“It’s the biggest fight we’ve ever had,” reveals a girlfriend over email recently, “and I don’t even fully understand why.”
She’s recounting an argument with her husband that erupted over celebrity ‘hall passes’.
A common trope between couples, the idea is that, should the opportunity ever present itself, each person in the relationship would be forgiven for engaging in a night of passion with their predetermined ‘hall pass’. A famous crush they’d want to shoot their shot with, should all the stars align. The rationale being that it’s a risk-free way to explore a fantasy that is only ever going to stay in the realm of the hypothetical.
“Fantasy is a healthy part of sexuality,” explains Tanya Koens, sexologist and relationship therapist. “We all have multiple layers to our worlds - there’s the part of ourselves we show the public, the part of ourselves we reveal to our partner, and the part we keep all to ourselves.”
Fantasies are completely normal and a healthy part of the human experience. Even in very happy relationships, it's common to think about someone else and have sexual fantasies. As sexologist, C. Ryan Jones told Brides.com, "Sometimes they are just nice thoughts to have."
It’s when we reveal part of that private inner world to a partner, explains Tanya, that darker emotions can sometimes rear their heads.
“Even though it’s our partner’s fantasy, fear and jealousy sometimes make us apply our own meaning to it,” she continues. “We immediately jump to ‘My partner wants this thing that is different to me, that means I am not good enough, it means there is something wrong with me’.”
So, who was the woman who inspired such passionate fury in my usually placid friend?