Why do some women fantasize about being raped?

Why do some women fantasize about being raped?

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  1. #1

    Why do some women fantasize about being raped?

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrR9fZIkl8Y&feature=player_embedded]YouTube - CHOKE Clip - "What's the safe word?"[/ame]

    Rape, Fantasies, and Female Arousal
    Posted Monday, January 26, 2009 8:24 AM | By William Saletan


    Do some women fantasize about rape? Do some become aroused during rape? If so, what does it mean?

    Daniel Bergner, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, raises those questions in the magazine's current issue. Obviously, Bergner's a guy. So am I. But the evidence and theories in the article come from women who have been researching female sexuality. For instance, Meredith Chivers, a psychology professor at Queen's University,
    has confronted clinical research reporting not only genital arousal but also the occasional occurrence of orgasm during sexual assault. And she has recalled her own experience as a therapist with victims who recounted these physical responses. She is familiar, as well, with the preliminary results of a laboratory study showing surges of vaginal blood flow as subjects listen to descriptions of rape scenes.

    Moreover,

    According to an analysis of relevant studies published last year in The Journal of Sex Research, an analysis that defines rape as involving "the use of physical force, threat of force, or incapacitation through, for example, sleep or intoxication, to coerce a woman into sexual activity against her will," between one-third and more than one-half of women have entertained such fantasies, often during intercourse, with at least 1 in 10 women fantasizing about sexual assault at least once per month in a pleasurable way.

    How could anyone want something done to her against her will? Isn't that self-contradictory? And if she doesn't want it, why would she become genitally aroused?

    The answer, some of these researchers propose, is that women's sexuality is split. In one of Chivers' studies, for example, "men's minds and genitals were in agreement" while watching sexual videos. But among women, genital blood differed sharply from self-reported arousal: "During shots of lesbian coupling, heterosexual women reported less excitement than their vaginas indicated; watching gay men, they reported a great deal less; and viewing heterosexual intercourse, they reported much more." Even lesbians, while watching videos of men, "reported less engagement than the [blood-flow monitors] recorded."

    Chivers speculates that female sexuality might be split between "physiological" and "subjective" systems. This could explain the rape data:

    [T]o understand arousal in the context of unwanted sex, Chivers, like a handful of other sexologists, has arrived at an evolutionary hypothesis that stresses the difference between reflexive sexual readiness and desire. Genital lubrication, she writes in her upcoming paper in Archives of Sexual Behavior, is necessary "to reduce discomfort, and the possibility of injury, during vaginal penetration. ... Ancestral women who did not show an automatic vaginal response to sexual cues may have been more likely to experience injuries during unwanted vaginal penetration that resulted in illness, infertility or even death, and thus would be less likely to have passed on this trait to their offspring." Evolution's legacy, according to this theory, is that women are prone to lubricate, if only protectively, to hints of sex in their surroundings.

    In other words, part of the female arousal system is designed for self-protection and is particularly well-suited to what we now regard as abuse. Sounds horrific, right? But Marta Meana, a psychology professor at the University of Nevada, offers an arguably more disturbing theory. She points to research suggesting that 1) "in comparison with men, women's erotic fantasies center less on giving pleasure and more on getting it"; 2) "as measured by the frequency of fantasy, masturbation and sexual activity, women have a lower sex drive than men"; and 3) "within long-term relationships, women are more likely than men to lose interest in sex." These and other findings fit her theory that female desire is driven by "being desired."

    So does reproductive logic, according to Chivers:

    [O]ne possibility is that instead of it being a go-out-there-and-get-it kind of sexuality, it's more of a reactive process. If you have this dyad, and one part is pumped full of testosterone, is more interested in risk taking, is probably more aggressive, you've got a very strong motivational force. It wouldn't make sense to have another similar force. You need something complementary.

    And here's where it gets icky.

    A symbolic scene ran through Meana's talk of female lust: a woman pinned against an alley wall, being ravished. Here, in Meana's vision, was an emblem of female heat. The ravisher is so overcome by a craving focused on this particular woman that he cannot contain himself; he transgresses societal codes in order to seize her, and she, feeling herself to be the unique object of his desire, is electrified by her own reactive charge and surrenders. ... [Meana] spoke about the thrill of being wanted so much that the aggressor is willing to overpower, to take.

