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On my most embarrassing fantasy

We’ve all got things that we fantasise about which, were they to happen in real life, would disgust or annoy us. Things that might get our genitals throbbing but which cause the moral part of our brains to rebel, and give us a post-fantasy stern talking to.

My most embarrassing fantasy isn’t sexual – it isn’t even exciting. But it’s the one I have spent the most time on in the last week. I close my eyes, block out all the things I should be thinking about, and spend a few minutes on my idle dream.

What’s my most embarrassing fantasy?

I dream of being saved. Not in a knight-in-shining-armour way: it’s far more tedious and practical than that.

I retreat to this shameful fantasy when I’ve had a bad week and everything seems to be going wrong. When I end every day miserable and exhausted and knowing that the next day will be the same. When I sit at my laptop, babbling nervously into a to-do list and panicking about all the things yet to be crossed off, I dream that – corny as it sounds – my prince will come.

He won’t marry me and whisk me away to a suburban idyll, he’ll just come to hold me, let me sob dramatically and unnecessarily on his shoulder, before making a few phone calls that melt all my troubles away.

When I’m down, and sad, I dream of a man who can do all the things I just don’t want to do. Ringing insurance companies, rewriting my CV, replying to emails that have languished unhappily at the bottom of my inbox. My prince: the pragmatic multi-tasker.

Because of all the things someone could ever give me – money, power, a nice thick cock and a regular eye-rolling fuck, the most valuable thing they could ever give me is time.

Why is this an embarrassing fantasy?

I am a capable, reasonable, competent human being. Honestly. Last year my boiler packed up and I managed to get a replacement without either

a) getting ripped off

b) leaving it so long I had to shower in freezing water or

c) sobbing wildly on my kitchen floor shouting “why won’t you just WORK you dogshit arsewipe pile of metal bollocks?!”

OK, maybe I did a teeny bit of c).

I’ve made it twenty nine years so far with only the occasional need of outside help – someone to show me where the stopcock is, the odd spider that I just can’t handle, that sort of thing. And yet despite my pathetic pride and determination to do nearly everything myself, I occasionally let my mind wander off into dreams of men who’ll do these things for me. Bleed radiators, clean kitchen cupboards, instruct solicitors and other such tedious bullshit.

I feel dirty and wrong for this, not because it’s sick or unusual in the way that many of my fantasies are. Not because it’s demeaning or degrading, but because I feel like this makes me a bad feminist. I mean, it’s not very independent, is it? The Suffragettes didn’t go through hell just so I could get a man to deal with my paperwork when I get too flustered. It goes against principles that mean a lot to me, and much of what I’ve worked for.

But still. When things get tricky, and I find myself wading through the mountain of DIY, admin and “please hold for an operator who can explain to you why we’ve suddenly doubled your gas bill” I’m not wishing for more internal strength, but for someone who’ll be strong on my behalf.

Fantasy vs reality

I’ve voiced this fantasy a few times – usually over a pint or two of gin and one of those terrifying crying attacks where your friends either cuddle you so no one can see the state you’re in or push you into the toilets to ‘get it out of your system.’

And occasionally, when I confess my fantasies of being saved, people have commented on the fact that it’s at direct odds with what I actually want in life. That if a guy came through for me on this kind of fantasy – if he cleared up my messes and cleaned my to-do list and took hold of the reins of my life, I would scream blue murder and banish him forever.

To which my reply is: of course. Of course. It’s a fantasy. Just as I don’t really want guys to beat me – I want them to spank me in a very specific way, with a very specific degree of pain, to the point where it’s hot and sexual but no further – I also want them to support me to just the right degree without ever taking away my own agency.

The most enjoyable thing about many fantasies is that if you really wanted to, you could make them come true: as with this one. But I haven’t made it come true – I just like to wallow in it. I like to sit and think and dream of my practical prince, while eschewing any kind of assistance that might make me look less than competent. So by thinking this I get to find out what my little heart actually desires – the difference between what I actually want and what I think I want.

He can still do the washing up though. There’s no shame in letting him do that.

17 Comments

  • Striker says:

    Hey, you’re not alone in this fantasy. Mine, too (everyone’s)? And I’m a guy. We all need someone, as adults, to take care of all that crap. Maybe it’s a flashback to the time when we were kids, when it was all taken care of for us. Nice time, then . . . .

  • Hyacinth says:

    Just cuz you want someone to take care of the bullshit doesn’t make you less of a feminist. I’d clock anyone who said I wasn’t a feminist just because I want my man to take out the trash! And rewrite my resume! Oh, man!! Please do!

    I think part of the fantasy you’re describing (and I share it with you!) is just being able to check out and still have your life be in order and well taken care of. Nothing wrong with that! I mean, sure, it’s a little delusional — haha — but certainly nothing wrong with it.

