Bonded by rape

One account of the pre-historic mating customs of humanity has it that a bride was acquired by a strong warrior and his “best man” by kidnapping a favored female from a neighboring tribe and carrying her off to be deflowered/raped as soon as refuge from pursuing kinfolk was reached.

And this strong and responsive female then resisted with the strength of her limbs and the obstruction to weakness formed by her hymen, but was ultimately overpowered, penetrated, and bonded despite all her efforts. Her rapist was transformed by chemistry into her beloved husband despite and because of his violent taking of her.

The romance novel as pre-history.


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Rape is wrong. Rapists should be stopped. We all agree. Yet, for many women, this idea is hot. Why? Why is this such a powerful idea for so many women? (Not for Louise, obviously, but for many!) Is it really just a woman thing, like the romance novels in which echoes of this kind of scenario are depicted, or is it an idea that stirs (some) men, too?

Why is it thrilling to some? In my opinion, it has absolutely nothing to do with Nancy Friday's theory that it is the immature woman's need not to take responsibility for her own desires and actions. That, I think, is complete and utter rubbish. In my experience, it is women who have the courage to face their desires, even when they are inconvenient and unacceptable, who are drawn to the idea of rape. It takes a lot of courage to admit this, and conversations with men can be most uncomfortable, as I indicated in my article, When rape is a gift.

The enjoyment of “rape” (NOT REAL RAPE!) is, I think, a very primal thing. That kind of raw sex is powerfully intense, and surrendering to it sends one straight into subspace. It is dangerous, and not for everyone. If you play with fire, you have to expect to get burnt sometimes, and you can't blame anyone else for that. But for those of us who like this, getting burnt on occasion can be all part of the adventure.

For me

The turn on of the rape fantasy comes from two main things. The first is that the idea that a man would want me so much that he would be willing to overcome all my objections and even hurt me a little to have sex with me, is a powerful turn on. The fact that he is so desirous of my body that he can not take no for an answer is the thrill. The second part of it is the intensity. The level of conflict and the action and the adrenalin is very exciting.

That being said, I don't have stranger rape fantasies. All my rape fantasies revolve around either my husband or other people I know. It's not about me not wanting to have sex with him, it's about him overpowering my resistance and submitting me to his will, just like Taken In Hand. It is really just another form of being submitted.


Feminists discussed this in the 1970s

It may interest readers to know that feminists discussed these issues in the 1970s. In Nov. 1976, Molly Haskell wrote an article in Ms. magazine called "The 2000 Year Old Misunderstanding". It was followed by Robin Morgan's article "What Do Our Masochistic Fantasies Really Mean?" Far from being inhibited by 'political correctness', these articles initiated a lively discussion among feminists about the prevalence of rape fantasies. The letters column of Ms. received an outpouring of mail from readers who found male dominance highly erotic. One woman disclosed that being spanked by her husband was "sexual skyrockets". While some readers were grossed out, many more leapt to her defense, congratulating her on discovering the key to keeping her marriage amorous. (You can find a sampling of these letters in "Letters To Ms.", ed. Mary Thom.)

I find it important to recall this history in light of the glib charicature of feminists as intolerant of women with submissive desires that is often expressed on Taken In Hand. It is certainly true that the radical feminism of the 1980s, of Andrea Dworkin, Mary Daly et al, was vile, man-hating and highly censorious, though fueled by an understandable anger over male domestic violence. But the 'women's lib' current of feminism was much different.

As a male with the desire to ravish and spank the woman I love, the articles and letters in Ms. were a revelation, long before the internet revealed how commonplace such desires were in both sexes. I 'came out' to feminist lovers in the 1970s. My first spanking partners were feminists. They were erotic pioneers, women with the courage to embrace their desires and explore them with their lovers, male and female. We owe them an enormous debt. I sure do; I've been happily married to one for 28 years.

The "kinky" folklore

I was stunned to see how "kinky" (D/s oriented, spanking etc) the wedding rites used to be. For example, there is one custom, that makes me think of it... locking the bride-to-be in a closet where she was supposed to cry loudly for her virginity that was going to be lost forever and that she'll be parted from her family. We may consired these customs weird or outright sadistic but I think there was much more space for the "threshold rituals" than now-a-days. The wedding "kidnapping" is a mythologic idea that dates back to the kidnapping of Persephone by Hades in Greek mythology. The entrance into the woman’s age from the virgin age is surrounded with many customs, many of them resembling "rape" or having submissive/dominant aspects. This is not surprising when we you realize that in the christianized pagan culture the "kink" now called spanking was a part of the culture... Before the days of political correctness and urbanization came, I think, you would have far more opportunities to experience your sexuality/submissive needs in the customs...
Submissive desires are just so deeply rooted in the female sexuality that it’s no wonder you coma across resembling scenarios from the ancients myths to today’s Harlequins.

