Sex Ed

What Forced Sex Fantasies Mean In the #MeToo Era

May 21, 2018 by Justin Lehmiller

In the real world, forcing someone to have sex is something that is widely regarded as a repugnant act. By contrast, in our sexual fantasies, the prospect of being forced to have sex is something that many people find to be a major turn-on. For instance, research on the prevalence of so-called “rape fantasies, “ or fantasies about being forced to have sex against one’s will, has found that they are quite common. Indeed, studies have found that anywhere from 31% to 57% of women report having had these fantasies; further, among those who report such fantasies, somewhere between 9% and 17% indicate that this is one of their favorite and/or more frequent fantasies [1].

I’ve been thinking about forced sex fantasies a lot since the emergence of the #MeToo movement and how to square the fact that many people are turned on by the idea of forced sex with the fact that there’s such widespread condemnation of rape and sexual assault. I put my thoughts on this subject into my most recent column over at Playboy.

In this article, I talk about the ways in which fantasies about forced sex (1) are different from the reality of forced sex, (2) where psychologists think these desires come from (hint: they’re not necessarily a product of prior sexual victimization), and (3) why being turned on by the thought of forced sex doesn’t make you a traitor to the #MeToo cause. Check out the full article here to learn more, including what you need to know if you’re thinking about acting on such fantasies.

Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology? Click here for more from the blog or here to listen to the podcast. Follow Sex and Psychology on Facebook, Twitter (@JustinLehmiller), or Reddit to receive updates. You can also follow Dr. Lehmiller on YouTube and Instagram.

[1] Critelli, J. W., & Bivona, J. M. (2008). Women’s erotic rape fantasies: An evaluation of theory and research. Journal of Sex Research, 45, 57-70. doi: 10.1080/00224490701808191

Image Credit: iStockphoto

You Might Also Like:

Post Featured Image
Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

Read full bio >