Men’s Rape Fantasies vs. Women’s Rape Fantasies

rape fantasyA 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.

What is the origin of this particular fantasy and is it the same thing for men as it is for women?  Is it triggered by something that happens to us in our childhood or is it 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 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, this sexual fantasy allows us to get what we want and enjoy it without feeling any of guilt. 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. Perhaps it is a huge ego boost; the man is so over-come with passion and lust for the woman that he can no longer control himself so he takes what he wants whether she agrees or not.

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 such a fantasy allows the man to regain control over women and perhaps also get revenge for how he and his father were treated. Another point of view has been put forward saying that men fantasize about taking a woman by force because, in so doing, they are free to act as they please and are thus not burdened by the fear that the woman will not be impressed by the man’s sexual skills.

Do women ever fantasize about raping another woman or a man? How common is the rape fantasy among men who dream of being taken by force by a woman or another man?

For women the focus is often on the sex; on being forced to submit to and perform many various sexual acts. The excitement comes from giving over control to someone else and being able to enjoy what is happening without having to worry about whether we should be enjoying it or not. It also allows the woman to experience new and possibly frightening activities without having to ask for or orchestrate them.

For men, according to the articles I found on the subject, the aspect of the fantasy they find the most exciting is the control, the power they have over the helpless female. It is said that real rape has nothing whatsoever to do with sex and maybe there is a little truth in that also when it comes to the rape fantasy. Although I find it hard to imagine that men are not aroused by the sexual aspect of the fantasy as well as the dominance.

Agree? Disagree? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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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)

(Edit June 2016: I wrote this article a while ago and some of the above links are not longer good. I will try and update them at another time.)

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15 comments

  1. Bren Quandry says:

    Well, Charlotte, you have done it again…made me think…

    For me, the fantasy is definitely one of control. Forcing a woman to submit to my whims and my desires gives me that control. In my fantasies I love the idea of pulling her hair and biting her back or neck. I don’t think it has much to do with my feelings regarding a mother or father figure, but it definitely has to do with that desire to be in control.

    Perhaps it is attributable to my being an outdoorsman. In nature, many male animals “take” the females. Though, in most species, it is generally when she is in estrus, she does not choose from her suitors. Males battle for dominance and then he takes…and takes…

    I love the fantasy of simply taking what I want. Though I would never in reality, I to fantasize when I see an attractive woman in a mall or on a train or anywhere. My wife frequently receives the benefit of my fantasies shortly after. I am not particulary rough with her, but when these fantasies are an impetus to sex, she gets a moer aggressive lover in bed with her. She is typically pleased with it…as am I.

    Thank you for the resources, as well. I love to read research. Another reason why I keep returning to your blog is that you stimulate my mind as well as … other places. Cheers.

    • Charlotte says:

      Hi Bren, I’m very happy to read that your wife gets to benefit from your excitement rather than the unsuspecting stranger who is the cause of it but who may not necessarily desire it quite as much!

      I remember being on a train once – it was an overnight train with sleeping cars – and I was alone with a man. I thought about trying to change cars as I was sure I’d booked a women only place, but I couldn’t be bothered. Also, I’m ashamed to admit it and it’s very unPC, he was so good looking that if he had wanted to rape me it wouldn’t have actually been rape.

      I love research too and reading about the psychological theories behind why people act the way they do. And, I’m delighted to hear my blog has that effect on you. It makes it so much more enjoyable to write!!!

  2. andretti says:

    Just to give you one data point, I’m a male with submissive tendencies, and I’ve had several recurring fantasies where I am “forced” by women. One common fantasy I’ve had is being kidnapped by a sorority, to be kept tied in their house for an entire semester!

    I would think that some kind of “rape fantasy” is common among people with submissive tendencies, and there tends to be a lot of women who have those leanings.

    Some folks have a problem understanding why women would ever fantasize about being raped. I read one person who put it this way: fantasies are about what you want; rape is about getting what you don’t want; ergo, it’s “impossible” to fantasize about being raped. However, this viewpoint ignores the complex – and often paradoxical – nature of the human sex drive. I often get turned on fastest when I imagine myself having to submit to the whim (or whip) of a dominant woman – particularly when I’m coerced into doing something I might not want to do, for the sole purpose of amusing or arousing her…

    • Charlotte says:

      Hi Andretti, What a scrumptious fantasy!

