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Sexual Fantasies

At the Convergence of the Cultural and the Individual

Mariah Larsson and Sara Johnsdotter

This book expands the notion of sexual fantasies from the field of psychology into the realms of cultural studies, anthropology, philosophy, and sociology. So far, much research on sexual fantasies has dealt with issues of gender differences, the effect of sexual fantasies on people’s sex lives, or how problematic fantasies can be treated in therapy. In this volume contributors from different academic disciplines explore sexual fantasies at the convergence of the cultural and the individual, taking into account that fantasies are paradoxical: highly individualised and private, and at the same time dependent on a world that supplies structures, images, symbols, and narratives.
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Johns’ Fantasies of ‘the Prostitute’


I did have some fantasy about the type of people that would be involved – they would be mysterious, not run-of-the-mill people on the street. She was going to be very overbearing about it … I thought she would be very mysterious, hardly any talk, just walk in and take over the situation. I thought that she would have something, for sure, like a dildo strapped to her… or gloves, a whip…. I had envisioned all kinds of neat stuff like she’d turn out the lights and we’d only have one tiny candle and she would take over, maybe incense, or she’d get us all wild with some exotic oil (Holzman & Pines 1982: 104).

Until rather recently the phenomenon of men buying sex and the fantasies attached to it has been overlooked in research. The focus of interest has been on the sellers, primarily women, and not on the buyers. Alfred C. Kinsey’s determined idea about this was that the extent of public attention which the subject receives is all out of proportion to its significance in the lives of most males. Or in his own words: ‘For an activity which contributes no more than this does to the sexual outlet of the male population, it is amazing that it should have been given such widespread consideration’ (Kinsey 1948: 605). Certainly, he says, ‘the older accounts would make it appear that prostitution was much more important in the life of the male who lived at any time...

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