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These fantasies are often measured using one of three techniques: As with studies of sex in general, samples used in studies may be too small, not be fully random, or not fully representative of a population.
This makes similarities between studies especially important.
A person may not wish to enact a sexual fantasy in real life, and since the process is entirely imaginary, they are not limited to acceptable or practical fantasies, which can provide information on the psychological processes behind sexual behavior.
Sexual fantasy can also pertain to a genre of literature, film or work of art.
Because of the difficulty of objectively identifying and measuring the nature of sexual fantasies, many studies deal with conscious fantasies when a person is awake.
Patterns of sexual behaviour include emotion free sex with casual partners, engaging in sex to promote oneself, and feelings of detachment during intercourse.
Sexual fantasies are likely to follow attachment-related themes.
Sex is often a taboo topic, so conducting a truly honest and representative example can be difficult in some areas.
For example, a 1997 study on South Asian gay men found that almost 75% were afraid of being "found out", which complicates studies.