use her name…Tonya is 29 and she asks…

1. If you are having sex with your boyfriend and your mind wanders and you picture someone else what does that mean?

It means you’re perfectly normal and you’re excited by novelty, challenge and/or the unknown. Just like we dream about a range of partners, scenarios and lifestyles, so too do our fantasies reflect this desire for variety.

2. Tonya also asks “So is it worse to visualize someone else’s face or to just think of them? If I literally think about another person’s body or face, I feel like it’s somehow worse.

I don’t believe that one is worse than the other. I think it’s healthy to fantasize about people other than your partner. I know it can seem scary (especially if you reverse the roles), but couples whose relationships have stood the test of time (especially those who still have hot sex lives!) will attest to the fact that a willingness to push comfort zones is essential to a lasting sexual relationship.

Having said that,


On Key

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