What's Behind Rape Fantasies?

Women's secret thoughts reveal unconscious, often brutal, desires

Sex therapist Barbara Keesling, Ph.D. and author of Sexual Pleasure (Hunter House, 2005), thinks rape fantasies are common, but cautions women not to share these thoughts with their lovers. "Rape fantasies are an extension of a woman's tendency to fantasize about being a submissive person in a sexual encounter. There are gradations, from a man being on top of her to coercing her in some other way, culminating in him raping her. You should only share fantasies if you are the type of couple who don't have any iota of sexual jealousy between you." Otherwise, being too open can backfire and lead to misunderstandings.

Our erotic thoughts can't always be boiled down to a single, snappy sentence. The more complex, crazy, and out there, the better. Let your mind run wild. Don't worry about what others may think about your thoughts—they're yours, and serve a purpose you may not even be aware of. Keesling summarizes, "Most people's fantasy life involves harmless, individual ways to work out some sexual explorations. It's OK to fantasize about stuff that's legally forbidden." Asking "Am I normal?" kills our fantasies if we think the answer is no; that's a shame because what turns us on fuels our uniqueness and kindles our most powerful sex organ—the brain.

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