I feel a bit like a hypocrite... but it seems the easiest way for me to have random ideas pop into my head is to actually write that I'm out of ideas or don't feel like writing.
Over the past few weeks I have read a lot of blogs and comments that downplay fantasy. They want real life. Current thoughts. Current experiences. At first this made me a bit self-conscious but after letting it stew for some time I realized something.
While I can understand someone's desire to only expose themselves to reality, I think in many ways fantasy gets devalued too much.
I think it's safe to say that the majority of exposure to D/s for us started with exploring fantasy through porn, fiction, writing, and the like. Our minds take the plunge into a world where our hearts and bodies aren't yet ready to go.
I read a lot about the struggle with getting a submissive male to "spill their guts" about the present. Attempts to pry what makes them tick are often met with resistance, difficulty communicating, and the like. I think in some cases the root is vulnerability and in others, he often just doesn't know.
fs01 and a few entries on other blogs got me thinking a lot about K's early assignments in our relationship. She wanted me to compose a new fantasy every day for a month that had to relate to my fantasies, things I was curious about, and things I thought she would enjoy. Back then I thought she just wanted to understand how to guide things but in hindsight I think there was a lot more value to this.
After about 5 fantasies it was probably clear just what made me tick as a submissive. After about 10 it was probably clear which soft limits I wanted to stretch and/or break. After a few more she probably knew which parts of this fed her Domspace.
I can fully admit it was easier for me to write about something I thought I might want in a fully open and honest way. It was just curiosity. It was a lot smaller of a mental hurdle than trying to accept my needs when I wasn't even comfortable about having them. It allowed me to show more of myself than I would have by just talking about the now.
It is VERY easy to read a fantasy written by a sub and tell which things get them going. The detail level is just too great in certain areas. You'll find a paragraph and a half describing her shoes... guess what, they have a shoe fetish. Great detail about a certain mental game, a lot can be learned here. Fantasy gives a road map on how to easily connect with a sub's subspace and how to properly/easily manipulate it. I find this quite interesting.
On another level, I think that fantasy serves a meaningful role for both Dommes and subs. When we allow for the growth of the relationship as well as evolution of ourselves as Dominants and submissives, we inherently change. Fantasy gives us an idea of what that might be like or who we might want to be when that process occurs. This can be on a small or large level. If a sub fantasizes about his name taken away and replaced with a "pet name" to be used whenever privacy allows, why not? If a Domme fantasizes about taking that next level of control and wants to inject chastity into the situation, why not?
Ideas of what we might like fuel where we go to next. They aren't always successful or work with real logistics, but they give some form of direction. This is easier than flying blind.
I think there is a tendency for people to get a bit psyched out by fantasy when it reaches an intense level. I believe a key here is to avoid comparing yourself to someone's fantasy. Do not focus upon how you differ from a character in the fantasy, but look at what parts of that character you connect with or might like to be. When someone shares a fantasy their intent isn't to make someone else feel self-conscious or lesser, they are communicating in a very honest way and displaying the workings of their space.
I guess I just see fantasy as something intimate, valuable, and a tool for providing insight into how people work and what can be in the future. It is a safe way to explore "what ifs?" without risking emotional or physical harm. It is a safe way to share thoughts, ideas, and needs, without worrying about someone rejecting the current you.
I will add this. There is a point where fantasy can be unhealthy and obsessive. It can create unrealistic expectations and make unreasonable demands. One of the keys here is to talk about fantasies with your partner. Communicate about what you see as being the draws and themes. Find which parts are necessary and which are fluff. Talk about what you enjoy from their fantasies. Hear about what they enjoy about yours. Communication is at the root of all of this, as with most things that involve relationships. As long as things stay open, fantasy can be a very valuable tool for understanding one another.