Often people are confused about how their brain works. In this case, how it works in real life situations compared to when they are fantasizing. Using fantasy, whether it be erotic stories, porn, or just a daydream, they can get all aroused easily. They orgasm more easily or erectile dysfunction may not be an issue. Also men find that their refractory periods seem to be shorter.
Then, when they have an actual warm body to play with, everything changes. It’s harder to get aroused. It takes longer to orgasm. Maybe you get erectile difficulties. Plus, there’s no way you’re having sex again for at least a few hours.
This can be concerning and disappointing. Especially when you are trying to quit porn, romance novels, or inappropriate fantasies.
Why is fantasy different than reality?
Fantasy is designed to be, well, fantastic. Romance novels are crafted to hit all the buttons for women. The things they are missing and craving from their life: adventure, risk, and passion. Porn is likewise designed to hit all of the buttons for men. An enthusiastic and adventurous sexual partner. Daydreams and fantasies we self-create to be perfect little pictures of what we want. Naturally they hit all the right buttons in our mind.
But reality is quite different. In our marriages, we often don’t have all that excitement, unfortunately. We see day to day life as boring and humdrum instead of an adventure full of daily risks and rewards. Too often we lose the excitement in the bedroom that we had at the beginning. We stop exploring, figuring we know everything now. With that goes enthusiasm.
So, while real life sex is good… It’s often not the fantastic experience of fantasy. It’s missing the crucial elements.
Real life adds more elements as well that dampen the experience. It adds the context of our lives. While in a fantasy, we can forget that we have kids, that we have a job, that we are overweight, or are getting old. We can step out of ourselves and out on a blank personality, or adopt one from the fantasy. These characters have no stress, no consequences, no morals to hold them back. They can be completely uninhibited.
In reality we have a sexual inhibition system in our brain. It is constantly looking for reasons not to have sex, and we give it plenty of reasons. Kids, work, stress, relation state, dishes, bills, theology, morality, and on and on. Some of them are good, but many just weigh us down. When we finally do have sex, we have one foot on the gas pedal and one on the brake. We never get up to the breakneck speeds that we can in fantasy.
Many misconstrue this to think it’s a problem with their sex life
Worse, they see it as a problem with their spouse. The truth is, it’s probably an issues with your life as a whole, and your outlook of it.
Your spouse isn’t as enthusiastic because they have too many things hitting the brakes. You don’t experience the risk/reward dynamic because we’ve normalized them in life to be mundane. If we could see the adventure that is before us in life, I think we’d have better sex lives. If we could see the dragons we’re slaying day in and say out. If we could see the feasts we put on the table every day, I think we’d have much more passion for life, and sex.
Compared to most humans in history, the technology we use on a daily basis would seem like magic. The car rides would seem daring. The meals we eat would be feasts, and our houses would seem mansions.
We’re living fantastic lives and we don’t even know it. Think about it. Up until about 150 years ago, almost anyone could point to anything in their house and explain how it worked. They could probably even guess at how to make it. These days our watches need a team of experts in various fields to create. Our phones, or the infrastructure they utilize, are impossible for most of us to reproduce.
We live in a world of wonder
There’s no need for fantasy. We just need to be more mindful of what’s around us.
The problem is, we don’t see it. So, we escape this reality for fantasy. Of course it’s better. No wonder we’re more easily aroused. We’re turning off everything that is “real” and manufacturing something synthetic. The problem is, we get used to that synthetic reality. Our brains adjust to this new level of input. Just as we aren’t excited about car rides or computers, we become disenchanted with sex with a normal person.
It drives me crazy when I hear therapists suggesting fantasy as way to get aroused. I don’t understand why they don’t see it as a crutch to avoid dealing with the real issue. I fear it’s because it comes out of the medical system, where we tend to deal with symptoms more than root causes.
The good news is, you can deal with the root cause. You can retrain your brain. Stop relying on fantasy to get you aroused. It can take a while, but eventually your brain will reset. Just like if you walked everywhere instead of driving for a few years, your brain would adjust. Car rides would seem fast again, exhilarating.
Leave the fantasy behind. Let reality be your adventure. You’ll be much happier in the long run.