A while back, there was a discussion in the comments about a secular source that said most men fantasise about other women while having sex. I thought the numbers given were way high, and especially so for men who are following Jesus. So, we did a Marriage Bed survey on the issue.
First rates of “other woman fantasy”:
- 40% of the men said they have not had a fantasy about another woman in the last month.
- 12% said it had happened once.
- 32% said 2-6 times
- 9% said 7-15 times
- 4% said 16-30 times
- 3% said 30 times or more
The last two groups have a problem, and either are not fighting it or are failing in their fight. I would say those who said once or 2-6 times are making a real effort to avoid sexual fantasy about other women. I say this because most men have sexual thoughts several to many times a day, so having only a few fantasies about other women shows either a lack of interest in such thoughts or a significant effort to not have such thoughts. Only 16% of the men are having other woman fantasies more than six times a month. For comparison, 15% of the women said they fantasies about other men more than six times a month.
Such fantasies are very rare during sex!
Of men who had such a fantasy in the last month, only 16% said it had happened while having sex with their wife. Women had a far bigger problem here, 46% of those who had such fantasies had them during sex. Figuring in those who did not have such thoughts at all, 10% of the men say they fantasize about other women during sex. More than twice as many women confessed to doing this!
I am certainly not defending any of the men (or women) fantasising about others during sex, but it does seem to be rare for Christian men. Why are the numbers on this survey so different from surveys of the general population? Believing it is wrong is part of it, but not the whole story. Most men want to have sex with their wife. Not with a woman, not with the only woman they are “allowed” to have sex with, they desire to be sexual with the woman they love. Not thinking about other women is easy when you thoughts are focused on the wonderful wife there with you. There is no empty spot in their mind for thinking about some other woman. Men are more likely to have wrong fantasies at other times – when their wife is not there to fill their minds
Some may wonder if the men lied on the survey. While this is always possible, our surveys on things such as adultery, porn use, and going to strip clubs have given much higher results for sin than we found in this survey. I think we are getting good honesty here.
Are the men answering the survey really Christians? Less than 1% said they were not. Seven percent said, “Yes, but not in a big way”, 17% said, “Yes, moderately serious about it.” and 75% said, “Yes, it’s a very big deal to me.” The group is serious about following Jesus.
By the way, three quarters of the men who are having fantasies about other women said more frequent sex with their wife reduced such thoughts. No doubt, some would blame their wife, but others take responsibility for their actions while recognising how sex with their wife can help them win the fight. One explained it this way: “It’s definitely easier to resist the temptations if it’s been 2 days or less since I’ve been with my wife. It gets really hard to resist after a week, and almost impossible after two weeks. I’ve tried to help her understand, but I think it’s a completely foreign concept to her. Intellectually she understands, but because her body and mind don’t work that way, it’s harder for her to truly understand.”
The full survey results are posted on The Marriage Bed.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I only have eyes and thoughts for my wife!