photo by Landon Nordeman for

photo by Landon Nordeman for

It’s so hard not to compare ourselves to other people. No matter how hard we try, somebody else always seems to have a better life than we do, a better partner, job, car, home or body. This comparison thing also extends to sex. We imagine what other people do and we see – in videos and movies – hundreds of images of how other people have sex.

After seeing so many perfect-looking people having perfect-looking sex, it’s awfully hard to come up with our own definition of good sex. Instead, many of us fall into the trap of what I call, “fantasy sex”.

Fantasy sex is the kind of sex that we think we SHOULD be having, but aren’t. It encourages us to doubt the beauty of the sex lives we have now and wonder if we’re doing something wrong.

This damned comparison thing tells us that we should be having amazing sex like people in videos and movies, when, in reality, even THEY can’t have that kind of sex off-camera: it’s an illusion, a fantasy…and we fall for it.

I’d like to deconstruct some of the basic tenets of fantasy sex in an effort to show that what I call “real sex” (the sex lives that we actually have) are usually just fine, thank you very much.


Fantasy sex: Most people – but not you – are ready and able to have sex whenever they feel horny: it’s so easy to just fall into bed with your partner (whether you just met them or have been with them for years) and have effortless, mind-blowing sex.

Real sex: Real people aren’t always ready for sex, or ready at the same time as their partner. Us real folks also need to be physically ready to have sex. This is especially true with sex with a new person: if you’re a little nervous about having sex with someone and feel rushed or pressured, sex is often mentally and physically uncomfortable.


Fantasy sex: Anything goes. You and your partner are easily comfortable with whatever happens. Nothing is off limits: it’s all a big, exciting erotic adventure, isn’t it?

Real sex: Real people have specific likes and dislikes that need to be respected. Lots of erotic videos show couples doing all kinds of sexual activities with great enthusiasm. In real life, every couple decides what is exciting and erotic (or not). Instead of trying to FORCE your fantasy onto someone else, why not try instead to make sex an experiment where you each discover and respect each other’s likes and dislikes.


Fantasy sex: The other person intuitively knows what you like; you never have to ask for anything or tell her/him you don’t like something: you are both so tuned into each other that everything just unfolds naturally.

Real sex: Mindreading has never been helpful, in sex or in life in general. It sure would be nice if our partner knows what we like, and, over time, a partner probably will get to know some of what you like. But, no matter who you’re with, try a bit of “show and tell”. Show them where you like it and tell them what you’d like them to do there. Invite them to do the same for you.


Fantasy sex: You will automatically and easily connect with a sex partner.

Real sex: Often, we need to work on establishing and maintaining a connection. Tantric sexual practices encourage us to maintain a gentle, constant eye connection with a partner and to match his/her breathing. There’s nothing worse (okay, a lot of things are worse, but bear with me) than having sex with someone where you aren’t even with them…you might as well be masturbating by yourself. This kind of sex is usually very unfulfilling. Don’t let it happen to you: stay emotionally connected with your sex partner.


Fantasy sex makes for interesting – if totally unrealistic – videos, but real life sex holds the possibility for much more. Don’t settle for someone else’s fantasy: invent and create (and recreate) your own version of good sex. Since no one else can tell you how to do it, why not make it a life-long adventure? You have nothing to lose but all those (impossible) fantasies.