* CAUTION: This post may serve as a trigger for some individuals..
This is the second post in FYV’s “The 4 W’s of Rape Fantasy” Series. This article seeks to address the “what” aspect: what exactly are rape fantasies? Do women who have them really want to be raped?
- Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.(According to the FBI)
- A sexual act that takes place without proper consent.
That doesn’t sound like fodder for fantasies.
62% of women have had a rape fantasy…For women who have had rape fantasies, the median frequency of these fantasies was about 4 times per year, with 14% of participants reporting that they had rape fantasies at least once a week
for 9% to 17% of women these are a frequent or favorite fantasy experience.
But what actually is a “rape fantasy”?
First of all, the term “rape fantasy” is not entirely accurate.
Rape in real life is an awful, traumatic, sometimes life threatening experience.
What many women fantasize about is “safe” rape - an oxymoron, to be sure. It essentially means that the dominating partner is driven beyond control by lust or need for the “victim”. There is no element of actual danger, so the traumatic elements are replaced by purely sensual ones.
- Thus the fantasy is not about actually being coerced, of actual forced submission, but the illusion of forced submission.
The fantasy offers validation - the dominating partner is so consumed by the desirability of the “victim” that they are willing to forgo traditional, socially-acceptable forms of sexual interaction simply to satisfy this intense and overwhelming sexual urge.
Fantasy allows us to explore the outer reaches of our sexuality.
In these fantasies, women can experience their sexuality in a raw and primal way, without the very real physical and psychological dangers associated with actual rape. In this way, “rape fantasies” are actually about willing surrender, as opposed to coerced surrender.
In fact, as Leon Seltzer, Ph.D explains in his article ‘Don’t Call Rape Fantasies”, women in rape fantasies retain their power: their own desirability has provoked a response that they then allow to come to fruition.
The fantasies themselves may include things like:
- physical restraint
- not being able to see the dominating partner
- not knowing the dominant partner
- ripping clothing
- rapid penetration
- darkness or a “dangerous” location
… all things regularly found in the genre of romance novels. The key element is that the submission is not associated with real danger, only the illusion of danger.
WOMEN WHO HAVE RAPE FANTASIES DO NOT ACTUALLY DESIRE TO BE RAPED IN REAL LIFE.
They desire the illusion of coercion into powerful sexual interactions where they are dominated by another, without any real peril.
In the next article in this series, FYV discusses the scientific theories on why women have rape fantasies.