Rape fantasy

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A rape fantasy (sometimes referred to as rapeplay) or a ravishment is a sexual fantasy involving imagining or pretending being coerced or coercing another into sexual activity. In sexual roleplay, it involves acting out roles of coercive sex. Rape pornography is literature or images associated with rape and sometimes Stockholm syndrome as a means of sexual arousal.



Studies have found rape fantasy is a common sexual fantasy among both men and women. [1] [2] [3] The fantasy may involve the fantasist as either the one being forced into sex or being the perpetrator. A 1985 study by Arndt, Foehl and Good [4] found that being "overpowered or forced to surrender" was the second most frequent fantasy in their survey. In 1985, Louis H. Janda, an associate professor of psychology at Old Dominion University, said that the sexual fantasy of being raped is the most common sexual fantasy for women. [5] A 1988 study by Pelletier and Herold found that over half of their female respondents had fantasies of forced sex. [6]

The most frequently cited hypothesis for why women fantasize of being forced and coerced into some sexual activity is that the fantasy avoids societally induced guilt—the woman does not have to admit responsibility for her sexual desires and behavior. A 1978 study by Moreault and Follingstad [7] was consistent with this hypothesis, and found that women with high levels of sex guilt were more likely to report fantasy themed around being overpowered, dominated, and helpless. In contrast, Pelletier and Herold used a different measure of guilt and found no correlation. Other research suggests that women who report forced sex fantasies have a more positive attitude towards sexuality, contradicting the guilt hypothesis. [8] A 1998 study by Strassberg and Lockerd found that women who fantasized about force were generally less guilty and more erotophilic, and as a result had more frequent and varied fantasies. However, it said that force fantasies are not the most common or the most frequent. [9]

A male sexual fantasy of raping a woman may bring sexual arousal either from imagining a scene in which first a woman objects but then comes to like and eventually participate in the intercourse, or else one in which the woman does not like it and arousal is associated with the idea of hurting the woman. [10]

Prevalence among genders

Numerous studies have found that fantasies about being forced to have sex are commonly found across all genders. [11] 45.8% of men in a 1980 study reported fantasizing during heterosexual intercourse about "a scene where [they had] the impression of being raped by a woman" (3.2% often and 42.6% sometimes), 44.7% of scenes where a seduced woman "pretends resisting" and 33% of raping a woman. [12]

A study of college-age women in 1998 found over half had engaged in fantasies of rape or coercion which, another study suggests, are simply "open and unrestricted" expressions of female sexuality. [13]

In a more recent studies among more than 4.000 Americans, 61% of respondents who identify as women had fantasized about being forced to have sex, meanwhile the numbers were 54% among men and 68% among non-binary. [11]


One form of sexual roleplaying is the rape fantasy, also called ravishment or forced sex roleplay. [14] In BDSM circles (and occasionally outside these circles as well), some people choose to roleplay rape scenes—with communication, consent and safety being especially crucial elements. Though consent is a crucial component of any sexual roleplay, [15] the illusion of non-consent (i.e. rape) is important to maintaining this type of fantasy. A safe word is therefore a common safety measure, given that words that would normally halt sexual activity (e.g. "stop") are often disregarded in these scenes. [16] Continuing with the sexual roleplay after a safeword has been used constitutes assault, as the use of a safeword indicates the withdrawal of consent.

See also

Related Research Articles

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<i>My Secret Garden</i>

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  1. Arndt, William B., Jr.; Foehl, John C.; Good, F. Elaine (February 1985). "Specific Sexual Fantasy Themes: A Multidimensional Study". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology . Washington DC: American Psychological Association. 48 (2): 472–480. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.48.2.472.
  2. Janda, Louis H. (1985). How to Live with an Imperfect Person. Issaquah, Washington: Wellness Institute, Inc. p. 334. ISBN   1-58741-007-9.
  3. Baumeister, R.F. (2001). Social Psychology and Human Sexuality: Essential Readings. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Psychology Press. p. 125. ISBN   1-84169-018-X.
  4. Moreault, Denise; Follingstad, Diane R. (December 1978). "Sexual Fantasies of Females as a Function of Sex Guilt and Experimenta". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology . Washington DC: American Psychological Association. 46 (6): 1385–1393. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.46.6.1385. PMID   730888 . Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  5. Strassberg & Lockerd 1998, p. 405.
  6. Strassberg & Lockerd 1998, p. 416.
  7. Bader, Michael J. (2003). Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies. London, England: Macmillan Publishers. p. 126. ISBN   0-312-30242-8.
  8. 1 2 Lehmiller, Justin J. (11 March 2020). "Why Are "Rape Fantasies" So Common?". Psychology Today.
  9. Crépault, Claude; Couture, Marcel (December 1980). "Men's erotic fantasies". Archives of Sexual Behavior . Berlin, Germany: Springer Science + Business Media. 9 (6): 565–81. doi:10.1007/BF01542159. PMID   7458662.
  10. Strassberg, Donald S.; Locker, Lisa K. (August 1998). "Force in Women's Sexual Fantasies". Archives of Sexual Behavior . Berlin, Germany: Springer Science + Business Media. 27 (4): 403–414. doi:10.1023/A:1018740210472. ISSN   1573-2800. PMID   9681121.
  11. Gold, Steven R.; Balzano, Bill L.; Stamey, Robin (1991). "Two Studies of Females' Sexual Force Fantasies". Journal of Sex Education and Therapy . New York City: Guildford Press. 17 (1): 15–26. doi:10.1080/01614576.1991.11074001.
  12. Klement, Kathryn R.; Sagarin, Brad J.; Lee, Ellen M. (2017). "Participating in a Culture of Consent May Be Associated With Lower Rape Supportive Beliefs". The Journal of Sex Research . Abingdon, England: Routledge. 54 (1): 130–134.
  13. Queer BDSM Intimacies: Critical Consent and Pushing Boundaries, 117-118

Further reading