As a man, it’s sometimes embarrassing to admit what you’re feeling on the inside.
We’re all supposed to have our lives ‘together’ and to know how to handle ourselves.
But the truth is, we’re all a total mess on the inside.
Alongside our needs to fit into society and live our best life, we men harbor some hidden fantasies that can often lead us astray.
In my quest to become a better person, I’ve had times when I’ve had to stop myself from going too far into my dark places while also accepting that part of me wants to.
In my estimation, there are three male fantasies that I have seen in myself and noticed in other men.
Not all men have them in equal measure; some are more driven by one in particular. But I believe they lie deep inside us. And if we don’t acknowledge them, they can override our common sense and desires to live a good life.
The Fantasy of Power
All men have a secret fantasy of wielding power. Sometimes we think this will come through having a lot of money, fame, or a high position of authority.
I have come to understand that this male need for power drives most of our ambitions and our need to be recognized in the world. We all desire to be the person that people revere, fear, and respect.
And, in most men’s estimation, the accumulation of power is a direct path to achieving it.
At our weakest, we can live our lives consumed by the fantasy of power and trying to gain more of it. But, no matter what level we achieve, there is always more to aim for.
Of course, this drive for power has both positive and negative effects. It can drive us to improve ourselves, but it can also become a crutch and an obsession.
The ways I have noticed the fantasy of power playing out in my life (and in the lives of other men) are:
- Chasing excessive financial and material goals
- Pushing for promotions or positions in our career (that aren’t fulfilling)
- Trying to ‘beat’ other people in contests or challenges
- Bragging or showing off in subtle and obvious ways
- Feeling threatened if other people seem to do better than us
As I have matured, I have learned that whenever I find myself chasing a new goal, I have to ask whether I’m secretly fulfilling a power fantasy.
Very often, I have to admit that I am.
The Fantasy of Sex
There is a now-famous meme that says, ‘guys literally only want one thing’ – which originally referred to our seemingly insatiable desire for sex. Internet hilarity aside, the core message has some truth.
As a man, I’ll admit that the desire for sex sometimes overtakes our brains.
Some men spend their whole lives feeling very unfulfilled sexually, while others lose themselves in sexual fantasies like porn or womanizing.
Sex for most men has an edge of conquest to it, and once we ‘get lucky,’ we soon often lose the desire for more sex. At least for a while.
At a genetic level, sex is part of the evolution of the human species. But it also has a lot of other elements to it that confuse and cause men to lose themselves in it.
I have personally wasted years of my life chasing the wrong people because I wanted a sexual conquest. It took me a long time to see that the fantasy of sex is something that is never sated. We always think that more sex is the answer, yet it’s never fulfilling.
Of course, the desire for sex very often leads us into relationships. And if we can start to see that there is a huge value in companionship and sharing life together, then we can begin to evolve past this simple male fantasy.
The Fantasy of Dominance
This fantasy might be the most taboo in our modern world. But, deep inside every man is a dark primal urge to be physically strong, violent, and dominant.
Depending upon your culture and upbringing, the desire to be physically dominant can be suppressed. But it’s still there, at a deep, dark level.
I believe this is why men love sports, action movies, and video games.
All these types of entertainment give us a chance to indulge our fantasy of physical dominance. I know for myself, that I have had some fun times watching sports and beating up virtual baddies in games. I’m also partial to a bad action movie at times.
The urge toward violence is an ancient part of our culture, and, thankfully, has slowly moved away from the norm for a lot of the world. Yet, as men, we are still interested in acts of dominance and have a fantasy to be tough, belligerent, and brutish on some level.
Men Seeking Status
Men will seek power, sex, and dominance purely to display their status over other people.
The more perceived ‘status’ a man has, the more he seems to have his life together.
As embarrassing as that sounds, the desire to demonstrate high status is an urge built into every man.
And I believe that we must admit our fantasies if we’re to learn to curb and manage them.
The good news is that there are healthy ways to improve your social status in life without obsessing about power, sex, or dominance.
But there will always be times in our lives that these male fantasies rise up in us, and we must learn to acknowledge them and keep on our path to becoming a better person.
As Plato famously said “Self conquest is the greatest of victories.”
That is the journey we take as men. Becoming our best selves from the inside out.