13 mars 2009

Why do I fantasize about my father?

In the last year I have started when having sex, thinking about my father! It really turns me on, but i also feel like something is not right with me. I feel like this is not healthy. Why am I thinking about him??

Philip Borden

Hi Reema,

Thanks for asking your question to AlterHéros. I will try to answer your questions as best I can with the information you provided. Afterwards, if you’d like to follow up with more info, feel free to do so.

For the last year or so you have been thinking of your father during sex. These thoughts turn you on but at the same time you are concerned that having these thoughts is not healthy.

When these thoughts occur, are they involuntary or do you willingly initiate them because they turn you on?

Are you thinking of your father in a non-sexual way during sex or are you fantasizing about participating in sexual acts with your father?

If it’s the latter, do you ever have these fantasies on your own or only during sex?

Since you didn’t indicate otherwise and the thoughts you are having seem positive in nature, I’m going to go ahead and assume that there was no history of sexual abuse involving your father. It also seems unlikely that there was some early childhood sexual trauma involving your father that you have blocked out, based on the information you provided. If this was the case, you’d likely be experiencing a host of disturbing symptoms.

Women often look for their father in their sexual and romantic partners, this is very common. Having a sexual fixation on one’s father (For a girl or woman) is known as an Electra Complex or sometimes the Bernfeld Factor. It is basically the female equivalent of an Oedipus Complex. This is very normal but usually is experienced unconsciously. I’ll avoid getting into a lengthy description of Freudian and Jungian theories but feel free to research this topic on your own if it interests you.

Both having a positive, loving relationship with a father who was present during childhood or a father who was mostly absent can accentuate a woman’s tendency to seek out sexual partners who remind her of her father. Having a very bad relationship with an abusive father, on the other hand, tends to lead to different sorts of complexes concerning sexuality and relationships.

Do you feel this holds true for you? Do you tend to have partners who share characteristics with your father? Can you pinpoint what triggered these thoughts about your father a year ago? Could it simply be that something reminded you of your father during sex and because you were receiving sexual pleasure at the time, you now associate these thoughts with sexual pleasure? Memories are funny like that, you could have unconsciously made an association and now you are continuing to have these thoughts, either because your opinion about the thoughts themselves have caused you to fixate on them or simply because it’s affective at turning you on.

Sexual fantasies often revolve around taboos. For example, a lot of straight men report fantasizing about men during sex or masturbation. These men may not be attracted to other men at all or have any intentions of pursuing a sexual encounter with a man but the fantasy turns them on because it is taboo for them. The object of the fantasy itself is not really what turns them on, it merely has to do with the fact that taboos can be sexy. Even the most sexually adventurous individuals will often have fantasies of doing things that they would never actually want to do in real life. So long as your fantasies don’t involve non-consensual acts of violence or sexual abuse, along with an overwhelming urge to act them out in real life, no fantasy can be considered unhealthy.

If you’re finding that these thoughts about your father keep popping up in a way that is beyond you’re control and you’d prefer to no longer have them, finding the route of these thoughts and demystifying them will likely cause them to cease. However, it’s important not to over analyze and pathologize yourself, this could just aggravate the situation. If you’re finding it impossible to not have these thoughts and they become more disturbing than arousing, you may want to seek the counsel of a professional therapist to help you get to the bottom of it.

I hope that you’ve found this helpful. Good luck and feel free to write us back if you have anything to ad or any additional questions.


Philip for AlterHéros