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This seems like a strange question for some of us. Of course the answer is “yes”- anyone who would answer “no” must have a psychologically unhealthy view of the human experience!
But consider the challenging words of Jesus: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28
Jesus was not being repressive. Rather, he was talking in line with the Jewish Scriptures that celebrated sex- intoxicating, orgasmic sex, nonetheless (read Song of Songs!)- in the context of marriage. The boundaries of sex are there for a number of reasons, as noted in this thoughtful exploration of the theology of sex.
But that still leaves us with the original question- can I fantasize about sex before or outside of married sex?
My short answer: yes. But within some key boundaries, based on Jesus’ teaching above. What is prohibited seems to be sexually wanting and enjoying (with our eyes and mind) a person that is not sexually yours, someone you are not married with. But there seems to be a space where fantasy of imagined, future, married sex with one’s spouse (either with someone you’re currently engaged to or a faceless person who is your spouse in your fantasy) can occur.
In fact, that seems to be what is happening in the sexual allusions and desires expressed in Song of Songs, chapters 1-3 (poems expressed prior to the wedding consummation of sex).
Of course, landing in this space is easier said than done. But perhaps this can help us shed off unhealthy guilt and walk in a wholesome and helpful sexuality and spirituality if we are not currently married.