Why? Different Reasons

In my opinion, it has absolutely nothing to do with Nancy Friday's theory that it is the immature woman's need not to take responsibility for her own desires and actions. That, I think, is complete and utter rubbish.

I think the idea of forceful rape has a primal appeal to more women than will admit to it. It is powerfully intriguing from a male point of view, that's for sure. I love the idea of taking her, completely ravishing her. I think for most women and men it is likely just that, a HUGE erotic thrill is achieved, a powerful and intense bonding udner the right circumstances.

As far as Nancy Friday's theory goes, I think it is rubbish if we assume that if a woman wants to be raped then she is not taking responsibility for her own desires and actions. This theory sounds presumptious and I would reject it on those grounds alone.

However, I do think in some cases a woman may not get a particular thrill out of being taken except that she may feel that she is not supposed to enjoy sex. She will not want to admit to the man she wants sex so prefers he initiate sex on his own. I think this idea is something some women may want to think about but otherwise I think being bonded by rape may for some be intensely intimate and powerfully connective. One simply need to look at their own intent.

Frank Nelson

It depends on my mood

With me it all depends on what kind of mood I`m in. On some days I prefer tender loving care along with long passionate love making, on other days I like having quickies and once in a while I like it forcefully. And usually my husband can get me in the kind of mood that he prefers. People don`t eat chicken soup every day neither.

Interesting stuff

I've read a lot of the responses from the original thread, When rape is a gift, and the responses here and am amazed at how many people couldn't get past the word "rape" and not see the whole phrase, "rape fantasy". That word has become so powerful in people's vocabularies that they cannot get beyond it. Why doesn't the same confusion occur to fans of "murder mysteries"? Why don't readers of murder mysteries have to explain at great lengths that they really aren't advocating real life murders?

Why is it so difficult for people, who already are here accepting dominant and submissive relationships, to understand that a "rape fantasy" is a sexual fantasy that is more about rough sexual wrestling than real rape? I got tired of semantic arguments that the word "rape" shouldn't be used. Way too many posters went on at length to explain the obvious that rape is bad.

I have known women, who have been raped in real life, but didn't stop having the fantasies. When I asked one woman, how she could continue to have rape fantasies after having been raped, and the answer was quite simply, "because it's different". In a rape fantasy, the woman is in control of how her attacker behaves. In a real rape, she had no control. A rapist used her as an object and controlled her. In her fantasies, her attacker did what she wanted. When she eventually roleplayed those fantasies, it was with a man that she trusted and observed her limits. Just as her companion played with her safety in mind, her struggles were limited to making him work to take her, but weren't so strong as to injure him.

Another woman's take on her rape fantasies is here.

As far as there being something primal about the fantasy, I wasn't around back when cavemen were running around, so don't really know if cavemen were going about and clubbing women and taking them for their sexual pleasure. Precreation is a built in necessity for survival of any species, so wanting sex would be a primal urge. Trying to link a woman's rape fantasies to something primal is a bit of a stretch. Wanting sex would be primal, but fantasizing about it being done against her will is less so. Animal sex between two animals, that meet for the first time, isn't characterized as rape. That act is no less natural than eating. Rape is a civilized term to recognize a nonconsensual sexual act. Animals are not seen as having a perception of consensual or nonconsensual sex--it's simply sex. Looking at a primal reason for female rape fantasies is probably the wrong direction.

I have really enjoyed reading

I have really enjoyed reading this thread. I have what could be called a rape fantasy. At least that is what my partner calls it. What I really desire is for my big strong partner to make me do, and enjoy, something when I am not actually in the mood to initiate the activity. It could be a sex act or any other act. He could "make" me get dressed nice and go out for a nice dinner at a restaurant and the effect is the same for me.

The true turn on is the control of my partner. He knows me so well that sometimes he picks up on what I need even before I do and he makes me do what I need, even over my protests. In the end it always turns out to be a positive thing for me.

Most usually this is a sex act for me. I was raped as a child and as a result have my sexual desires very deeply buried. It rarely comes to my mind that sex is what I want or need. He does think of sex, often. Our way of handling this is for him to tell me it is time, then make me enjoy.

Sometimes this takes the form of a very gentle lovemaking session. Others it is rough and rape-like. But it is never an actual rape in our case because I told him in the beginning that this is what I wanted him to do.

He is my master in all areas of our life. If he wants it, he gets it. And in return I get the love and protection of a wonderful man who would do absolutely anything for my safety and happiness.