    Does this mean women want to be raped? No. Both theories assume the opposite. And that's a pretty safe assumption, given the logical impossibility of willing a violation of your will. The challenge is to explain the data on rape fantasies and arousal from sexual assault, given that nobody literally wants to be raped. What part of rape or the idea of rape is arousing? And what part of the woman is aroused?

    The first theory, lubrication, suggests that rape-related arousal is purely physical and reflexive, leaving the will untouched. Your vagina says one thing, your brain says another, and (this is the crucial part for men to understand, morally and legally) your brain is what matters. But that doesn't explain the data on rape fantasies. Fantasies imply brain arousal. And that, in turn, implies that we should be asking not which part of the woman is aroused, but which part of the rape fantasy is arousing.

    The second theory, which Meana frankly calls narcissism, posits a clear answer. We generally define rape as sex against the victim's will. But a woman mentally aroused by a sexual assault fantasy isn't thinking about the victim's will. She's thinking about the perpetrator's. She's imagining being wanted. That's what she wants—and the fact that she wants it exposes the fantasy, by definition, as not really rape. The imaginary act arouses her not because the woman in the scenario doesn't want it, but because the man does.

    But if that's what these fantasies are—one person drawing her will from the will of another—what does it say about us? If derivativeness of will is, as some of these researchers posit, a fundamental difference between male and female arousal, what does it say about equality between the sexes? Are women, in this sense, inherently less autonomous?
    Last edited by snail; 04-02-2009 at 10:10 PM.



  2. #2

    Quote Originally Posted by Beloved View Post
    Consider this an extension of the What happened to all the nice guys? thread.

    YouTube - CHOKE Clip - "What's the safe word?"

    Rape, Fantasies, and Female Arousal
    Posted Monday, January 26, 2009 8:24 AM | By William Saletan


    Do some women fantasize about rape? Do some become aroused during rape? If so, what does it mean?

    Daniel Bergner, a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, raises those questions in the magazine's current issue. Obviously, Bergner's a guy. So am I. But the evidence and theories in the article come from women who have been researching female sexuality. For instance, Meredith Chivers, a psychology professor at Queen's University,

    has confronted clinical research reporting not only genital arousal but also the occasional occurrence of orgasm during sexual assault. And she has recalled her own experience as a therapist with victims who recounted these physical responses. She is familiar, as well, with the preliminary results of a laboratory study showing surges of vaginal blood flow as subjects listen to descriptions of rape scenes.

    Moreover,

    According to an analysis of relevant studies published last year in The Journal of Sex Research, an analysis that defines rape as involving "the use of physical force, threat of force, or incapacitation through, for example, sleep or intoxication, to coerce a woman into sexual activity against her will," between one-third and more than one-half of women have entertained such fantasies, often during intercourse, with at least 1 in 10 women fantasizing about sexual assault at least once per month in a pleasurable way.

    How could anyone want something done to her against her will? Isn't that self-contradictory? And if she doesn't want it, why would she become genitally aroused?

    The answer, some of these researchers propose, is that women's sexuality is split. In one of Chivers' studies, for example, "men's minds and genitals were in agreement" while watching sexual videos. But among women, genital blood differed sharply from self-reported arousal: "During shots of lesbian coupling, heterosexual women reported less excitement than their vaginas indicated; watching gay men, they reported a great deal less; and viewing heterosexual intercourse, they reported much more." Even lesbians, while watching videos of men, "reported less engagement than the [blood-flow monitors] recorded."

    Chivers speculates that female sexuality might be split between "physiological" and "subjective" systems. This could explain the rape data:

    [T]o understand arousal in the context of unwanted sex, Chivers, like a handful of other sexologists, has arrived at an evolutionary hypothesis that stresses the difference between reflexive sexual readiness and desire. Genital lubrication, she writes in her upcoming paper in Archives of Sexual Behavior, is necessary "to reduce discomfort, and the possibility of injury, during vaginal penetration. ... Ancestral women who did not show an automatic vaginal response to sexual cues may have been more likely to experience injuries during unwanted vaginal penetration that resulted in illness, infertility or even death, and thus would be less likely to have passed on this trait to their offspring." Evolution's legacy, according to this theory, is that women are prone to lubricate, if only protectively, to hints of sex in their surroundings.

