This past weekend, I attended (for the first time) a Beltane celebration.
One of my partners and her husband give many presentations at such events, and had done one last year on understanding and expressing one’s fantasies. It was the first class at the event, held before most attendees arrived. Six people attended.
What the attendees may have not realized is that once they described their fantasy, and with their acquiescence, the organizers would make it come true at some point during the weekend, if at all possible. So there was detailed discussion of each; boundaries, logistics, attendees both desired and not, and much more. Four scenes were held, to the delight of all.
This year, anticipating there might be a little more traffic as a result of the previous year’s success, I was invited along to help with infrastructure of setting up the fantasy scenes. A good thing, too; this year 18 people attended, and nine decided that they had fantasies worth having a scene to fulfill. As there were 2 1/2 days available to get it all done, that posed quite a few logistical challenges– but that challenge isn’t the point of this discussion.
What was striking about the fantasies –- and remember, this is at a sex-positive event where pretty much anything was allowed on the table or under it -– is that with one exception, the desired scenes really didn’t seem like sexual fantasies. They were much more therapeutic in nature.
Most had to do with the loss of control or responsibility in one way or another, relief from the demands of carrying daily loads. Several were about receiving touch, unencumbered by obligation to return the favor. (“I am a giver who needs to learn how to receive” was a common theme.) One woman had had recent major surgery, and needed help feeling comfortable in her body. One woman just wanted words of affirmation written on her body; another woman wanted men to approach her and ask her to do things while she learned to say “no” comfortably.
Of course, the line between sexual fantasy and therapy can be a narrow one. A number of them seemed to be trying to clear out of the way things that were blocking their comfortable sexual expression, so the expressed fantasy may have been a first step on the road to an ultimate one.
But it says quite a lot about the world we live in that, when given free rein to play, people overwhelmingly opted first for comfort and stress relief. They passed up the table full of free candy and asked for broccoli. These are hard times.
(By the way, all but one of the desired scenes was accomplished, and there were many happy tears, if not many “happy endings” in the usual sense. But it was a pleasure and honor to help people get what they needed. I just wish we could all be closer to getting what we want rather than just what we need.)
Disclaimer: I am not immune. The partner who was running the session, when speaking with a man who said he needed to learn how to receive, pointed across the room at me and said, “I want him in the room because he needs to learn that too.“
4 thoughts on “What’s Becoming of Fantasy?”
Wonderful— thank you!
Most of us were taught, “It is better to give than to receive.” I would posit that is it EASIER to give than to receive.
Giving comes from a place of strength and abundance. “I have plenty, so I am happy to share/give.”
Asking for what we want, receiving it, or saying no to a request, all leave us exposed and vulnerable. People can SEE us.
Brent Brown says in her latest special, that there cannot be courage without vulnerability. We HAVE to risk, in order to he brave.
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Very true. I wonder if those of us who ARE naturally ‘givers’ wouldn’t be better at it if we allowed ourselves to receive – without thought or condition.
In the same way that receiving massage is part of massage school, it seems to me that a giver has lots to learn from receiving — even though what they want and will enjoy is different from what the people they give to will appreciate. receiving, I believe, can help one understand how to deliver service in ways that meet the recipients’ needs. And perhaps even better, knowing that you’re doing it in order to be of better service may make receiving easier in the first place.
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