Violating vs. Claiming

I think that "rape" can mean two very different things depending upon the energy and intent behind it—violating or claiming. Here is how I see it...

Violating is the sort of rape that is harmful—it is taking from a woman, stealing from her. I have noticed that the sort of person who violates is usually the same sort of person who neglects, they seem to go together. A rape of violation, it can be the sort we read of in the papers, or it can be in a partnership even, when what her husband is doing is using and taking from and neglecting her, rather than cherishing and protecting her.

Claiming is a different thing altogether, it is claiming her not only as his but as his responsibility to truly love and care for, to give himself for.

I think this was a nice article, but when the author says that “her rapist was transformed by chemistry into her beloved husband despite and because of his violent taking of her” I think that’s very doubtful. Chemistry alone could not do that, it is the claiming. Violating means he has no true regard for her and she is not safe with him (whether that be at a body or heart level); nor is she safer and more secure in the world through being with him. Claiming instead lets her know she is his chosen one and he will focus on and cherish and nurture and protect her. HUGE difference.

Funny how an outwardly same action can be done in two utterly different ways.

Bodice ripper novels

I spent my teenaged years reading what were called "bodice ripper novels." My favorite authors were Rosemary Rogers, Laurie McBain, and Johanna Lindsay. The heroines were all strong willed, intelligent women who were "bonded by rape" with their captors. I loved these novels, and I was spellbound by the rape scenes even while I recognized that real rape—some guy with a knife behind the 7-11—was not my cup of tea.

I think that for some of us, there is some deep truth that lies within those "bonded by rape" scenes. I agree with an earlier poster who said that perhaps the appeal was that a man would want me so much that he would do whatever he had to do, to possess me. Even force me to be his.

Rape and Taken In Hand

I'm puzzled by how these two things are supposed to go together. They seem to me be the opposite of each other. Being Taken In Hand is, I thought about wanting to have a man in control, whereas a rapist is a man who has no control at all, he can't restrain himself, but just succumbs to his violent passion. Do out-of-control men appeal to women so much?

Is this an extension of the 'soutern belle' complex that Florence King writes about in 'Southern Ladies and Gentlemen', where she explains that every southern girl was raised to believe that her goal in life was to have as many men as possible crazy about her? Is this what it's all about, the fantasy of driving a man out of his mind with lust? But how can a man who is out of his mind be taking a woman in hand?

relation to Taken In Hand

He is exserting his will in both cases , be it against her or for her.
The relation is in the rape that is of the Taken In Hand kind. One meant to possess her not devalue and harm her.
In Taken In Hand and in this kind of possession she is being taken.

Out of control?

Louise wrote:

I'm puzzled by how these two things are supposed to go together. They seem to me be the opposite of each other. Being Taken In Hand is, I thought about wanting to have a man in control, whereas a rapist is a man who has no control at all, he can't restrain himself, but just succumbs to his violent passion. Do out-of-control men appeal to women so much?

There are two seperate things going on here. The man who takes his woman in hand is exerting control, over her and himself. That is why he is admirable because he controls himself enough to be qualified to control her. I mean, if he was an immature brat who succumbed to all his desires and had no self control, why would anyone want to submit to him? This doesn't mean that he is not capable of losing control but that he is capable of controlling himself.

So the rape/ravishment fantasy, when acted out, shows the woman just how out of control the man can be, just what the possibilities are and what it is that he subdues to protect her normally. It also shows that, though he is so good at controlling himself normally, desire for her is so great in him and that, provided she is willing, he has to let it out sometimes. The other part of the turn on is knowing that he only expresses it because she desires it. If it scared her, if it did not turn her on, he would keep his control. So, though he appears to be out of control, he is still actually in control. That's how he keeps from hurting her.

Louise, you have often said that one of the things that you like about your relationship now that you are Taken In Hand is that your husband controls his temper now. You know what it was like before and you are happy because he exerts control over himself as opposed to losing control as he did before. I think this is much the same thing, at least it is for me.

This is one of the reasons why I tell my husband that, while I don't want him to hurt me, I like it if when I am yelling at him, he yells back at me, if he feels like it. It reminds me that when he does control himself, he is really exerting himself and that he is not just naturally calm and collected. There is actually some passion there.

So, no, it's not about wanting a man who is out of his mind. I certainly don't want to go looking for Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gassey (sp?). It is about wanting a man who knows his mind and his own passions and knows when to control them and when to let them run and has the ability to do both. That's the turn on. The passion of the ravishment only serves to emphasize the control that he exercises in our day to day lives. What is admirable about a man keeping his control if he has no passion that needs controlling?


Rape is the wrong word

I think the wrong word is being used here. What women fantasize about isn't really rape, but reluctant sex.

