One of the incredible people I used follow on Twitter once wrote about the concept of rape fantasy and how many publishers refuse to publish erotica flavored with the concept of sex taken by force. She goes on to elaborate about why it occurs and why the line of reasoning behind much of that is total bullshit, doing an excellent job of deconstructing the reasoning often used by those who wish to censor writers of such material.
She made many valid points, and I won’t rehash them here (sadly, her blog is no longer online; I’ll refer to her as “RG” herein). It was a must-read article, though, especially since her views on the subject and how it fits into her concept of sexual self identity meshed pretty consistently with my own. 😛
One point she brought up does merit some attention here, however. She stated that, “…I find the term ‘rape fantasy’ something of a misnomer.” I agree.
Like her, I also have a problem with the phrase “rape fantasy,” largely due to the fact that rape, as an English word, has a pretty well-defined meaning – a meaning that eliminates the concept of consent in the act. Anyone who knows anything about the nature of “rape fantasy” knows that, even though the fantasy itself is constructed as a “rape,” by virtue of it being a fantasy, the recipient of the attack is in fact controlling (and thereby consenting to) what’s taking place. This may manifest itself through fantasy control in the person’s own mind if it is being used for masturbatory fodder, or through the use of pre-scripted parameters or safe words if it is being physically acted out.
Believe it or not there are a lot of people who go to great lengths to act out rape fantasy scenarios these days. And as RG pointed out in her piece, studies have shown that about six out of every ten women has entertained “rape fantasy” to one degree or another. Those of you who’ve read my Fantasy & Violation piece have some idea of how vivid my personal fantasies are along these lines.
Given all of this, I have elected to coin a new term for what we’ve been using to refer to consensual non-consensual sex. That term is sexual force fantasy.
Why not “forced sex fantasy?” Because these fantasies don’t always directly involve insertion of a penis into an orifice, which is what most people think of when they think of “sex.” But they all involve the application of force in the perpetration of a sexualized encounter – sexual force, as it were. So the term “sexual force fantasy” just seems to work for me as a descriptor of what we’re talking about here a lot better than just about anything else I can come up with.
Using that term should allow us to differentiate between non-consensual sex (i.e., real rape) and the fantasy of a sexual encounter involving consensual (sometimes very graphic and unconstrained) force. This not only makes it safer to discuss for those who have these sorts of fantasies, but allows us to disabuse ourselves of those who’d pervert the statistics toward an inappropriate use.
What do you guys think? Does this work for you? Do you have a better term for it, perhaps? If you don’t like it, why? Regardless, now that you’ve read this, you may wish to read my new piece on how to make a rape fantasy scenario work.