A General Introduction To Rape Fantasies

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He felt utterly helpless. Her hands went where they wanted, along his side, across his thigh, to his hip. She let one linger on his throat, index finger and thumb pinching, scary as she slid just the tips of two fingers past his lips, penetrating him and showing him he didn’t even have the choice to bite.

When her hand stroked over his groin, he murmured a vulnerable protest. “No…”

So yeah, about rape fantasies, both having them and playing them out…

It’s “Adult Sex Education Month” and blogger Gracie, of Sex Kitten.net, suggested that I tackle the often controversial topic of rape fantasies and the people that have them. Fair’s fair, while I’m not a professional sex educator, this thing is my shtick. My story, Catamite, for example, is fairly intense non-con and my personal life certainly swings in that direction.

If you aren’t living under a rock, you’ve probably heard the term “rape fantasy“. In brief, that’s arousal from imagining a sexual scenario that is coerced or conducted without consent of the victim. That could mean anything from fantasies of violent and entirely otherwise unpleasant sex, through to the token resistance school of sex popularly attributed to romance novels, where one participant protests at first but then begins to enjoy it.

Needless to say, despite being very, very common, rape fantasies are a very sensitive topic, because they often shade into things that squick people or carry big, well deserved trigger warnings. They also end up being a source of argument when it comes to talking about sexual desire and what people really want in bed.  Rape is considered, by most people, to be one of the most vile things you can do to a human, but some people have a certain degree of confusion on what is and isn’t okay (and some very weird gender theories) based on the sheer common to the point of banality rate that people have consent violation fantasies, both as victim and perpetrator. The result is a whole bunch of other terms and euphemisms to talk about it- ravishment and consensual non-consent being popular ways to distance the product of one’s sexual imagination from real sexual assault.

That being said, a sexual assault is simply not the same thing as a rape fantasy, and making the distinction is only worth token acknowledgement. I’m going to flat out say that nobody wants to actually be sexually assaulted no matter how elaborate and violent their fantasies are- now there might be a few self harming weirdoes out there who will talk about how they want it to be real, but it’s not a statistically significant amount. And speaking about someone who’s both experienced sexual assault and done this sort of thing as play, there is an overwhelming world of difference of how you feel around the real thing and a comfortable expression of sexuality with your partner. Kind of like stick fighting in a LARP and actually getting into a war are different concepts. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, more on how people experience them after the jump…

As I touched on earlier, rape fantasies range from attempting to simulate as close to the experience of sexual violation as the participants are comfortable with, to what amounts to rough and vigorous sex with a partner who doesn’t have to give much input during the act.

It’s worth noting that this sort of thing is why BDSM commonly uses a safeword. This trick is one of the most useful tools for people trying to bring fantasies to life without worrying about a real violation of consent. This word, usually something that would never come up in a typical sexual context (eg ‘Potato’), exists primarily to have something that means a real ‘no’, when someone wants the ability to express distress, protest or discomfort without a concerned and responsible top needing to stop.

(By the way, my go to safeword is “Safeword” and for public scenarios, “My foot is itchy” or “I’m cold” respectively.)

But everyone’s fantasy is different, which means loads of different ways of handling things. for example a rape fantasy might be described any of these ways:

Reluctant Only – People with ‘reluctant’ fantasies like being able to resist or fight back, but while they want to be coerced via whatever level of force they find arousing, they also want it to have a happy ending. Basically it’s “No, no a thousand times…. ohhh! Yes!”

Scripted Stories – Some people have a particular scenario they want to play out, for example roleplaying a house breaking assault or wanting to have their clothing ‘forcibly’ ripped off. The hows and whys are generally pretty ridged, and when they are active with a partner and what activities are okay.

Dominant’s Discretion – some couples, with a certain degree of trust, may give one partner blanket permission to have sex with them at a time of their choosing. Often the source of arousal is also in the anticipation- they like playing with the idea of having no choice.

Trying to Explain Rape Fantasies

The whys are a lot harder to explain than the hows, when it comes to a rape fantasy. Much  of this is because the human brain is still on the forefront of research, and also the inherent complexity of trying to measure the subjective human experience with itself. I’m also usually not a big fan of trying to pinpoint kinks to a set source, but for what it’s worth…

Removal of guilt – a popular theory that was developed, particularly among the bodice ripper school of rape fantasy, was that making it rape is a person’s way of violating other sexual taboos they may have internalized, such as not seeming to be promiscuous but having easy sex, participating in other situations that might otherwise carry the stigma of being slutty, and so on.

However the same surveys that discovered a high rate of these fantasies found that women who had these fantasies tended to be less focused on guilt and more sexually permissive. I was unable to find much data about the psychology of men in this context. This one also doesn’t really address people with more violent fantasies who aren’t looking for otherwise ordinary sexual activity.

