Monday, September 16, 2013

Reader Question: My significant Other Wants Me to Rape Them. HELP!

Rape fantasy. In my experience discussing human sexuality with others, this particular fantasy shows up on a surprisingly regular basis. However, it's not quite common enough to generate much discussion among the general population.

I recently received an email from a reader. Their significant other shared a fantasy of being raped. The reader felt like this particular fantasy was too far outside their comfort zone, so they were seeking some guidance.

Before we get into the mechanics of "rape play", we need to come up with solid operational definitions for the term "rape fantasy." Fantasy rape is almost always significantly different from actual sexual assault. Some hard-core practitioners may blur the lines, but do so only after a significant amount of trust is developed between the involved parties. Sexual assault rape (rapey rape) involves unwilling sexual activity usually carried out in a violent manner with no regard for the victim. It's a horrible, traumatic crime. Despite the opinion of some members of the US Congress (talking to you, Todd Akin), all rape is forcible rape. Consensual rape (fantasy rape) is carried out between consenting individuals that have discussed the issue beforehand and taken precautions to assure the fantasy doesn't cross a line to actual assault. So...

  • Rapey Rape: The unlawful or undesired compelling of a person through physical force or duress to engage in sexual activity. It's a horrible crime that has serious psychological, sociological, and anthropological ramifications. 
  • Fantasy Rape: Sexual fantasy involving imagining or pretending being coerced or coercing another into sexual activity. In sexual role-play, it involves acting out roles of coercive sex. (thanks Wikipedia!) Worth noting: people can fantasize about being the "attacker" or the "victim." 
Victims of rapey rape never want the act repeated and people that have rape fantasies never actually want to experience rapey rape. I have never encountered an exception to this. Again, there's a very distinct difference between the two.

Thankfully, many of us have grown up in an era where we've had the lessons of consensual sex hammered into our heads. Well, at least those of us that were fortunate enough to sit through a freshmen college orientation. However, our hyper-sensitivity toward sexual assault also makes us a bit gun-shy about admitting or engaging in fantasy rape.

The solution, like pretty much any relationship issue, is solved through communication. The person that would like to enact the fantasy should initiate a discussion about their desires. This can get tricky as a novice probably won't know where their own lines are drawn, thus cannot effectively communicate with their partner. In that case, go slow. Set up a deliberate, simple scenario. Maybe the "attacker" tears the "victim's" clothing then holds their hands down as they have sex. 

Once a few scenarios have been enacted, the person with the fantasy should begin to get a handle on the exact nature of their desires.

Before the first scenario is enacted, develop safe words. This is good practice in any sexual relationship, but critically important in rape play. I recommend using something goofy that will obviously stand out when things get heated. I also recommend practicing the safe word for a day or two before testing it out. An even better system is to have a series of safe words to indicate comfort level. The most common in BDSM play is:
  • Green light: Fuck yeah, keep it up!
  • Yellow light: Okay, I don't like where this is going. Change course.
  • Red light: Stop immediately.
The most important rule: When the "stop immediately" safe word is used, the "attacker" MUST stop immediately with no exceptions. If they do continue, this moves the act to the sexual assault category AND ruins the necessary trust between the participants. Also worth noting- since yelling "green light" may be a bit distracting, it can be implied.

Follow those rules and you'll be able to safely and confidently explore your fantasies.

Yeah, but doesn't the discussion and safe words ruin the fantasy?

To some, maybe. However, I see it as the price of admission. Rape fantasy toes a dangerous line, and the consequences of miscommunication are too great. Talk. Develop safe words. Start slow. If all goes well, you can discuss pushing the boundaries. 

I have a rape fantasy... how do I share it with my significant other?

In a perfect world, we'd all be involved in relationships where we felt a level of trust and intimacy to discuss any topic AND we'd have a willingness to try anything at least once or thrice. At the very least, it would be nice if we all shared the same dark sense of humor that would allow us to discuss fantasy rape in a humorous fashon. Sadly, we do not live in said perfect world. 

"I want you to rape me" or "I want to rape you" may be a little too intense for some. I would recommend taking a slightly more politically-correct route of mild domination/ submission and working from there. The mediocre book "50 Shades of Gray" ('Murica, damn it!) is a good, socially-acceptable way to acquaint someone to the concepts. Read it aloud to each other.  

