One third of all men and women surveyed by Justin Lehmiller for his book, Tell Me What You Want, reported fantasizing about trading bodies with a member of the opposite sex. I found the number surprisingly high. I had often imagined the number much lower. And yet, thinking about how many mainstream movies and television shows and books and comic books have explored the body swapping theme, I suppose I should have imagined it much higher.
Tragically, there wasn’t any more depth to this question, and it left me wondering– did they fantasize about trading bodies with specific people– a lover, a crush? A celebrity? Or was it more abstract?
Though I would have liked more depth, I still found the number interesting. It also made me wonder how many people may have still been too embarrassed to admit to this fantasy.
Some other numbers: 25% of all men and women reported fantasizing about cross-dressing. 59% of women and 26% of men who identified as “heterosexual” fantasized about having sex with a member of the same sex. Both men and women fantasized about changing their own gender role, or the gender role of their partner. Men reported fantasies of being feminized, and women reported fantasies of feminizing their male partners and taking the dominant role.
No women reported fantasizing about being masculinized by a partner, but this makes perfect sense to me in that the masculine fantasies they have involve them seizing power and demanding dominance, so it is something they take and do not wait to be given.
As an author and a human being fascinated with gender fluidity, I read the book primarily out of curiosity as well as looking for potential inspiration. I didn’t love the author’s speculation on why people have these fantasies– he suggest that they mostly rise out of insecurity, which may in some cases be true, but I think often people’s personalities are simply more diverse and multi-faceted than the binary constructs of gender allow, and we simply have a multiplicity of needs and interests. Sometimes people need to be dominant; sometimes they long for the pleasure of surrender. Sometimes people who are deeply in love not only long to be near the person they love, but to be the person they love.
Just some musings. I thought my readers might find the numbers interesting, as I did. If you would like to read the book, you can find it on Amazon.
Check out Lehmiller’s website