    In other words, part of the female arousal system is designed for self-protection and is particularly well-suited to what we now regard as abuse. Sounds horrific, right? But Marta Meana, a psychology professor at the University of Nevada, offers an arguably more disturbing theory. She points to research suggesting that 1) "in comparison with men, women's erotic fantasies center less on giving pleasure and more on getting it"; 2) "as measured by the frequency of fantasy, masturbation and sexual activity, women have a lower sex drive than men"; and 3) "within long-term relationships, women are more likely than men to lose interest in sex." These and other findings fit her theory that female desire is driven by "being desired."

    So does reproductive logic, according to Chivers:

    [O]ne possibility is that instead of it being a go-out-there-and-get-it kind of sexuality, it's more of a reactive process. If you have this dyad, and one part is pumped full of testosterone, is more interested in risk taking, is probably more aggressive, you've got a very strong motivational force. It wouldn't make sense to have another similar force. You need something complementary.

    And here's where it gets icky.

    A symbolic scene ran through Meana's talk of female lust: a woman pinned against an alley wall, being ravished. Here, in Meana's vision, was an emblem of female heat. The ravisher is so overcome by a craving focused on this particular woman that he cannot contain himself; he transgresses societal codes in order to seize her, and she, feeling herself to be the unique object of his desire, is electrified by her own reactive charge and surrenders. ... [Meana] spoke about the thrill of being wanted so much that the aggressor is willing to overpower, to take.

    Does this mean women want to be raped? No. Both theories assume the opposite. And that's a pretty safe assumption, given the logical impossibility of willing a violation of your will. The challenge is to explain the data on rape fantasies and arousal from sexual assault, given that nobody literally wants to be raped. What part of rape or the idea of rape is arousing? And what part of the woman is aroused?

    The first theory, lubrication, suggests that rape-related arousal is purely physical and reflexive, leaving the will untouched. Your vagina says one thing, your brain says another, and (this is the crucial part for men to understand, morally and legally) your brain is what matters. But that doesn't explain the data on rape fantasies. Fantasies imply brain arousal. And that, in turn, implies that we should be asking not which part of the woman is aroused, but which part of the rape fantasy is arousing.

    The second theory, which Meana frankly calls narcissism, posits a clear answer. We generally define rape as sex against the victim's will. But a woman mentally aroused by a sexual assault fantasy isn't thinking about the victim's will. She's thinking about the perpetrator's. She's imagining being wanted. That's what she wants—and the fact that she wants it exposes the fantasy, by definition, as not really rape. The imaginary act arouses her not because the woman in the scenario doesn't want it, but because the man does.

    But if that's what these fantasies are—one person drawing her will from the will of another—what does it say about us? If derivativeness of will is, as some of these researchers posit, a fundamental difference between male and female arousal, what does it say about equality between the sexes? Are women, in this sense, inherently less autonomous?
    Geez I hate replieying to these things...but here I go anyway...

    I dont see how this is a continuation of the nice guys thread? Why would 'nice guys' be thinking about this? There may well be a valid discussion about the motives of the mind during sexual assault, but that misses the point - that discussion is about sexual assault. Where is the connection between 'nice guys' and sexual assault?

    The research is all bollocks anyway, its a tired old attempt by apologists for sexual violence that follows in a long line of sad attempts to throw the responsibility for rape away from men and onto women. It's disgusting. ''Oh I couldnt help myself, its the way she dressed/acted/led me on''. NO IT IS NOT. It is a man's responsibility to keep his fly zipped when his advances are rejected. What the hell has the primeval defense response of a woman's physiology have to do with this?

