When I was a child, not only did I talk, think, and reason like a child, I also played like a child.
I played for hours. I had days-long Barbie adventures on my front porch. The other neighborhood girls and I took turns being rock stars and fans as we waited for the lightening bugs to come out. I had my Easy Bake oven and play kitchen, my dolls, and the chalkboard I used when I played teacher.
So much of childish play involves make-believe and pretend. We applied our emerging values and knowledge in made-up scenarios. We pretended to be different versions of ourselves, breaking character only for cookies and milk.
Make-believe is fun as a child—but what about when you’re grown up and married? Does make-believe have a place in the marriage bed?
Is It Okay?
While role-playing sexual fantasies is a vibrant part of the marriage bed for some couples, for other couples, it can seem confusing and even a bit scary.
How do you know if it’s okay to act out a fantasy?
I’d like to suggest that you ask yourself two questions:
Is it sinful?
If it isn’t sinful, is it a bad idea?
Is it sinful?
What’s okay? What isn’t okay? (This article gives a good Biblical overview of how to determine what is okay in the marriage bed.) Whether the fantasy is yours or your husbands, seek God’s Word together to determine if the fantasy is sinful.
If acting out the fantasy would violate God’s word, then it’s clear that this fantasy is one you should avoid.
What if it is a fantasy that would be sinful to actually do? Is it still wrong to pretend to do it?
Christians have mixed views on this.
Some people say that since you’re still having sex only with your actual spouse, as long as you remember that, it isn’t any different from a child playing cops and robbers or taking your turn to be the husband when you and your friends played house. Pretending to be strangers who meet in a hotel bar and go have sex doesn’t mean that you would actually do that—and you would know the entire time that you are pretending and that you are married only to each other.
Others say that it isn’t okay. Pretending to do something that would be sinful invites the enemy into your heart and mind. We are to be pure in thought, not just in deed. Plus, you take the risk of enjoying it and opening yourself to the temptation to do the act for real.
Is it a bad idea?
So let’s say that you and your husband determine that it is not sinful to act out a particular fantasy.
Does that mean it is okay?
Fantasies can be powerful things. They tap into our imagination. They trigger our sexual responses.
If we aren’t careful, fantasy can begin to take over to the point where that fantasy is required in order to experience arousal or achieve orgasm. While that may not be sinful, it still might not be a good idea for you.
If a fantasy overpowers your thought life and your sexual response, it might be wise to rethink whether it should be part of your marriage bed. This is especially important if the fantasy would be sinful to actually do.
How do I get rid of a bad fantasy?
If you have determined that a fantasy is sinful or just not a good idea for you, what can you do? You may already experience arousal at the thought of it, and you may have gotten into the habit of needing to imagine or role-play a certain scenario as part of achieving orgasm.
Our sexual response can be such a deep thing. It is hard to control our responses. We might hate the fact that we aroused by the thought of something, but we can’t easily stop the arousal.
How can you let go of the fantasy’s power over you?
First, be sure you talk with God about it. There’s nothing He hasn’t heard. Ask for His help in releasing you from the hold this fantasy has over you.
Second, spend time reflecting on what emotional need this fantasy might feed into. Does this fantasy meet a need that might possibly be met in another way?
Third, plan how you will respond next time this fantasy comes into your mind. Practice, even. Know what you will picture instead of this fantasy next time it pops into your head.
I have one fantasy in particular that I’ve struggled with for much of my adult life. It is something that would be sinful to do in real life. While I don’t intentionally seek it out, it comes to mind unbidden. If I am struggling with arousal or orgasm, I know that I can think about that fantasy and everything will snap into place for me—but it is a fantasy I don’t want to have. I feel bad about myself when I let myself dwell on it.
I’ve allowed myself to think about the fantasy just enough to try to identify the emotional feelings this fantasy taps into. At non-sexual times (when I’m fully clothed and my home is filled with family noise), I’ve closed my eyes and thought about how it feels emotionally to be in the fantasy.
This was not an easy exercise, and it was one I approached prayerfully. Ultimately, what I determined is that this fantasy was something that would make me feel visible and valued–two huge issues I struggle with in my heart. They stem from emotions that have been deeply embedded since childhood.
It is not a simple matter to just purge myself of those emotional needs and desires. These are not sexual needs. They’re emotional needs that happen to show up in my sexual life as well as in other areas of my life.
Once I understood the emotional components of this fantasy, I asked my husband to help me find other ways of meeting those needs sexually. In other words, how else can he sexually demonstrate to me that I am visible and valued? Although it is a fantasy I have no desire to actually act out, I’ve still had to be intentional and work hard at loosening its hold on me.
When my mind lands on that fantasy, I force myself to say, “God, please push this away from me.” Even more, I also have a few images of my husband that I draw on to replace that.
If you and your husband have determined that acting out a particular fantasy is not sinful, then have a great time! Enjoy the experience of doing something new together. The shared experience helps build your intimacy with each other.
Even telling your spouse of a fantasy that is sinful can build intimacy. It can be a risk to make yourself vulnerable enough to share a fantasy with your spouse, especially if it is something that would be sinful or that seems outside the norm. The sharing is an opportunity to accept and love each other.
It was hard for me to share my fantasy with my husband. I didn’t like that I had the fantasy and felt ashamed of myself—but he didn’t judge me at all. He held me and asked me what I wanted to do about it. His supportive and loving response went a long way in filling my emotional needs.
As long as you are not sinning, role-playing and fantasy can introduce an element of fun into our marriage beds.
And you know what? It can be even more fun to play and pretend when an orgasm is involved than when the reward is cookies and milk at the kitchen table.
Grown-up sexy play time is way better than childhood make-believe.
Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net