These are the basic points of rape fantasy. This is far from an all-encompassing guide, so feel free to ask questions in the comments section!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Open Source Sexuality Project: Curious People Needed

What are your most significant sexual issues?
  • Do you ever wonder if your thoughts and behaviors are "normal?"
  • Do you wish you had more or more enthusiastic sex?
  • Do you wish you had more a more intimate connection to your partner?
  • Do you want to improve your flirting skills?
  • Are you curious about trying something that interests you, but are held back by inhibitions?
  • Do you have problems with arousal or orgasm?
  • Do you question your gender or your sexuality?
  • Do you want to improve your skills in the bedroom or just have an insatiable curiosity about all things sexual?
Many people in our society struggle with these issues. The answer to all of these issues is education. We live in a pretty miraculous age- all of the solutions to these specific issues can be found by communicating with the right people and the Interwebz makes it exceedingly easy to do so. 

Unfortunately there's no single comprehensive resource that covers all major topics and the vast grey area in between. Many resources cast sexuality in a negative light by inducing shame or guilt in an attempt to control a populous (common among strict religions, some medical pratitioners.) These groups doesn't really solve issues, they just force repression, denial, and "treatment" of supposed "illnesses" which leads to even more serious issues.

Other groups focus on one particular lifestyle or demographic (like heterosexual male exhibitionists in Sweden.) This can be great for learning about particular behaviors, but there's little cross-pollination of ideas. Sexuality is compartmentalized, so there's no opportunity to learn from people that may engage in dramatically different activities.

This project couples the crowdsourcing principles of the open source movement with the sex-positive movement.

The open source movement is a philosophical approach to the sharing of information. Historically, knowledge has been treated like fossil fuel. It was to be hoarded and tightly controlled. A select few (academics, the information industry, etc.) would provide access to knowledge for a fee. The open source movement democratizes knowledge. It treats information like an abundant renewable resource. As such, everyone has free access to knowledge. Anyone can contribute; anyone can learn. Wikipedia is the best current example of the power of open source sharing to create a robust body of knowledge.

The sex-positive movement is a philosophical approach to sexuality. It promotes open, honest expression of sexuality and pleasure as long as the activities are safe and consensual. It encourages people to explore their own sexuality to improve health and happiness. Comprehensive sexual education is one of the hallmarks of the sex-positive movement. The more we know about sexuality, the more fulfilled our lives become. Also, associating beliefs or activities with individuals humanizes the breadth and depth of human sexuality. This makes us far more accepting of people that are different from us. 

The Open Source Sexuality Project joins these two emerging social forces. Because both movements flourish when barriers are removed, it's important to set as few ground rules as possible. The project is based on a few simple guidelines:
  1. Participants must have a genuine curiosity about human sexuality.
  2. Participants must be open to discussing and learning from anyone sharing experiences between consenting adults.
  3. Given all of us have different interpretations of sexual morality, participants must be willing to suspend judgement of others. 

How Will the Project Grow?

I'm not interested in creating a movement that will change our entire society. I'm more than happy to limit growth to the truly curious that embrace both the open source as sex-positive movements. However, there is a certain threshold that is required to develop good conversations. Once this happens, the project becomes a self-sustaining entity where the cultivation and sharing of knowledge is fueled entirely by the curiosity of the participants. 

My vision for growing the project is based on reaching as many like-minded people as possible without diluting the original intent. To that end, I need 25 volunteers that are willing to plant the seeds for the project. These 25 volunteers have to be willing to do the following:
  • Register as a user on the forum (can be anonymous.)
  • Visit the forum at least twice per day for 30 days; start at least one thread per day respond to at least one thread per day.
If you would like to volunteer, there will be formal process. Simply visit the forum, register, and create a thread or two. I don't want to give directions beyond this, nor do I want to plant "seed" topics. I want the conversations to go wherever the volunteers wish to take them. 

If you know of someone that may be interested in participating but won't likely see this post, please forward them the link. My friends-of-friends network is far more diverse than my own friends network.

Preemptively, thank you to everyone that does take part in the project. Together, we can build a positive network of like-minded people that will serve to create a great resource to educate each other. I sincerely appreciate your sense of curiosity and adventurousness!