“Rape fantasy, not reality”

**Trigger Warning: Rape**

Rape fantasy, not reality. It’s a difficult topic and one that some are only willing to breach in order to voice a misogynistic (hatred of women) discourse: the rape fantasy. I always thought my rape fantasies would go away. That it was a temporary fancy that stemmed from a feeling of being too controlling and ordered in reality. Perhaps it was a way to escape this weight of responsibility that I felt to myself, to those close to me, and to society in general.

I admit it: I’m often uptight, very insistent on keeping things in their place, and feel an immense need to make a positive impact in the world. But it persists and has been the only thing that gets me off ever since I first started experimenting sexually with myself and others. I seem to have a selective memory. Whole chunks of my life exist only in photos and other people’s memories. So, it wasn’t a surprise when recently I found myself asking my long-term ex-partner if he remembers much about this aspect of our sex lives. We experienced our firsts of everything together. I wanted to know whether it was I who liked to be submissive or he who liked to dominate. Which came first? Who ceded to the fantasies of the other? I was desperately hoping it was me. Perhaps my fantasies stemmed from early erotic experiences that I was playfully recreating. I just didn’t want to admit that ever since I started having fantasises I could only think about rape. That perhaps it was nothing to do with him, our power-struggle relationship, or years of dom/sub sexual experiences.

Many women will experience sexual aggression at some point in their lives. I didn’t want to think I was envying their sort. I did some reading, as one should always do in the face of uncertainty and misinformation. You just can’t trust the dominant discourse in our society; look at what the government tells us is normal when they make certain decisions, look at the media’s almost unanimous position on conventional gender roles. In a word: f**ked. So, I read around. I found that it was completely normal. That rape is NOTHING to do with sexual pleasure and ALL to do with power. I reassured myself that no-one is the same and that fantasy is nothing to do with reality. I am outraged that women are sexually assaulted. I feel physically ill when I hear a woman or child has been groped, cat-called, sexually abused, raped. Or a man for that matter. For such a prolific crime, it is largely unreported (and no wonder so many people don’t report it given the disgustingly low conviction rate). In reality I could not be any further from liking it. So, why does it hold so much attraction as a fantasy?

Despite the general haziness of my fantasies (I can’t speak for anyone else), I decided to try and find out what part exactly of this aggression held a lure. I would concentrate and analyse. I attempted to identify patterns. Recently, much to my surprise, I suddenly realised: I identified as both the anonymous perpetrator and the survivor. So I was imagining myself as a man as well? As a relatively cis-female (individuals who have a match between the gender they were assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity) this was a twist. I almost started to ask myself what it meant for my understanding of my sexual, physical and psychological identity. But I stopped. I could take it further. I could keep asking questions. And perhaps I’d eventually find a definitive answer. But did I need to? I’m in a happy, healthy long-term relationship with myself and my partner. I’m not a danger to society or to myself. That is an important point. These fantasies, however contradictory I find them, are a part of my experience in the world. It’s all about accepting them for what they are and moving forward positively. I try to embrace them now and to remind myself that I had it right when I first started questioning what was going on: a rape fantasy is just that: fantasy, not reality.



[Editors note: I received a response to this piece, however due to the anonymous submission am unable to message the author, I have therefore asked the responder if I can post the reply publicly. Here it is:

“I found your article really helpful, thank you. I have always fantasised about rape, and when I actually got raped (and no part of it was fun), I was absolutely horrified with myself that I had always fantasised about it. I was more horrified with myself when the fantasies didn’t stop after the assault. This is something I really struggle with and don’t often hear or read about, so really, thank you for writing down your experiences”]

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