Don’t! Stop! Don’t! Stop! Don’t! Stop! Don’t stop, don’t stop, please whatever you do, don’t stop…

Listening to a podcast on sexuality recently, I heard the host say, “Rape fantasies are bad.” Well, I thought, maybe yours are, but mine are pretty good. You see, the thing is, they’re fantasies and I’m not actually being raped.

I’ve had what you might call rape fantasies since I was a little girl. I wasn’t sexually abused as a child, nor have I witnessed sexual abuse. Perhaps it was the old movies I used to watch, black and white horror films airing on Sundays on creature double feature. There were always damsels in distress, their lives threatened as they struggled to free themselves from the evil grip of the creature.

They were beautiful to me, these women who writhed and screamed, who were taken away only to be rescued later by a handsome hero. Yet it was the creatures who interested me more. The brute strength, the raw desire; they had no choice but to take her. I wanted that. To be carried off by a hairy beast or an evil vampire seemed far more exciting than to end up with the boring fool who rescued her.

I can remember reading a letter in an advice column in a Seventeen Magazine before I was the age of 17. Someone wrote in asking if it was normal to have rape fantasies. The response was that it was normal and perhaps it was a way to enjoy a fantasy without guilt. Because if it was rape, then she had no choice. I wasn’t sure about that rationale, but I remember feeling deep relief that I was normal. That my fantasies of being carried off against my will to the lair of a brute, of perhaps being enjoyed by lots of brutes, didn’t make me bad. Even so, it was something I kept to myself. I was pretty sure that no one else would understand, but seeing that letter not only helped me feel normal, it told me that maybe I wasn’t the only one who had these thoughts.

As I got a little older, my fantasies grew with me. I imagined men, neighbors seeing me in my backyard as I was sunning myself out there in my bikini and wanting me so badly that they would come over when I was home alone to have their way with me.

Part of the fantasy is about being desired. So, perhaps a better descriptor would be desire fantasies. For me, being controlled is also part of the excitement.

Read: I Have a Rape Fantasy ... Does That Make Me Crazy?

Rape Fantasies and Recent Personal Discoveries

I have only, in recent years, discovered how much I enjoy being bound during sex. What I like is the feeling of having something to struggle against. Knowing that I am in full control, that my partner will not do anything I don’t want and that I can break free whenever I want. This allows me to enjoy the fantasy that I have given up control. The actual physical feeling of the struggle, of trying to move my arms or close my legs when I feel I can’t, is what builds the arousal in my brain and my body.

I've also discovered that I like a hand placed firmly on the front of my neck. It's something I never would have thought to ask a lover to do, but when one did it, it was a huge turn on. He placed it firmly enough that it had the effect of making me aware of my ability to breathe, but not so firmly that I couldn’t.

In my “he wants me so badly he must have me” fantasies, I have not given consent, I am being objectified and sexualized, and I am not in control. And it's hot, but to be clear, none of those things would work in my real life. When I get to play bits of them out in fantasy, they activate an area of my brain that sends a powerful message throughout my body so that what I’m actually feeling is open and willing. In those moments, I feel I would do anything to please a lover. Again, it’s the feeling of being that open and willing, not the reality of it. There are, of course, things I wouldn’t do. The turn-on is the idea that limits don’t exist. In reality, they do.

The brain is the most powerful sex organ. Mine is smart enough to let me enjoy and play with fantasies of consensual non-consensual sex while being aware that what I truly desire in a lover is mutual respect, love and affection. So before judging a rape fantasy or any sexual fantasy, it’s worth looking deeper at the true desire that lives alongside it.