Rape fantasy  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A ravishment or rape fantasy is a sexual fantasy about participating in a rape, a fictional story about a rape, or an acted-out scene of pretend rape between consenting adults.



Rape fantasies occur in both the male and female sexual fantasy realms, and their contents range from unwilling seduction to violent, forceful sex. One can imagine one is the rapist, or that one is being raped.

The most commonly held theory about this phenomenon is that many individuals turn to fantasies about being raped as a means of reconciling naturally-occurring sexual desires with the intense negative stigma their culture and/or creed affix to sexual activity. The fantasy serves as a psychological device through which the fantasizer can safely indulge in intense sexual experiences without guilt, by absolving themselves of responsibility for participating in the act. Many socially acceptable examples can be found in "bodice ripper" fiction.

Rape fantasies can also represent an outlet for sexually submissive and/or dominant individuals. In such fantasies they can imagine themselves as having or lacking sexual control or power without actually participating in an illegal or immoral act.

Another relatively common theory is that the attraction men feel toward raping is an evolutionary relic of prehistoric man (thousands of years ago, those willing to rape were more likely to have their genes passed on). According to these sociobiological theories of rape, rape fantasy fulfills a hereditary impulse that in civilized society where real rape has become socially intolerable.

It has been proposed that for some who have actually been sexually abused, rape fantasy may be a way to heal past wounds by exploring in a safe environment with a sense of control. Dr. Michael J. Bader, author of Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies, writes: "It is quite common that children who were abused grow up and develop sexual fantasies loosely based on their abuse. ... The adult indulging in a fantasy of sexual surrender or abasement is actually saying to her or himself: 'I'm recreating a terrifying or traumatic scene, but this time I'm in control because I'm scripting the scene ...'"

Regardless, the presence of rape fantasies in a community or individual cannot be taken to imply that the fantasizers in reality condone rape, desire to rape others, or wish to be raped themselves.

Fiction: Books, TV, Movies

Rape fantasy is also a sub-genre of erotic fiction usually containing humorous and arousing conclusions. Just as some people like to imagine rape, others like to write and read about it. The taste is not restricted to purely pornographic works; the bodice ripper is a perennially popular sub-genre of mass-market romantic fiction.

A high level of controversy surrounds a scene in Ayn Rand's novel The Fountainhead in which the male protagonist supposedly rapes the female protagonist not long after meeting her, even though the novel was not written with a deviant or shock-based theme. The raped character explicitly identifies the experience as rape, stating "He didn't ask my consent. He raped me." However, Rand is reported to have said, later, upon being asked about the scene, "If it was rape, it was rape by engraved invitation."

In Gone with the Wind by author Margaret Mitchell, Scarlett O'Hara is raped by her husband, Rhett Butler, and she later seems pleased rather than resentful of it.

In the Lina Wertmuller film Swept Away, a rich insensitive woman is stranded on a deserted island with a lower-class worker who rapes her while reciting communist propaganda. Afterwards, she becomes devoted and submissive to him.

General Hospital Head Writer at the time Patricia Falken Smith created the popular story of a rape victim, Laura Webber (Genie Francis), who marries her rapist, Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary). The wedding of Luke and Laura on November 16/17, 1981 was the highest rated hour in soap opera history, garnering 30 million viewers. However, the switch from a rape to a "seduction" was the basis for criticism in later soap opera storylines outside of "General Hospital," notably the character of Eden Capwell Castillo on Santa Barbara. After having been brutally raped, Eden appeared on a talk show with two soap stars, "Link" and "Laurie," who had acted out a rape scene on "General Clinic." She was appalled and told them they had no idea what it was like to have been raped. The "Santa Barbara" writers took the further irony of this statement into account, and had Eden's portrayer, Marcy Walker, appear as herself at the end of the episode.

These above four instances of rape depicted without condemnation (for the most part) are notable for having been written by women.

In Chapter 24 of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, the nameless black protagonist is asked by a wealthy white woman to help her enact her sexual fantasy of being raped by a colored man, in one of the book's many racially charged episodes. A similar episode occurs in the post colonial novel Season of Migration to the North.


One form of sexual roleplaying is the rape fantasy, also called "ravishment" or Forced Sex Role play (FSRP) [1]. Ravishment has become a more preferred term in BDSM circles, as it makes a distinction between consensual roleplay and nonconsensual assault.

Since the illusion of non-consensuality is important to the fantasy, one or more safewords are typically employed. This way, a participant can protest without stopping the scene, unless the safeword is used. Often a variation on the "stop-light" system is used, with different colors designating different messages: "red" to stop everything, "yellow" to slow down or take it easy, and so forth. For scenes where there is an element of surprise, the top or "ravisher" may use a "startword" or other identifying signal.

In healthy ravishment scenes, all participants carefully negotiate what will transpire beforehand. Limits are respected and made very clear, to maintain safety and consensuality. Such negotiation would also include discussion of emotional issues for both partners, especially if there has been a prior history of actual sexual abuse or assault.

See also


  • Desmond Ravenstone (2005). Ravishment: The Dark Side of Erotic Fantasy. ISBN 1-4116-5547-8.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rape fantasy" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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