On the other hand, ‘force’ has long been used to put fictional characters in compromising situations, which brings me to another theory,

Emotional drama – high intensity emotions are a breeding ground for high intensity chemistry. Much how most romance novels will also include things like conflict and adventure to increase the excitement of the plot, a rape fantasy could be an extension of this.

Certainly fictional sexuality is often imbued with all sorts of frankly insane levels of aggression in general. these are all things most of us would never tolerate in real life, however humans are simple creatures with a limited range of emotional expression.

Contextual fetish – a lot of fetishes are loosely related to something the person considers otherwise sexual or present during sex. If popular media is forever equating sex with violence it’s hardly surprising if this is a re-enforced idea. More depressingly, given the omnipresent risks involved with navigating whether or not other people will respect your consent while pursuing sex, it doesn’t feel an excessive stretch to say that there’s not too far of a bridge for many people

None of these reasons are because a person really wants to be raped or because men are supposed to be aggressive or any such rot. No, really, and if you believe that, you probably aren’t ready to have sex with other people yet.

That being addressed, onto a topic I don’t feel gets enough attention. The men!

Male Rape Fantasies

Surprisingly, although there is research into the subject matter, while there’s lots of fixation on men as fantasy perpetrators, not a lot of ink gets spilled about men being fantasy victims. Meanwhile, during the same period that people were happily trying to map out what happens in women upstairs to get the downstairs excited- a study in the eighties suggested that around 45% of (straight) men had fantasies of forced sexual contact by a woman, to one degree or another.

Addressing this is important because another personal hobby horse of mine is that you can’t rape men, either because they are perpetually willing or because rape is limited to things that require co-operative man parts (which incidentally, is also invalid- sexual response varies and an erection is not consent).

The thing about male sexuality is that it is not, physiologically, all that different from female sexuality. Humans of both sexes have bodily autonomy and male fantasies get expressed in a broad and complex ways.

That established, if you ever want to act out a rape fantasy, clear communication is very, very important- if you can’t talk about your desire this is what might happen:

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12 Comments

  1. Stan

     /  June 11, 2014

    My sister was raped. Attacked at her doorstep. She was punched, kicked and sodomized. The man left her with a broken nose, three broken fingers, and emotional scars that are deep and still festering. Her attacker was caught. He told the police he had had these “fantasies” since childhood and decided to act. Those of you that condone and hide the truth of these fantasies under the putrid title of “consensual non-consent” sicken me. Those of you that condone males who participate in these fantasies sicken me. Those of you that attach the word “play” to these sorry actions sicken me. Those of you that write about it as if it was just another aspect of sexuality sicken me. In a world where so many women are threaten, abused, and hurt by hundreds of Elliot Rogers and thousands of other men who have grown up in a society that constantly sends the message of the right of “male privilege”, it is irresponsible to condone and popularize anything, ANYTHING, that involves violence against women! I held my sister at the police station. I felt the joy she had for life seep out of her as we waited. Don’t tell me any of this is OK!

    With little respect for your writing
    Stan

    Reply
    • Dear Stan,

      I am sorry you had the experience you did. However, nothing you said implies you read my actual post and you aren’t actually making any arguments that make sense in this context -eg one where I talked about male and female fantasies from the perspective of the victim, on a femdom blog.

      Furthermore, trying to make this about misogyny ignores that these fantasies are present in a bit shy of half of men. Now you obviously aren’t a long time reader but I will be blunt-

      Your second hand trauma does not mean you get to ban or police other people, anymore than a civilian war survivor gets to ban civil war reenactment players, war gamers, larpers, etc. Your approach is extremely disrespectful to the sexuality of a huge number of people, which includes other sexual assault victims, myself included. Your fixation on these fantasies being a uniquely M/f thing also misses the point and displays broad ignorance on the subject matter as well as a healthy dose of frankly paternalistic sexism.

      Reply
      • Stan

         /  June 12, 2014

        Thank you for the reply. While I vehemently disagree with the content of it, I appreciate that you took the time to write and post it.

        Stan

        Reply
  2. Hey Pearl, thanks for the write-up about a tricky topic.

    I have a few points of my own, along a bit of a different tangent, so I will ping you with a link of my own in a day or so.

    And Stan, if you do come back, please note that rape is a far cry from rape fantasies, just as violence is a far cry from BDSM in general and car accidents are a far cry from demolition derbies.

    Reply
    • Stan

       /  June 15, 2014

      I thank you for the reply you offered.

      We will forever disagree on this subject. In my heart, I cannot accept any of the explanations and comparisons that “Miss Pearl” or you have offered.

      For my sister, for her husband, for her daughter, for our mother, for our father, and for me, there is no such thing as “rape fantasy”.

      I am involved in a long term BDSM relationship with my wife. I am no stranger to kink and fantasy. This, however, is something I feel compelled to speak against.