      And you make an excellent point: perhaps the rape fantasy is simply a natural occurrence among anyone who is submissive and although women tend to be in general more submissive than men, there are certainly many men who enjoy turning complete control over to a woman.

      Thanks for posting!

  3. Sid says:

    Indeed interesting it is something I often think about i.e. where do these desires come from?
    Not sure I personal agree with all of the theories. I don’t think that the ideas proffer explain my desires, I think also that it is interesting that the same upbringing can produce different perspectives on the same theme. It does amuse me at times the desire I have to understand myself and the fact the however much I intellectualise it, if I see an stimulating image/ film or hear some tone or suggestion, that works, that may well even be innocent, all of the deconstruction goes out of the window as one is immediately turned on.

    • Charlotte says:

      Hello again Sid! I’m not sure which theory I agree with either, and perhaps the reality is that our sexual fantasies are brought about by a mixture of many different factors. Human sexuality is extremely complex… and fascinating!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve wondered about the origin of the rape fantasy myself. I used to write for an adult website which provided stories and pictures, and had to pitch concepts to the webmaster. From the figures and feedback he shared, I noticed themes of force, and particularly forced consent, were the most popular, so I tried to figure out just why, so I could address those in story.

    I think you’re dead on with men. It may not, however, be only a family relationship that makes men feel …well, emasculated is rather a strong term, but probably pretty close. We have, over the years, discouraged more violent ways of presentation and problem-solving, even as violence has become more prevalent in what we watch. Men tend to be more physical, even as learners — if you watch kids in a classroom, the vast majority of kinesthetics, or kids who learn best from doing something active, are going to be male. Therefore, the fantasy of just being able to shove aside all the societal constraints and beat the chest is a pretty compelling one.

    I noticed, also, sometimes, a *bitterness* in some of the feedback from the men, which was a little scary. Almost a misogynistic bent. I’ve noticed this attitude elsewhere, too. I do some gaming (not as much as I used to) and have noticed this attitude quite a bit among gamer geeks — at least, the ones who are socially awkward, unattractive or in other ways not the guys who are ever going to walk home with the Prom Queen. They might be painfully shy and not be able to relate well to women because so few share their interests; they might be socially skilled but pay no attention to hygiene or physical upkeep. The end result is the same, though: they’re not getting the girls. Moreover, when they do approach girls, they’re most likely to turn them off.

    There’s a very deep resentment among some of these guys, and I know for a fact that many harbor this kind of fantasy. In their case, I think, it’s a dual fantasy: they want revenge upon the women they desired who denied them, and they want desperately to shed their skins and be .

    Among the women, again, I think you’re absolutely dead on with the ‘guilt-free’ aspect of a rape fantasy (kind of like the theory that calories consumed in front of the refrigerator don’t count, you know!) But I also think that there’s an element of ego boost in there, too. The all-powerful conqueror doesn’t make off with just *anyone*. He only takes the best. A rape fantasy makes the woman involved a prize to be won, more beautiful/fertile/unusual/desirable than all her sisters. And we women do like our one-upswomanship. 🙂

    I think it’s tied in with the also very common fantasy of concubinage. After all, it’s romantic to think of someone wanting you enough to shower lavish gifts upon you and treat you like a queen. But concubinage is not whoredom; there’s a big difference between the pampered courtesan and the five dollar hooker on the streetcorner. At least as far as the fantasies are concerned, that is!

    Just my two cents. But great article!

    • Charlotte says:

      Hi Elizabeth, Thank you for such a well-written and fascinating post!

      What you said about the woman’s rape fantasy being partly an ego boost reminded me of a girl I knew when I was about 13. We would often tell each other little stories about meeting a gorgeous pop star and falling in love, or being at a party where a famous movie star ignores all the beautiful women and spends all evening talking to us. They were PG sexual fantasies! One of our favorite themes was a new boy – drop-dead gorgeous of course – would come to our school and he would see me or her (depending on who was telling the story) and ask us out. We would say yes and then we would hold hands and leave the school together. I remember very clearly how, when she told the story, she would go into great detail about how all the girls in the school saw him and wanted him, how jealous they were when he asked her out and how they all watched in awe as the two of them left school hand in hand. For her, what was the most thrilling was that he had picked her out from the other girls and not only that, but they saw her with him.