    Men are never thought of as less when they want a wife, someone who cooks, cleans, sends his mother birthday cards on his behalf, and does the bills, are they? So you’re no less of a feminist woman for wanting one yourself. Does that make me less of a feminist?? xx Hy

  • Gearov says:

    Holy shit. Holy fucking -shit-.

    I’m a dude, and to a certain extent, that’s what I do in my life for the people around me. Never to the point of taking away their agency – that’s a line for me. I -could- do that, but it’s part of my moral coding that I won’t. I very strongly believe that it’s important for people to self-actualize, and for that to happen, everyone needs to be able to solve their own problems. I’ll take out the trash and do the dishes, but it’s up to you to do your job search and get your insurance, dear wife of mine.

    But this post of yours, reading it, I realized two things. One, despite my best intentions, I might overstep my bounds. I will -totally- fix your computer instead of showing you how to do it if I’m impatient, and I will -totally- get your hot water heater working again. I’ll explain what I’m doing, because I want you to know so you (hopefully) won’t need me next time, but I’ll do it.

    I’m playing a fantasy man.

    And I also want your fantasy.

    Does that make me less of a man? As a guy, I was raised by a manly man, and that’s what he did. He was a fixer. Something needed done around the house, mom didn’t do it. She got dad to do it. That’s how I learned how to male, basically.

    And I emulate. I consider myself a feminist, I strongly believe in treating all people like people – another core rule of mine – but am I a bad feminist for doing this?

    I don’t know. Your post is making me think harder about who I am and what I do.

    And I -still- want your fantasy, of a powerful woman coming into my life, and just taking charge briefly, making the calls, doing the tedious tasks, and propping me back up in a nice comfortable reset condition. There, she would reassure me. Fixed you back to a clean reset condition. The rest is up to you. Unlike you, though, I’m still trying to decide if that’s just fantasy, or if I would totally go for that, tumbling into a dominant woman’s life.

    I feel confused right now. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I guess the next step is growth.

    I’ve been reading you forever. Your sex posts are hot, a lot of what you say turns me on, and your posts like this make me think. I appreciate them. Thank you for sharing.

    • Where we’re going, we don’t need names says:

      I identify with what Gearov up there is saying, which is to say that I identify with your ‘fantasy guy’. I see myself in him, but unlike Gearov I’m at peace with that. I am a practical kinda guy. I can build things. I can repair broken stuff. I can deal with bureaucracy (and spell it too). Some of my friends are less so. Some of my girlfriends too. I’ll always help a friend who needs a hand, and I won’t have any moral qualms about doing so.

      I see your point though, that actively fantasising about a knight in shining (and well maintained) armour feels like a betrayal of your own identity. But I also see that maybe that’s the whole point.

      So just say ‘fuck it’ and indulge yourself. Carry on.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Good point, Gearov – I don’t think that it makes anyone ‘less’ anything for having this fantasy, but I like your perspective on it. I think I am probably beating myself up a bit too much on the feminist angle – actually it’s the independence that’s important and I’m sure there are plenty of men who have similar desires – everyone wants a bit of help now and then after all.

      So thank you – this has given me a fair bit to think about. And thanks for being nice about me – as you can tell, I am a ball of stress at the moment so nice things v much appreciated =)

      • edibleflowers says:

        Gearov, GOTN, as a guy I want to add that perhaps some/many of us have this same ‘fantasy’ as well.

        Doesn’t everyone enjoy kindness and when it is unexpected it’s all the better. As a (straight) guy it is potentially unexpected to have a woman do/fix something for you…it’s not in the traditional mode of straight relationships, so it can be an even bigger turn-on….the moment I fell in love with an ex was when she held me in her lap when I had passed out one time! It was a very tender moment, obviously unexpected…possibly there is something maternal in it too (better not go there!).

        I completely understand the angst about taking away another’s agency (I sometimes feel like I have written the book on disproportionate guilty feelings in relationships), but don’t beat yourselves up too much.

        • Girl on the net says:

          Ah, that’s cute – I like the idea of falling in love when you wake up from having passed out =) And I agree that this stuff is lovely – I think my main concern was just with the excess. When it happens too much, and too much of your life is in someone else’s hands, the awesome feeling of being helped gets replaced with something else. In my case, I think, self-disgust that I am so willing to give up my free will.

          But yes – in moderation I bloody love it when people help me out.

  • Dm7 says:

    Thank you for sharing this, GOTN. I think I brings up an interesting question of what being ‘independent’ means. I think it has two quite different meanings.

    I would say that the ‘independence’ that Feminism has fought for is to be able to choose the path for your own life and be given access to the means by which to do it; not to have another person have the final say in what you may or may not do, and have society restrict your ability to pursue your goals.

    However, though we are independent now to not be forced to go though other people to gain access to societal necessities, that doesn’t mean we don’t need other people on a more mundane sense.