      Stan

      Reply
      • YKINMKBYKIO. You really aren’t making a compelling argument against fantasies like that, only that one person had a rape fantasy who is also a rapist and you can’t tell the difference. And you aren’t actually making an argument other than that you find the idea of other people’s sexual kinks icky and think you have the right to police them. Seriously, flat out- I have doer (not receiver, this is nothing to do with misogyny) fantasies. Because I am not insane, I will never rape anyone and you are basically calling me a potential rapist.

        And seriously, BDSM plays with themes like slavery, torture, forceable confinement, and so on. If your sister was tied up against her will, as some people have been, would you tell people bondage was not okay?

        Reply
        • Stan

           /  June 16, 2014

          Once more, I thank you for taking the time to reply.

          “YKINMKBYKIO” Since I’m old and unfamiliar with internet letter codes( well, I do know two: LOL and LMAO) I’m assuming that this is an acronym that identifies your frustration and displeasure with me.

          Today,my wife read this piece and our exchange. While she understands and respects the intense feelings this subject holds for me, and for her, she said my first post was harsh, insensitive, and brutal in its tone. She strongly suggested that I apologize to you for that insensitivity. Since I trust her critiques of my writing without reservation, I accept responsibility for my insensitivity and harshness. I am sorry. There was no need to adopt so brutal a tone.

          The general statement: “you find other people’s sexual kinks icky” is inaccurate. I do not believe I made such a blanket statement. It is only rape fantasy with which I am uncomfortable.

          If disagreeing with you on this subject and speaking out about it is “policing other people’s sexual kinks” then I am guilty. Each of us has the obligation to the act of “speaking out against” when we believe something needs addressed. Where would such subjects as gay marriage or equal rights be if no one spoke?

          Rape fantasy is a subject upon which we will never agree. You will continue to speak out for. I will always speak out against.

          Again, I sincerely apologize for the harshness of my first post.
          Stan

          Reply
          • “YKINMKBYKIO” Since I’m old and unfamiliar with internet letter codes( well, I do know two: LOL and LMAO) I’m assuming that this is an acronym that identifies your frustration and displeasure with me.

            Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is Okay dates back to my parents. 😛

            It’s way of handling the fact that kinky people often have wildly varying set points- for example some people might be fine with bondage, but look down on people who do sadomasochism as evil creepy weirdoes. Or be okay with spanking but think people who use implements re barbaric, and so on.

            I’m addressing the problem of trying to pass judgement specifically from the position that everything sexually you like is okay, but it’s fine to claim that having a rape fantasy is somehow worse than a person who wants say, fantasy slavery.

            Where would such subjects as gay marriage or equal rights be if no one spoke?

            Keep in mind that the people protesting these things coming to pass also thought they were protecting important rights and freedoms. I’m not saying that you should be muzzled, I’m just saying your argument cannot stand on the premises it is presented and in this case you are in the position of the person trying to restrict personal liberty, including my personal liberty.

            In so far as brutality in your response- well, I think the main problem is that although you are opposed to it, I don’t think you’ve really completely examined the topic at hand. For example you started your argument with a long tangent on misogyny- and misogyny is a problem! But it presumes that rape fantasies are all male-on-female, when demonstrably almost half of straight men surveyed appear to also be inclined towards female-on-male non-con fantasies. It also conflates acting out a fantasy with a person who is not consenting (actual rape) with what consent really is.

            Your argument, such that I understand it, is that because one rapist claimed to be motivated by their fantasies, even having them presumes too much risk that a person will also rape. So, among many things, you basically just called me a potential rapist.

            You also run into a problem because, as a fellow kinky person, you’re more in the same boat as me than I think you would like- for example the anti-rape fantasy stuff is part of the reason why images of BDSM have, in the past run foul of obscenity laws, why it was only recently that you could safely mix sex and bondage in erotic imagery produced in the US, and more to the point, that kinksters in the UK have to deal with blanket bans on “violent pornography” that fails to make clear distinctions on say, healthy kinky consenting stuff and real footage of abuse. You can make the distinction between say, kinky S&M and spousal battery, right? Because the argument against that kind of porn is identical to the argument against rape fantasies, such that you are making it.

  3. OK, part one of my response is here: http://www.sex-kitten.net/blog/2014/06/rape-fantasies-are-normal-even-if-youve-been-raped/

    The second one, which is what I had *intended* to discuss, will likely be published on the morrow 😛

    Reply
  4. And now we get to what I had intended to discuss… http://www.sex-kitten.net/blog/2014/06/understanding-some-male-rape-fantasies/

    Reply
  1. Rape Fantasies Are Normal, Even If You’ve Been Raped | Sex~Kitten.net
  2. Understanding (Some) Male Rape Fantasies | Sex~Kitten.net

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