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A rape fantasy (sometimes referred to as rapeplay) or a ravishment is a sexual fantasy involving imagining or pretending being coerced or coercing another into sexual activity. In sexual roleplay, it involves acting out roles of coercive sex. Rape pornography is literature or images associated with rape and sometimes Stockholm syndrome as a means of sexual arousal.
Studies have found rape fantasy is a common sexual fantasy among both men and women. The fantasy may involve the fantasist as either the one being forced into sex or being the perpetrator. A 1974 study by Hariton and Singer found that being "overpowered or forced to surrender" was the second most frequent fantasy in their survey; a 1984 study by Knafo and Jaffe ranked being overpowered as their study's most common fantasy during intercourse. In 1985, Louis H. Janda who is an associate professor of psychology at Old Dominion University said that the sexual fantasy of being raped is the most common sexual fantasy for women. A 1988 study by Pelletier and Herold found that over half of their female respondents had fantasies of forced sex.
The most frequently cited hypothesis for why women fantasize of being forced and coerced into some sexual activity is that the fantasy avoids societally induced guilt—the woman does not have to admit responsibility for her sexual desires and behavior. A 1978 study by Moreault and Follingstad was consistent with this hypothesis, and found that women with high levels of sex guilt were more likely to report fantasy themed around being overpowered, dominated, and helpless. In contrast, Pelletier and Herold used a different measure of guilt and found no correlation. Other research suggests that women who report forced sex fantasies have a more positive attitude towards sexuality, contradicting the guilt hypothesis. A 1998 study by Strassberg and Lockerd found that women who fantasized about force were generally less guilty and more erotophilic, and as a result had more frequent and varied fantasies. However, it said that force fantasies are not the most common or the most frequent.
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.
A male sexual fantasy of raping a woman may bring sexual arousal either from imagining a scene in which first a woman objects but then comes to like and eventually participate in the intercourse, or else one in which the woman does not like it and arousal is associated with the idea of hurting the woman.
A study of college-age women in 1998 found over half had engaged in fantasies of rape or coercion which, another study suggests, are simply "open and unrestricted" expressions of female sexuality.
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One form of sexual roleplaying is the rape fantasy, also called ravishment or forced sex roleplay. In BDSM circles (and occasionally outside these circles as well), some people choose to roleplay rape scenes—with communication, consent and safety being especially crucial elements. Though consent is a crucial component of any sexual roleplay, the illusion of non-consent (i.e. rape) is important to maintaining this type of fantasy. A safeword is therefore a common safety measure, given that words that would normally halt sexual activity (e.g. "stop") are often disregarded in these scenes. Continuing with the sexual roleplay after a safeword has been used constitutes assault, as the use of a safeword indicates the withdrawal of consent.
- William B. Arndt, Jr.; John C. Foehl; F. Elaine Good (1985). "Specific Sexual Fantasy Themes: A Multidimensional Study". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 48 (2): 472–480. doi:10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1682.
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- Strassberg & Lockerd 1998, p. 405.
- Strassberg & Lockerd 1998, p. 416.
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- Desmond Ravenstone, "Ravishment 101"
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