    Someone very close and very dear to me was raped by a man, long before I met her. I do not have words to describe what I would do to him if i ever met him. There are no words. Do you think a part of her enjoyed being attacked liked that? Do you think she wanted that? Dont make an arse of yourself, you should know better. Dont play games with serious topics that hurt real people and wreck real lives. It's not funny, its not clever and it's not alright. For someone who claims to respect women you show no respect at all - by posting this you are not opening it up to debate, you are advertising it and promoting it. Your attitude is a joke.
    Aurora Fire, LadyJava, Mercury and 3 others thanked this post.

  3. #3

    Actually, many women have confessed to having rape fantasies. The correlation I make to the Nice Guys thread is that sometimes women say they look for certain personality traits in men and choose guys who demonstrate the exact opposite. I'm not claiming that any woman would literally want to be raped. But who are YOU to denounce the validity of this experiment. Who are YOU to say that women don't fantasize about being raped? I don't believe I, in any way by posting this thread, made an "arse" out of myself. I realize that rape is a serious crime. Doesn't that warrant an investigation into why many women have CONFESSED to having rape fantasies? You can try to put me on a guilt trip for this, but it's not going to work.

    This doesn't in any way justify rape; nor was I implying that it did.
    Last edited by Spooky; 04-02-2009 at 07:26 PM.
    Vegard Pompey and Colors Of My Mind thanked this post.

  4. #4

    Quote Originally Posted by Beloved View Post
    Actually, many women have confessed to having rape fantasies. The correlation I make to the Nice Guys thread is that sometimes women say they look for certain personality traits in men and choose guys who demonstrate the exact opposite. I'm not claiming that any woman would literally want to be raped. But who are YOU to denounce the validity of this experiment. Who are YOU to say that women don't fantasize about being raped? I don't believe I, in any way by posting this thread, made an "arse" out of myself. I realize that rape is a serious crime. Doesn't that warrant an investigation into why many women have CONFESSED to having rape fantasies? You can try to put me on a guilt trip for this, but it's not going to work.
    Many? Lets see some statistics please.

  5. #5

    Did anybody actually read the OP? I have heard women admit that they've fantasized about being raped.

  6. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by Beloved View Post
    Did anybody actually read the OP? I have heard women admit that they have fantasized about rape.
    How many women do you know? How many have admitted that?

  7. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Beloved View Post
    Actually, many women have confessed to having rape fantasies. The correlation I make to the Nice Guys thread is that sometimes women say they look for certain personality traits in men and choose guys who demonstrate the exact opposite. I'm not claiming that any woman would literally want to be raped. But who are YOU to denounce the validity of this experiment. Who are YOU to say that women don't fantasize about being raped? I don't believe I, in any way by posting this thread, made an "arse" out of myself. I realize that rape is a serious crime. Doesn't that warrant an investigation into why many women have CONFESSED to having rape fantasies? You can try to put me on a guilt trip for this, but it's not going to work.

    This doesn't in any way justify rape; nor was I implying that.

    Why should I not denounce the experiment? I have a brain and can use it. I'm not obliged to accept it word for word as gospell. Who are you to be so homerically insensitive with such a serious topic? Casually moving from women's tastes in men to sunconscious desire for rape. Once again you are trying to make all women look two faced. They are not. I am sorry, genuinely, that you have had such a bad experience with one or more women, but stop this awful crusade you have here, this vendetta to cast all females in the same mould.

    Its not a guilt trip - its a free society where you can say as you wish and so can I - we can argue, disagree, ignore, it's all fine by me - but if you feel guilty there is only one person to blame. Whether you feel guilt is up to you - but quite frankly I think you should
    starcaller thanked this post.

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora Fire View Post
    How many women do you know? How many have admitted that?
    I have heard two women in this forum admit to it.

  9. #9

    How many women are members of this forum? I'd imagine the statistics on the women that enjoy rape would be under 1%.

  10. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Beloved View Post
    Did anybody actually read the OP?
    I read it, but you have to admit the thing is pretty long. It's much easier to just post reactionary material. In that vein, I'll respond to the thread title specifically by adding a link to to a thread in some other forum.

    Who's been sleeping in your head

    It discusses a theoretical origin of recurring sexual fantasies in general.


 
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