The 10 Most Common Places We Fantasize About Having Sex

November 10, 2021 by Justin Lehmiller

When you have a sexual fantasy, where does it take place?

For some people, the setting doesn’t matter at all, whereas for others, the setting is crucial to establishing a certain mood or feeling. So where are the most common places people fantasize about getting it on?

In the survey of 4,175 Americans I conducted for my book Tell Me What You Want, I included questions about having sex in more than twenty different locations, from your own bed to outer space, and everything in between.

Here are the top ten places people fantasized about having had sex:

  1. In your own bed (91% had fantasied about this)
  2. At home, but in a room other than your bedroom (90% had fantasized about this)
  3. Sex in a hotel (90% had fantasized about this)
  4. Sex in nature (85% had fantasized about this)
  5. Sex in a public setting (84% had fantasized about this)
  6. Sex in an exotic location (83% had fantasized about this)
  7. Sex in water (83% had fantasized about this)
  8. Sex in a romantic setting (81% had fantasized about this)
  9. Sex in a motor vehicle (77% had fantasized about this)
  10. Sex at work (73%) had fantasized about this before)

Other places a majority said they’d fantasized about having sex included: in an airplane, in a library, and at school.

The setting people were least likely to fantasize about? Outer space—21% reported that they had ever fantasized about this, with just 3% saying they fantasize about it often.

It was interesting (and I suspect surprising to many) to see that “in your own bed” was the setting that the most people had fantasized about before. This setting was also the one people reported fantasizing about most frequently (34% said they fantasize about this often). Further, across genders and sexual orientations, “in your own bed” appeared at the top of the list for all groups.

People have a tendency to think that fantasies necessarily have to have “fantastical” elements, but they don’t. Oftentimes, our fantasies involve recreations of our previous real-life experiences.

Also, in the case of fantasies about sex in your own bed, there might be some sense of comfort or familiarity that comes along with this that puts your mind at ease or promotes relaxation. Consistent with this idea, I found that the more often people fantasize about having sex in their own bed, the more often they fantasize about feeling reassured, loved, or emotionally connected to someone—and the less often they fantasize about completely emotionless sex.

Further supporting this point, I looked at how fantasies about sex in your own bed are related to people’s attachment styles. For those with more attachment anxiety (i.e., those who are afraid of being abandoned and need a lot of reassurance), they fantasized more frequently about sex in their own bed. By contrast, for those with more attachment avoidance (i.e., those who are less comfortable with intimacy), they fantasized less often about sex in their own bed.

Put another way, fantasizing about sex in your own bed seems to evoke more feelings of intimacy—and people seem to gravitate to fantasy settings that meet their intimate needs.

Of course, it’s also worth noting that a majority of participants said they’d fantasized about sex in multiple different locations, which also suggests that most people tend to mix it up from time to time—they aren’t always fantasizing about sex in the same location.

That said, the location people appear to visit most often in their sexual fantasies usually isn’t far from home.

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Image Source: Photo by YanLev on iStockphoto

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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