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Rape Fantasy February 11, 2006

Posted by ascendingnode in sex and sexuality.

I was reading this week’s Carnival of the Feminists and came across the old argument about what “sex-positive” feminism is and whether sex-positive feminists are merely shills for the male gaze. One of the posts linked is arguing for sex-positive feminism and discusses whether the idea that women have “rape fantasies” is a myth or not. She writes,

[The] claim that these fantasies are tantamount to women “getting moist about people raping them” is based on the reality of rape, rather than the idealized power play that the fantasizers wish to interact with. After all, a fantasy is, by definition, something not real… [W]hen people (sex-positive feminists or otherwise) talk about ‘rape fantasies’ they are talking about role playing between consenting adults.

Of course, that’s true. Nobody really wants to be raped; if they wanted it to happen then it would cease to be rape. But when we talk about the myth of rape fantasies, what we’re trying to say is that women are not fantasizing about real, actual rape so we should stop saying that we are. Because every time we say that every woman has a rape fantasy, we reinforce the idea that when women say “no” they don’t necessarily mean it. We are helping to lend credence to the date-rapist’s “but women have rape fantasies so how am I to know what she meant by ‘no'” defense.

We don’t fantasize about rape. We might fantasize about “hot sex with a hot stranger” or “rough role-playing with the partner” or “being held down during sex”. But calling it a “rape fantasy” only serves to romanticize rape and to further the rape culture.


1. cf - August 1, 2006

I really hate to sound naive, and I really don’t want to get my head handing to me on a platter for this, but what do you think is going through a guy’s head when he is viewing “rape fantasy” material? A little more to the point, how can a guy get aroused by watching something he would in real life never wish upon his mother or sister or girlfriend or wife or, for that matter, just about any woman?

2. Anka - February 18, 2009

That same thing a woman would think when viewing such material? It’s arousing. Rape is a very primal and instinctual thing. It’s wrong of course, but plenty of people know this and fantasize/roleplay anyway.

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