I have a forced/simulated rape fetish although I have never told anyone or tried it with my current girlfriend. Am I normal?
Rape fantasies are very common, across genders. In fact, most things that are taboo are common fantasies. Specifically, giving up power and taking power are common themes in many sexual desires and fetishes.
Finding these things arousing does not mean you want to hurt people or be hurt by them. Taking power allows us to feel potent, in control, larger than life. It allows us to determine the course of someone else’s experience. It allows us to feel strong and powerful. Giving up power allows us to release, to surrender, to feel small and insignificant. It allows us not to be in control, not to make decisions.
All of these desires are human, common, and normal. Everyone craves some or all of them sometimes. The key is to venture into these territories consensually. When it’s what we want, all of these experiences release endorphins and feel pleasurable. They build trust between the partners and deepen the bond.
As for you, you have options: If it feels too scary to address with your girlfriend, you could keep these desires strictly private. Nothing wrong with that. You can enjoy them by yourself.
Or you can let her in on your fantasies. Given that rape and sexual violence are real sources of fear and hurt for many women, your empathy and consideration is important. You can share your desires as part of a more general sharing of all kinds of desires for both of you. You can also share these specific ones about rape with a measure of concern. The catch in both of these cases is that you’re talking about desire, not initiating action. Make that clear.
Talk about these things when you’re not having sex. Talk about all kinds of desires. Be open to thought-experiments: Would it turn you on if you are the one being forced? Be curious about what turns each of you on by changing the variables of the fantasies: Would it turn her on if you were whispering? What if you were yelling? Or silent? Would it turn you on if she were acquiescing? Or struggling? Talk about limits: How would you feel if she slapped you as part of the scene? How does she feel being held down? Or bound?
Take your time, and have these conversations slowly. Take a break if either of you are feeling threatened or defensive, angry or resentful. Neither one of you should feel pushed into anything, or made to feel their desires are bad or wrong. Desires are just desires, turn-ons just turn-ons. What you choose to do as a couple is up to you. Remind yourselves that you don’t – you really don’t – have to fulfill each other’s every fantasy. And you don’t have to have perfectly matched turn-ons to have a great sex life.
Talk about everything only as possibilities, knowing that some of the desires you each have will be doable, and others not. And remember that, you’re not wanting to rape your girlfriend. You’re wanting to experience a fantasy with her if and only if she also wants to experience it with you. And in that realm, there are many possibilities.
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Karen B. K. Chan is a sex educator, emotional literacy trainer, and speaker in Toronto, Canada. Above all, she’s dedicated to widening the definitions of what’s erotic, cultivating ease and acceptance, and proving that emotional literacy, play, and honesty are sexy. Read the rest of her profile below!
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