Please note: This piece discusses my sex life — specifically, my sexual fantasies — in a whole lot of detail. Family members and others who don’t want to read about that, please don’t read this one. This piece was originally published on the Blowfish Blog.
Does anybody else do this?
I’ve been doing this for much of my adult life. And I’m starting to be curious about whether anyone else does it, too.
I realize that’s a little oblique. So let me give a concrete example.
Lately, I’ve been having this very intense fantasy about acting out a coercion/ rape fantasy. Consensually, with a consenting partner. In this fantasy, my partner is a professional submissive, someone I’ve played with many times before. She tells me we’ve been playing for long enough now that she’s willing to forego her “no genital sex” limit; I ask her if that means we can act out a rape fantasy, and she agrees. Nervously, but excitedly. Enthusiastically, even. In some versions of the fantasy, she says she was hoping for that.
(Just to be clear: No such person exists. I tend to make up very elaborate backstories for my fantasies.)
In the actual fantasy part of the fantasy — as opposed to the backstory part — we both get deeply into our roles. It’s clear that she’s consenting to it, even that she’s getting off on it… but it’s also clear that the role of the victim is feeling real to her. Just like the role of the perpetrator is feeling real to me. So I get to experience those dark emotions of power, forcing myself against resistance and reluctance, making someone feel frightened and violated and helpless — and getting off on it. And I get to experience those emotions in an ethical context of consent.
And I’m wondering:
What the hell is this about?
It’s a fantasy, for fuck’s sake. Of course it’s in an ethical context of consent. It’s all taking place inside my own head. You can’t get any more consensual than that. Why can’t I just have a nice, normal rape fantasy, without adding in these meta- layers of detachment from it?
And does anyone else do this?
When I first started thinking about this, I thought the problem was how literal my mind is. Ridiculously literal at times. I have a reality check deeply embedded in my brain, and it goes all the way down into my libido. I don’t like impossible or implausible porn; I spend absurd amounts of time figuring out the backstories of my sex fantasies to make them believable; and I rarely have fantasies about things that couldn’t really happen.
But here’s the thing. I can and do enjoy fantasies of force and coercion and even rape… as long as I’m the victim. If I’m the victim in the fantasy, I can let go of my desire for plausibility and realism. I can get into the fantasy of feeling forced and violated, humiliated and powerless… even though I know that the reality would be an appalling nightmare. I don’t have to have fantasies about acting out a fantasy of being raped. I can just fantasize about being raped.
It’s only as a top — as the coercer, the abuser of power, the rapist — that I insert these meta-levels of detachment. It’s only as a top that my fantasy life gets an ethics committee, making sure that even the made-up characters in my head are all having a good time before I can get off.
So I don’t think plausibility is the problem.
Even in my dreams. I almost never have dreams where I’m having sex with someone who, in real life, I want to fuck but shouldn’t. Instead, I have dreams where I almost have sex with someone I want to fuck but shouldn’t… and then back out and say No. (And then wake up, totally annoyed with myself, going, “It was a dream! It would have been okay! Nobody would have gotten hurt!”)
It’s not that I think there’s anything wrong with having coercion/ force/ rape fantasies without the “meta-fantasy” distancing technique. I don’t, at all. I feel very strongly that no fantasy in this world — not a fantasy about being Hitler molesting a kitten, nothing — is unethical. Fantasies are, by definition, consensual. No fantasy is bad.
But apparently my conscience is as deeply embedded in my libido as my reality check. I know that having a fantasy about an unethical act isn’t unethical… but my libido, apparently, knows nothing of the kind. When I get deeply wrapped up in a fantasy, my libido takes it seriously. It thinks it’s real. And if it’s a fucked-up fantasy where I’m being a bad person, it can’t do it.
Which is kind of annoying. It’s not a big deal or anything. It’s just kind of annoying. Kind of ridiculous. And, okay, if I’m going to be totally honest, kind of funny.
And so I ask again:
Does this happen to anyone else?
And if so, what’s your take on it?