      Maybe sexual fantasies are so complex because they are actually fulfilling many different needs that we have – some of which are not actually sexual.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Ack. Cut off a sentence in posting, probably because I had it in brackets. I said.. ‘shed their skins and let them be’…and it would have ended as ‘insert your mighty-thewed, bare chested warrior hero of choice here’. Sorry!

  6. advice_giver (m) says:

    Thanks Clara for this great article and links to interresting external resources.

    And particular thanks to Elizabeth who introduced a few not too obvious aspects.

    A closer look should be taken at the exact scenario of a force/rape fantasy. If there are only two parties involved (a man and a woman) then who is the dominating part? I guess in the vast majority of fantasies – no matter a man’s or a woman’s – it will be the man forcing/raping the woman. But still there will be many with a ‘reverse’ situation.

    I guess mostly the key aspect in these scenarios is exercising vs. being exposed to POWER. I find it noteable that the ‘activeness’ of a party’s role depends on the point of view one may have on the objective scenario.

    Any dominating male may be seen as having the power to oppress whereas his ‘victim’ female may be awarded the power to seduce. On the other hand the inferiority in physical power of the female (in this scenario) may be considered compared to the weakness of the male to resist her ‘charms’.

    But there are also many other possible scenarios of force/rape fantasies. One of them including a third party watching either accidentally or being forced. This third party may stand for a known person (mother, husband,…) but may also be some random stranger.

    Another (common?) close to force/rape fantasy is being the one who is watching.

    Possible backgrounds could be competition, ie. to beat or lose against a rival … or the like … just personal ideas.

    • Charlotte says:

      Hi Advice Giver, Thank you for your comments!

      I completely agree with you that there are many other variations to the rape fantasy / force fantasy theme (which is why I had to limit myself to just the one for the article or it would have been 10 pages long!).

      The addition of a third party watching is indeed a popular scenario. If that person is being forced to watch and suffering because of it, it can add an extra level of cruelty (and therefore excitement!) to the fantasy. It’s the same thing with forcing the victim to say things that he or she obviously doesn’t mean, such as begging to be fucked, or beaten, or say how much he or she is enjoying the ordeal. I love mind games!

  7. Vegetarian Cannibal says:

    …I work with rape victims… Nobody WANTS to be raped. Period. It’s not something I would wish on anyone. It’s not “rape fantasy” but “forceful fantasy” I think you are describing. At the end of the day, both parties WANT to have sex. Rape doesn’t involve consent and rape isn’t about sex. It’s about POWER. I don’t write or read anything that perpetuates the myth that rape is an enjoyable pleasurable experience. It isn’t.

    It disgusts me.

    • Charlotte says:

      I absolutely agree, which is why my website is called Force Fantasy and not Rape Fantasy. I also mention in both the About and Welcome pages that everything on this site is about the sexual fantasy of being forced. The fantasy – not the real act of rape.

      For this article I used the expression rape fantasy because that is what most people call it and how it was referred to in the articles I used as reference. (I have also heard it called ‘consensual forced sex role play’ and other similar terms, but that is much less common.) The title I kept as Force Fantasies, however, because to me I was not writing about rape; I was writing about a sexual fantasy.

  8. Jackdaw says:

    What’s interesting — and seems not to have been remarked upon — about the Wikipedia entry is that men, too, are considerably more interested in being over-powered than in being the one doing the overpowering. Assuming that women are the same way (and I suspect they’re even more inclined to submission) that suggests that there a lot more subs and bottoms out there than there are tops. And in my experience that’s true. I have a few theories as to why this should be the case, but they’re not fully formed, so I’ll just mention the fact and move on.

    • Charlotte says:

      That’s an interesting observation, Jackdaw. I wonder if it has anything to do with how stressful modern life is. It can feel very good to give over complete control and power to someone else. I would love to hear your theories!

      I’ve found that there are certainly usually more submissive women than there are men interested in being the dominant partner. I haven’t met many women who only want to top or men who only like to bottom, but I know they are out there.

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