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Imitation of rape is one of the fairly common scenarios of female erotic fantasies. How can this be explained?

Fantasies about sexual violence by men are one of the most common for women. Why does our imagination give birth to what in reality the risk of being traumatic and threatening life?

There are not so many research on female fantasies about sexual violence. The writer and scientific journalist Matthew Hudson believes that they intentionally do not indulge in wide publicity.

“Many do not want to recognize the fact of such fantasies, fearing that this may be an indirect justification for real episodes of violence,” he says. “However, it is important to study the“ dark sides ”of our sexual nature more deeply, and not try to keep them in the shade.”.

All published studies confirm the prevalence of these erotic dreams – every fourth woman out of ten is indulging in them. One of the surveys was conducted by psychologists of the University of North Texas Joseph Critel and Jenny Bivon. Scientists interviewed 355 women on how often they fantasize the use of forces to them at the time of a sexual meeting and how far their fantasies go. 62% replied that they met in life with such fantasies.

Depending on how the question was formulated: 52% admitted to fantasies about the gross dominance of the partner, but at the same time described the situation of obviously safe. As soon as the word “rape” appeared in the questionnaire, only 32% noted the presence of such imaginary scenarios.

The frequency of fantasies was also greatly varied: 25% of women noted that they appear less than once a year, 13% – several times a year, 11% – once a month, 8% – once a week, 5% – several times a week


. These figures are largely relevant to previous studies.

“Such fantasies can be erotic attractive or, on the contrary, repulsive,” says psychoanalyst Brat Car. – In erotic fantasies, a woman receives only pleasure from symbolic dominance, in obverse fantasies sexual violence is perceived negatively ”.

In the study of critelly and bivons, 45% of women described their fantasies as joyful experiences, 9% called them frightening and causing disgust, 46% admitted that their fantasies were mixed and kept at the same time elements of both erotic excitement and fear.

In their meta -analysis, critelly and Bivon also compared 20 previous studies to evaluate those reasons that can be hidden behind a common scenario of fantasies about sexual violence.

Trying to avoid internal guilt

“I grew up in a family with very strict rules,” says Anna. – It was impossible to even dress with a slight hint of femininity, not to mention the fact to communicate closely with the boys. For a long time I lived with the feeling that sex is something shameful. And only the fantasies in which I was forced to surrender: the end of the world came and the beautiful hero, often similar to the Hollywood actor, took me by force – allowed me to relax ”.

“If a woman was brought up in a conservative environment where a ban is imposed on an interest in sex, then from an early age the only imaginary script in which you can afford erotic fantasies and not suffer from remorse, episodes with male violence are becoming,” says Jenny Bivon. – When she simply does not have a way out as soon as she surrenders to a man. “.

Studies show that women living in an environment, where the manifestation of female sexuality is subjected to repression, fantasize much less. At the same time, it is the fantasies of violence in sex that they prevail.

The need for unconditional acceptance

One of the hypotheses interprets such fantasies as a desire for unconditional love. And violence here is only a symbol of a strong feeling that a partner is not able to restrain. Some experts note that these fantasies come from childhood and puberty when the girl could feel lonely.

“As a child, I had dolls that always played the roles of the princess and hooligan,” says Olga. – the bully attacked the princess, sneaked her and behaved almost like a rapist, and then both dolls happily married. Later, when I grew up and began to imagine myself in the place of that princess, I liked this feeling of my own attractiveness and desire ”.

The more a woman suffers from uncertainty, the more often she is born sexy fantasies with a subtext of violence

“Many girls and girls are faced with elements of dysmorphophobia, when their own body and face seems to them imperfect and repulsive the opposite sex,” says Jenny Bivon. – Often these experiences are exacerbated by really experienced episodes associated with the fact that they were rejected.

At a young age, very many. This can also partially explain such a common scenario of fantasies in which for the sake of women they go to extreme measures to only keep her “.

Studies also confirm that the more a woman suffers from uncertainty and internal fears, the more often she has sexual fantasies with a subtext of violence.

Genetic predisposition to concede the strongest

This hypothesis, put forward by evolutionary psychology, suggests that a person, like many mammals, is biologically programmed to perform a gender scenario: the male is pursuing a female that gives up to the will of the most dominant representative of the group.

In nature, the female, attracting the male, runs away and stops, urging her to catch. And the pose of subordination of the female at the time of sexual intercourse in all mammals, in particular in primates, is equally controlled by part of the hypothalamus – the subcortical structure of the brain.

This mechanism works at the subconscious level, appearing brightly in the script of female and male fantasies. At the same time, critics of this hypothesis emphasize that it cannot be fully confirmed or refuted, because, like most theories of evolutionary psychology, it has not passed empirical testing.

Activation of biological processes

Easy fear that these fantasies are partially painted is at the same time enhances our sexual desire. “It is like the effect of American slides, where the horror and desire to experience strong feelings is inseparable,” says Joseph Criteeli. – The sympathetic nervous system begins to actively function at the moments of severe stress and excitement, a person increases the pulse, the breath is quicked, increased moisture of mucous genitalia occurs. Thus, the acute experiences that occur in fantasies contribute to sexual excitement. “.


The study of the most popular love novels addressed to the female audience shows that the main character in them is subject to sexual violence in 54% of the plots. At the same time, the brutal hero in the image of a warrior becomes a rapist. In the end, the heroine always arises in him not only the animal desire, but also love feelings, and they happily go down the aisle.

“Similar plots in books for both men and women are built on the operation of the most famous sex fantasies,” says sociologist and journalist Michael Castelman. – For a man, this is a fantasy of possession of a woman who enjoys his dominance, for a woman this scenario transforms into the appearance of an imaginary hero who wants her so passionately that he ceases to control himself ”.

Researchers suggest that for a woman the duality of this experience can be attractive: both the unexpected transformation of the rapist in the hero in love and her own position at the same time both the power of the holding of the concubine, and the passionate beloved lover.

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