A rape fantasy is a sexual fantasy that involves imagining being forced or coerced into performing sexual activities. While the notion of a rape fantasy can be triggering for many people, research suggests that this fantasy is actually quite common among people of all genders. A 2009 survey found that 62% of women had had rape fantasies, and some had them as often as once a week. Research by Dr. Justin Lehmiller found similar results for women (61% said they'd fantasized about forced sex,) and also found that 54% of men and 68% of nonbinary people had fantasized about forced sex. It is important to note, however, that while people may fantasize about a forced sexual scenario, Dr. Lehmiller's research found that most of these fantasies involved consent; people were not fantasizing about actual rape.
Rape fantasy includes a clear power play dynamic that many people, particularly those in the BDSM community, enjoy. There is also some evidence that people are drawn to this fantasy for the higher level of thrill and novel sexual experience. One study found that women who enjoyed rape fantasy were more sexually experienced and interested in a broader range of sexual stimuli than those who were not. Rape fantasies have also been found to exist on a continuum; about half of people reported them as being completely erotic, while the other half reported they were partially erotic and partially repulsive. This suggests the taboo nature of this fantasy may also be part of its appeal.
Some researchers have noted that rape fantasies are not that well understood as a whole, partly because researchers are wary to reinforce the problematic and incorrect belief that women want to be forced into sex.