I was having this thought, as I looked (and drooled) over some rather hot men (probably actors, I don’t really remember the specific occasion). However, I do remember feeling extremely guilty, for about 3 seconds. After which time I thought of a saying that came from a very wise, old friend of mine. He was obsessed with this girl we worked with, her voice, but was dating someone who was very good for him and a close friend of mine. He said, “I can look at a pretty picture but I don’t have to take it off the wall.” I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before, but the principle is a sound one. Those were his thoughts and he could do anything, or much about them, any more than he could about any other thoughts he had. A friend of mine likes to make little comments about how he would love to swoop in if my hubbs and I had a huge fight, he would be there waiting. I knew, while he had the thoughts that a part of him knew it would never happen. After one particular comment I said to him, look Charlie, I love you to death, I do, but I am NEVER gonna cheat on my husband, so its never gonna happen. To which his reply way, it doesn’t hurt to dream.
True it never hurts and, while some of our thoughts may be naughtier than we expect, or perhaps even takes us time to realize that thoughts do not hurt anyone. I think sometimes we forget that. We end up being incredibly guilty for thoughts we cannot change, sometimes do not WANT to change, and that’s okay. I have written about sex dreams before and I have also had people tell me how guilty they are when they have sex dreams about someone other than their partner. Let me be clear, dreams happen while we’re sleeping and our subconscious uses dreams to work out those things we cannot or don’t want to address in our waking lives. Thoughts and dreams are not wrong. Acting on those thoughts and dreams are probably not the best thing to do, but feeling guilty about them is an exercise in futility. So rest easy, enjoy those dreams and enjoy those thoughts. Just because you see a pretty picture, that does not mean you have to act on it and possibly torpedo a great relationship!
Love and sex and Happy Humping!
Anna Levenson, BPS, MS Psy