What Forced Sex Fantasies Mean In the #MeToo Era

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In the real world, forcing someone to have sex is something that is widely regarded as a repugnant act. By contrast, in our sexual fantasies, the prospect of being forced to have sex is something that many people find to be a major turn-on. For instance, research on the prevalence of so-called “rape fantasies, “ or fantasies about being forced to have sex against one’s will, has found that they are quite common. Indeed, studies have found that anywhere from 31% to 57% of women report having had these fantasies; further, among those who report such fantasies, somewhere between 9% and 17% indicate that this is one of their favorite and/or more frequent fantasies [1].

I’ve been thinking about forced sex fantasies a lot since the emergence of the #MeToo movement and how to square the fact that many people are turned on by the idea of forced sex with the fact that there’s such widespread condemnation of rape and sexual assault. I put my thoughts on this subject into my most recent column over at Playboy.

In this article, I talk about the ways in which fantasies about forced sex (1) are different from the reality of forced sex, (2) where psychologists think these desires come from (hint: they’re not necessarily a product of prior sexual victimization), and (3) why being turned on by the thought of forced sex doesn’t make you a traitor to the #MeToo cause. Check out the full article here to learn more, including what you need to know if you’re thinking about acting on such fantasies.

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[1] Critelli, J. W., & Bivona, J. M. (2008). Women’s erotic rape fantasies: An evaluation of theory and research. Journal of Sex Research, 45, 57-70. doi: 10.1080/00224490701808191  

Image Credit: iStockphoto

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