Director Francois Ozon, Cannes, and the Politics of Female Sexual Fantasy

by Eubie on May 26, 2013

French director Francois Ozon, whose film Jeune et Jolie (‘Young and Beautiful‘) is up for this year’s Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and is winning big love from the critics, recently got into trouble with comments about sex work being a common fantasy of women. The backlash was immediate and scathing, and Ozon had to backpedal away from his previous declarations for fear of being well-hung in the public square of public opinion.

Here at the HUB, we’re fans of science, and most assuredly not fans of tyranny-of-the-masses attacks on truth statements, however painful, that offend. That is to say, in these politically correct times, we still like to believe that the truth will set you free; that conjectures subject to refutation (as Karl Popper might intone) are worthy of consideration, regardless of how un-PC they might be. With that in mind, we felt it was worth the effort to subject Monsieur Ozon’s statement to rigorous analysis to see if he really was putting his foot in his mouth when he said that women fantasize about working as prostitutes.

Without further adieu, here are the top 10 sexual fantasies of women according to the website A Healthy Place (these are based on scientific studies, and a review of numerous other websites confirm this general list):

10. Sex with a stranger

9. Group sex, or sex with multiple partners

8. Dominating a man

7. Voyeurism–being watched while having sex

6. Being dominated by a man

5. Sex with a woman

4. Stripping, to include prostitution

3. Sex with two men

2. Being a man during sex, to include using a strap-on to have sex with a man

1. Hmm, how shall we put this? Okay, rape fantasy. Really, no other way to say it.

So, while Mr. Ozon’s comments might be impolitic, they are not far from right, and what is true should never be sacrificed to avoid what some might consider unpleasant, counterintuitive, or unacceptable. Sexual fantasies, apparently (according to the more academic of articles referenced), are often the product of social/moral constrains imposed by inculcated socio-cultural norms. That is to say, people fantasize about what is taboo, forbidden, or psychologically problematic precisely because they are taboo, forbidden, etcetera, etcetera… Most headshrinkers say that fantasy is good, allows us to release in a healthy way the pent-up desires that society forces us to repress. Staring those fantasies straight in the eyes and not blinking should help all of us to get a better grip on who and what we are. Figuring out why we fantasize about things we do is a second step; the first always is recognizing and confronting what those fantasies actually are.

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