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#283937 - 04/17/09 12:47 AM Re: Those Fantasies of our Minds [Re: Bewlayb1]
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
I think its important to realize that unhealthy fantasies are, like you said, only symptomatic of a root problem and are probably intensified even more by trying to bury them. That said I believe the vast majority of people on this planet have some sort of dark side yet they don't act on what goes on there. So what is the answer? I would venture that if a fantasy is disturbing and recurring it is the same as having the same bad dream over and over again. Neither can be helped by the person experiencing it but should still be dealt with.

Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

#283940 - 04/17/09 01:12 AM Re: Those Fantasies of our Minds [Re: jls]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
Fantasies can just happen (or you can deliberately make them happen.) It is the behavior that you do with the fantasy. When unwanted fantasies are accompanied by a positive reinforcement like masturbation, you make the fantasy stronger.

If the fantasy is accompanied by something unpleasant (like thinking of something nasty or the opposite of pleasurable sensations), the fantasy will likely go away. For example, if you popped an ammonia capsule under your nose when thinking of an unwanted fantasy, your brain makes the association of something unpleasant with the previously enjoyable sensations of masturbation.

It's like putting chopped garlic on your favorite ice cream. Doing it a few times will probably cause you to associate the previously favorite flavor with the new unpleasant one and you will be less likely to enjoy it.

Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#283954 - 04/17/09 04:16 AM Re: Those Fantasies of our Minds [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
Bewlayb1 Offline

Registered: 08/04/07
Posts: 243
Loc: NYC
I think I, hesitantly, defended fantasies because of my own history. I completely withdrew into a fantasy world for ten years or so, following the abuse. At first, they were very twisted, very bizarre. Even if they weren't always sexual, they were elaborate, over the top, absurd. I was creative. I liked a classmate in fifth grade. We were at the circus, and I remember planning this whole scene in my mind involving going on the stage, performing, taking her up with me, and finally kissing her. I half-believed it could happen. In high school, I frequently made out with a mug that was shaped like Deanna Troi, from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I try to forgive myself. In the real world, I did nothing wrong. I was nice, polite. I hardly ever spoke. My fantasies seperated me from reality. But in a way, they also protected me. Life was so terrible. I needed an escape, even if only in my head. I don't think it's a coincidence that now I aspire to be writer.

However, I do understand that it's different for grown men. Perhaps forcing yourself not to think certain things is beneficial. I didn't overcome my own madness by censoring my thoughts. It faded after years of reflection, and several traumas which helped shock me into sanity. Likewise, my fantasies gradually became less disquieting and pervasive, as if beyond my control. It didn't happen with psychological behavioral association techniques. It happened on it's own, over time.

Even now, I'm reluctant to stifle romantic, or sexual feelings that others may deem unhealthy. My mind is my sanctum. I'm tired of feeling guilty about what happens there. If I'm lonely, and I want to hug my pillow and pretend it's that lesbian girl I liked a fews years back, who am I hurting? I need something to get me through this isolation. I guess I still sometimes cling to fantasies in the same way I cling to the other defense mechanisms that allowed me to survive.

I'm torn on the subject. On one hand, if suddenly I had a really twisted fantasy, I'd want to get rid of it as quickly as possible, scratch it out from under my skin. On the other hand, eliminating the fantasy won't eliminate the problem. To do that would probably take experience, heartache, pain and a lot of perserverance.

I have a lot of baggage with this issue. I remember being so ashamed of my thoughts for so long. But the thoughts just emerged. I didn't create them. I don't believe there is any way I could have stopped them. When the abuse was first happening, they were very, very disturbing: too disturbing to write about. It's the memory of that boy which motivates me when I say, there's no such thing as controlling your fantasies. Does it apply to adults? I don't know.

#283964 - 04/17/09 10:27 AM Re: Those Fantasies of our Minds [Re: Bewlayb1]
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
I know I"m not really supposed to respond here, but this is a really important issue.

I have fantasies that I don't like at all, they're compelling, but I sure don't like them. While I've never felt like I might act on them in reality, they still feel stifling, like a lack of creativity because they're so rote, so repetitive, nothing new ever happens.

I doubt I can just make them go away, but I can make a bigger effort to try to create different fantasies, try on different scenerios, etc....

My unwanted fantasies don't, for instance, allow for including a person I really care about to be one of the characters. If I place the feeling of care and love into the fantasy, then blam, it just doesn't work.

