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Sexual Fantasies: Why Women's Sex Lives Aren't Complete Without Them

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I've been having sexual fantasies for as long as I can remember. When I was in the fourth grade, I dreamed that I was making out with Christie Brinkley on top of my desk. By middle school, I was fantasizing about the athletics director at my sleep away camp. And today, I still have torrid dreams about Huey Lewis (yes, that Huey Lewis). However, it sometimes seems as if it is more taboo to talk about our fantasies now, as an adult, even though we should feel free to express that which turns us on, both mentally and physically. Fantasies are an essential part of our sexuality, but for some reason, we are almost paralyzed by them and what they may mean about us.

Perhaps you will be surprised to know that Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb recently proved my point. I appeared on their hour of The Today Show to talk about my latest book, "How to Get Your Wife to Have Sex with You." Midway through the interview I told the hosts that many of us make assumptions about our partners; we don't realize what a rich fantasy life the other one has. I said that one of the more exciting aspects of working on this book was in discussing sexual fantasies -- more importantly, the amazing range of sexual fantasies that women have.

I began to explain that I asked hundreds of women about their fantasies and received wonderful responses. That's when I was interrupted.

"Are (these women) slutty?" Hoda asked.

Kathie Lee answered, "Total sluts."

My brain froze. Wait -- what? The whole point of this conversation was to get women to feel empowered so that they could share their fantasies with their partners. Now they're being called sluts? (And besides, if you've read any of my work, you know that I have a visceral reaction to the word.)

"Hardly," I replied, and wearing a smile that concealed my frustration, I continued, "It's amazing what a working mom or a stay at home mom can fantasize about in her spare time."

Now, maybe the hosts were trying to be funny. Maybe. But even if someone thinks that it is remotely funny to call women who have sexual fantasies "sluts," we have a serious problem. Not to mention, we're all screwed, 'cause we've all got them.

Let me clear things up. Other than our skin, our brains are the biggest sex organ we have. We are supposed to use them. We are supposed to have an active fantasy life. Sexual fantasies do not make us sluts. Nor do they suggest that we have trouble in our current relationship. Fantasies make us healthy sexual beings. (Besides, would KLG and Hoda label men who talk openly about their sexual desires? I think not. They'd chalk it up to "being a man.") They are our mind's way of exploring that which we may or may never do in real life. They can be short images or long, drawn out narratives of things outside the realm of our everyday life -- or actual past experiences. Either way, our brain is telling us that we can turn on to just about anything; that is exciting.

The point I was trying to make on-air was that when we're in a long term relationship (gay, straight, whatever), we start to assume that our partner knows everything about us -- and vice versa. We believe that we can anticipate his/her every need. But that's just not true. In fact, it's impossible. We evolve, and our fantasies do, too. I'm not even sure that we realize how varied and x-rated our partner's thoughts can actually be.

Yet we are so hesitant to share our fantasies. Why? Well, we are afraid of judgment. Afraid of being called a slut or deviant or sick. Afraid that our partners or our friends might think less of us (even though they're probably just as imaginative as we are).

So to honor the women I interviewed, and many of you who have a rich fantasy life of your own, let me present some of what came up in my interviews. It's not like you weren't wondering, right?

PHOTOS: 9 Sexual Fantasies From Real Women

9 Sexual Fantasies From Real Women
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I could keep writing, but hopefully you get the point. Fantasies don't mean we are closeted lesbians or bisexual or into BDSM or looking for new, edgier experiences. And if we are any of the above (and the sex is consensual), well, that's fine, too.

So, dare I ask? Any of you want to proudly own your favorite sexual fantasy? No pressure, I just thought I'd try ...