Toronto: Having sexual fantasies with your partner is not all that bad but people with high levels of psychopathic traits lean towards non-romantic sexual fantasies with anonymous and uncommitted partners that may harm their real sex life.
According to researchers, psychopathic sexual behaviour arises owing to a preference for sexual activity outside a loving, committed relationship rather than only an inability to form such relationships.
Most people have sexual fantasies and that is quite healthy and normal.
"However, people with higher levels of psychopathic traits are more likely to report having actually engaged in those fantasised behaviours, especially when the behaviours were not within the context of established romantic relationships," explained Dr Beth A. Visser from the Trent University, Ottawa in Canada.
To reach this conclusion, authors performed two studies.
In the first study, they rated content themes in the fantasy narratives of 195 men and women recruited at a Canadian university.
In the second study, they administered a sexual fantasy questionnaire to 355 Canadian undergraduate students.
The idea was to examine the relations between psychopathic traits and sexual fantasy content.
"That is, are individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits more or less likely than other individuals to fantasize about certain fantasy content? Specifically, at higher levels of psychopathy, does partner variety take precedence over emotional connection in sexual fantasies?" asked Dr. Visser.
Furthermore, they sought to understand whether psychopathy moderated the relations between sexual fantasy and sexual behaviour.
"That is, are individuals with higher levels of psychopathic traits more likely to engage in the sexual activities about which they fantasise, particularly when those fantasies are deviant or outside social norms?" the authors deliberated.
They found that individuals with deviant sexual preferences and normal levels of empathy, kindness and self-control have many strategies for satisfying their needs, including negotiation, compromise, and restraint.
"However, individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits might turn to sexually aggressive strategies to attain gratification," Dr. Visser noted.