A lot has been written about the rape fantasy. There are many very interesting articles online which discuss why a person may have these particular sexual fantasies and how common they are among men and women. Statistics vary hugely depending on which study you look at but what I would like to discuss here is the difference between a woman’s rape fantasy and a man’s. For the purpose of this post, I will presume that the woman’s fantasy is to be taken against her will by a man, and the man’s fantasy is to force an unwilling woman to have sex with him. There are many variations of the fantasy, of course, but I will be limiting myself to this for now. (And I would like to add that the women and men do not fantasize about actually being raped or raping; it is a sexual fantasy.)
So, what is the origin of the rape fantasy and is it the same thing for men as it is for women? Is it triggered by something that happens to us or is it simply a part of our personalities? If we embrace and enjoy the fantasy (not all people do) what function does it play in our lives?
For women, the argument is often put forward that the rape fantasy allows us to enjoy sex guilt-free. The theory is that a religious upbringing, or just the fact that society frowns on women enjoying sex, causes us to feel that we are wrong to want it. But, as we do very much want it, the rape fantasy means that we can get and enjoy it without the guilt that goes with asking for it. Alternatively, it has been argued that the rape fantasy is, for women, simply a natural urge to be taken and impregnated by a man, much in the same way that happens in the animal kingdom.
For men, some claim that the rape fantasy is triggered by a strict childhood upbringing where the boy felt helpless against a domineering mother. He may have thought that his father was not the strong, masculine figure that he was “supposed” to be. This theory suggests that the rape fantasy allows the man to regain control over women and perhaps also get revenge for how he and his father were treated.
There are many other theories but what is interesting is that for women the focus is on the sex, on being forced to submit to and perform many various sexual acts. For men, however, the aspect of the fantasy they find the most exciting is the control, the power they have over the helpless female.
Agree? Disagree? I would love to hear your thoughts!
A little research into how common the rape fantasy is among men and women:
A very interesting article by David J. Ley, Ph.D, published on PyschologyToday.com states that, “… as many as 25-40% of women endorsing some form of this fantasy, at least once in their lives.” (click here for the article) In an article on Details.com, Anna David writes, “In a 2009 study published in the Journal of Sex Research that evaluated female undergraduates at the University of North Texas, 62 percent of the women admitted to having rape fantasies.” (click here for the article ) An article on FindArticles.com says, “Overall, there are nine reports of the percentage of women who have had rape fantasies, with these estimates ranging from 31% to 57%.” (click here for the article)
And among men? Statistics are a little harder to come by, but Wikipedia says that, “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.” (click here for the article) An excellent article on WordiQ claims that, “It is estimated that 24% of men and 36% of women have had a rape fantasy, and 10% of women report this is their favorite type of fantasy.” (click here for the article)