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Beyond the borders of reality: Attachment orientations and sexual fantasies


Gurit E. Birnbaum, Bar-Ilan University, Department of Psychology, Ramat-Gan, 52900, Israel, e-mail:


Two studies examined the associations between attachment orientations and sexual fantasies. In Study 1, 176 participants completed a sexual fantasy checklist. The findings indicated that attachment anxiety was associated with frequent sexual fantasizing (e.g., submission themes). More anxiously attached women were particularly likely to report extrapair fantasies, whereas more anxiously attached men were especially likely to report romantic fantasies. Attachment avoidance was negatively associated with romantic themes, primarily among men. In Study 2, 115 participants described a sexual fantasy in narrative form. Findings paralleled those of Study 1, with the exception that the avoidant effects were more pronounced in women’s sexual fantasies than in men’s. Implications for understanding the interplay of the attachment and sexual behavior systems are discussed.