    Humans are fundamentally social creatures. We like to help each other. We get overwhelmed. We like to help others who get overwhelmed. We like having help when we’re overwhelmed. Life is complicated and gets too much quite frequently, and sometimes you just want to give all the tedious bit to somebody else to do. That’s not you negating your desire to pursue a life of free choice, or deny others access to all the things fought for that allows them to pursue their dreams; that’s you being a human being in a complicated world who’d like a bit of help sometimes.

    So fret not, GOTN. Keep being your awesome, independent, througherly human self, and remember that we all need a bit of help sometimes. =)

  • budgie says:

    Facinating blog, as always; only one thing I’d argue with (and I suspect it’s one we’d always argue about, with neither of us convincing the other) is when you say that the most enjoyable thing about many fantasies is that they could come true if you really wanted them to.

    Sorry, but I couldn’t disagree more – not that it’s the most enjoyable part; everyone has their own favourite thrill about specific fantasies, but that mere desire for something doesn’t mean it’ll happen, and that there’s a reason they’re called fantasies. Not everyone is ready for fantasy to become reality, nor *should* all fantasies necessarily come true. There are too many fantasies I’ve had over the years (both sexual and non-sexual) that, were they to happened in reality, would absolutely not have played out as they did in imagination.

    • Girl on the net says:

      I think we agree on this, though! I’m definitely not saying that all fantasies could come true, or that they should. I’m saying that the almost-possibly-maybe element of many is one of the things that makes them so hot.

      Actually playing out fantasies in real life is a different kettle of fish – I’ve been burnt before (not literally) when I’ve tried to act out things I thought would be hot, but they get awkward when human incompetence gets in the way. Usually my own incompetence, I hasten to add.

      • budgie says:

        I’m saying that the almost-possibly-maybe element of many is one of the things that makes them so hot.

        Ash – I misunderstood, my apologies. Yes, complete agreement on that. Total.

  • First Time Commenting says:

    I think you should to reconsider your view of this fantasy. I understand the embarrassment, as I too am a strong feminist, and value independence and gender equality. I’m also insufferably proud. I have read every single one of your posts and find incredible similarities between your personal beliefs and my own. I’m only young – about to turn 18 actually, but I have learned so much from your words and you truly have inspired me, as well as earned a massive amount of respect. You have made me more comfortable in myself and my own sexuality, and also given me strength in dealing with other people’s ridiculous expectations and judgement.
    Yet, in regards to this particular post, I think your vision is slightly clouded. I think this ‘fantasy’ is something every individual yearns for. As you said, it’s about someone giving you the time of day. It’s about someone being caring and considerate and generous. I hope that the man I eventually end up with will be someone who admires my strength and self-sufficiency, but who will care about me enough to help me out when I need it.
    I believe that if someone is important to you, you will make time and effort for them. However, this applies to family, friends and lovers. It’s not a ‘fantasy’ of mine exactly, but more of a necessity. There’s no point having someone in your life if they do not care enough about you to be there if needed.
    The point I’m trying to make is that you shouldn’t feel ashamed of wanting this. It doesn’t make you a bad feminist. It doesn’t make you needy or lazy or dependent. It just makes you human. We all want someone to really care about us. Someone who’ll step in to help us, out of love. I’m not talking about a man who thinks it’s his job to take care of everything because ”he is man, blah blah blah”, but rather someone who is considerate and genuine and capable of selflessness. If you think about it, there’s no shame in wanting this from a partner, because you would do the same if they needed you.

  • Kriss says:

    Some of the strongest women I know occasionally dream of a man who can come in and, just for a little while, deal with some of their shit for them so they can have a rest.

    Like that really corny ‘footsteps’ parable, sometimes you need someone who can carry you when you can’t go any further; most of the people who dream about that are already doing just that, in so many ways, for many other people. In a good relationship you do that for each other.

  • Interesting post. I have learning difficulties and the idea of fixing things around the house fills me with nausiating dread. I’m proud and I’d love to learn how to do these things, but I’d have to do and undo them numerous times to get it right, during which I’d end up causing more damage than repair. So I HAVE to get advice, usually from parents (because of my eloquence social services considers me to be “too capable” for them). I frequently feel that I’m single BECAUSE I can’t do these things. What’s your take on this?

    Pat

    • Girl on the net says:

      Hmm… I don’t think that being unable to do that stuff necessarily means you’ll stay single – after all, there’s much more to a partner than just whether they can fix a leaking tap or put up some shelves. It’s definitely not something you should worry about – I don’t know anyone who puts ‘make or break’ status on whether a partner can fix things around the house, although it is handy to be able to share chores and things.

      On a more practical level, I’m not sure how tricky these things are for you, but I have gradually got better at fixing/repairing things thanks to YouTube tutorials. I find them way more useful than articles and books because people actually show you how to do the stuff. If there are little things you want to get started on (and obviously don’t give too much leeway for messing things up big time: i.e. no plumbing, gas or electrics!) then I’d recommend having a look for some YT walkthroughs.

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