Creating a fantasy about care and concern requires I write a different>

#283966 - 04/17/09 10:47 AM Re: Those Fantasies of our Minds [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303

For me, at least, the challenge doesn't seem to rid myself of disturbing or darker fantasies, but to learn to more freely "dream my dreams".

It's like my mind has decided that I'm allowed this one dream, this one fantasy, and that's it.

Screw that smile


#284020 - 04/17/09 04:29 PM Re: Those Fantasies of our Minds [Re: Kathryn]
Geeders Offline

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 1901
Loc: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Kathryn
You guys are so great. I swear, who would guess that all these American guys would be sitting around talking with such depth and sensitivity about all this stuff?

Take care,

Hi Katie:

I'd just like to point out that its not just American guys here. This is quite the United Nations of men here. I'm Canadian, and I've met men here from The Netherlands, The U. K. Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, France, the list goes on and on. I guess where ever men are, you may find one or two of them here... grin

Greetings from the chosen frozen!


My name is Jim
WoR Mysthaven 2008, Level 2 WoR Alta 2009, Kirkridge 2010, 2011, Oprah 200 men

#284032 - 04/17/09 05:11 PM Re: Those Fantasies of our Minds [Re: Geeders]
Letourski Offline

Registered: 03/16/08
Posts: 314
Loc: Canada
Hey Guys,

I am not sure I would call some of my thoughts fantasy because they do not engender any pleasurable sensations. I do not re-enforce these thoughts by masturbating to them. I do agree that we can create our own fantasies and over time the ones we do not want will dissolve.

The challenge for me is allowing myself to feel these thoughts as they arise. I have tried very hard to push them away but they have come back from time to time. When the thoughts arise I judge myself and attack myself. This becomes self-hatred and creates a sense of guilt/shame within me. I must learn to face the perceived ugliness and accept it as part of my healing rather than a truth about my character.

Very good topic!


I am the warrior.

#286138 - 05/03/09 04:01 PM Re: Those Fantasies of our Minds [Re: Letourski]
Charlie24 Offline

Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562
Hey guys just wanted to thank you all for replying and offering your insight into this issue. I appreciate the openness and honesty that is allowed to be discussed on this site. It helps to have others open up and give their advice. Again thank you fellow gentlemen and ladies.


#286166 - 05/03/09 06:43 PM Re: Those Fantasies of our Minds [Re: Charlie24]
petercorbett Offline

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2509
Hi all,

I got into this late.

I have been fantasizing while masterbating for over 55 years. But the part that confuses me is that I fantasize that I'm with my sexual agressor. I seem to relive the pleasurable feelings that I had while he was abusing me.

Being a compulsive masturbater, I am fantaszing doing it with mostly men.

If someone could explain to me just why while I'm trying to deal with this CSA stuff, I'm still enjoying those pleasures of so long ago.
Real screwed up rookie survivor.

Heal well my brothers/friends.

Pete (Irishmoose)

Edited by petercorbett (05/03/09 06:45 PM)
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.

#286190 - 05/03/09 10:55 PM Re: Those Fantasies of our Minds [Re: petercorbett]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: petercorbett
I have been fantasizing while masterbating

I fantasize that I'm with my sexual agressor. I seem to relive the pleasurable feelings that I had while he was abusing me.

My T says that this is real typical survivor behavior. Men achieve a "high" when doing this that is next to a drug high but without use of drugs.

When we were abused we had a dual-pronged response. On one hand our body felt really good, albeit briefly. If we were in unhappy circumstances as a boy we needed this brief high even more. At least something felt good.

The other prong of the response is that while it felt good bodywise, everything else in our mind or our self was cringing away from something that seemed to lead us away from who we were meant to be.

So we had a love-hate response within ourselves.

Then we had this desire to recapitulate the good feeling. We had quickly become addicted to the good feeling. The price tag is that it came with feelings of being hurt. This proved to most of us to be an unavoidable erosion of our mind and spirit. We became "habituated" to the dilemma.

As far as the mental fantasy is concerned, I think this is of some importance, as you already indicated moose. The only way to modify this as far as I know is to replace it with another fantasy. If you can come up with a more healthy fantasy you can try replacing it with the adverse one.

I think this is why some guys turn to porn and acting out with other guys. I am not recommending this, I am just saying that it happens. These fantasies are very powerful as motivating forces in our lives. What we fantasize about we tend to later perform. We may need the help of a competent T in order to change these patterns.


pufferfish whistle

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