The heroine in the romantic novels is fighting the attraction to the lead male. She is attracted to him and doesn't want to be. Their beginning interactions start with him in some way indicating he wants her and her denying her arousal or attraction. Once he has decided he will have her, he puts her in a situation where she is trapped. He kisses her and touches her and she can't stop him because he is bigger and stronger and overpowers her. Her words say "no", but her body responds. He awakens her passions and ultimately, she enthusiastically responds.

Depending on the woman doing the fantasizing, add or delete as much resistance as is preferable.

I don't think it's about being violated, which is what real rape does. It's about the man (your man, a fantasy man) proceeding even though you say no because he has read the signs your body is sending. He knows what you need even if you won't admit it. This goes with being taken in hand where he makes decisions in your best interest, even if you initially don't agree.

And for the man, I don't think it's about forcing a woman to do sexual things she doesn't want; things that will degrade her and violate her, but of continuing your attentions until her mind realizes her body wants to respond. You know what she needs even if she doesn't and you won't be sidetracked.

Again, depending on the male involved, increase or decrease the level of struggle to suit.

Personally speaking, I don't want to be raped. I don't want something taken from that I don't want to give. I do enjoy the thoughts of reluctant sex though. Being forced to give something I don't want to admit I want. Being helpless against his superior strength and ability to make my body respond.

It isn't rape if you have an orgasm.

I know there are woman who wouldn't want anything like this and woman who want it to be like the "real thing". I am not saying every man/woman feels like this. But I'm sure I'm not the only woman who likes the thoughts of reluctant sex, even if that's not what they're calling it.

J's Girl

Seeing "rape" in the right context

Hello everyone, i have been a reader here for quite some time but have never posted, until now.

First i want to respond to what J's girl said in her response to this article reagrding women and rape. She said and i quote "if a woman orgasms it isn't rape". i don't know where J's girl got this information, but it is so far from the truth and really an insult to any woman who has been raped. i would say J's girl doesn't really understand the psyiology response of a womans body. Many women who were clearly and undoubtedly "raped" have reported to have "responded" to what was done to them, much to their own horror!! The guilt from this is often a HUGH factor in the womans own healing process because she feels her own body has betrayed her. It can cause a woman much anguish and grief that takes years of therapy to untangle. Many women suffer for years trying to rubuild their own sexuality, with their sex life falling into ruins. i cringe to think about the women who may come here and stumble upon those words and all the guilt and confusion it may rekidle about their rape exerience. To them i say, the mind and body are seperate and what happened to you is NOT your fault.

Rape is not about "conquering virgins" in some distant tribe. It's not about having overpowering lust you cannot control. It's not romantic. It's not a man's way to prove how desireable you are to him. Rape is VIOLENCE. It isn't really about sex at all, sex is just the tool they choose to weild that violence. The sex in rape is meant to hurt, take from, destroy, humiliate, and damage a woman. It is violence against women. i am sure no woman, especially one who has been through the ordeal, would disagree with me.

Now, in the context in which it is being talked about here, in the responses to this article, the "fantasy rape" idea is simply a female submissive desire expressed in the form of a "rape fantasy" because the woman has some inner conflict with accepting her own submissive desires. Every submissive woman desires a strong man. Many woman have trouble accepting their own desires. Put the two together and you have a fromula for a rape fantasy scenario. i just caution the women who enjoy this particular "fetish" to be careful in what they assume about others, you never know who may be reading these articles and rekindling old wounds that took a long time to heal.....thanks for listening!!

I`m a woman who`s been raped

I was raped twice, the first time I was still a virgin and a guy who I was going out with for not very long raped me. It hurt terrible and I did not have any sexual feelings at all as a matter of fact I threw up afterwards. The second time my sister's boyfriend raped me and though I hated it I did have sexual feelings (not an orgasm). I did have some guilt feelings but mostly because of my sister. But we talked it over and I didn`t suffer any long term damage from it. I figured it happened, it`s done and over with, I can`t change it any more. I don’t see where a therapist would've given me any other advice except for making a short story long. I thought it was just better to go on with my life and not force myself to keep thinking about it. Because of certain circumstances I did not go to the police either though I would've liked getting those jerks in trouble for what they did.

Though I do enjoy my husband taking me forcfully at times I don't believe that it's because of some hidden conflict about being raped in the past nor is it from me not accepting my own desires.

I realize that some women take a long time to heal after they've been raped, but I also believe that there are hardly any women, if not none at all, who have been seriously beaten and raped who have sexual feelings about the rape. I was raped but the men didn't beat me, they just held me down and even though I had sexual feelings I got over the guilt feelings quickly. It bothered me more that my sister was heartbroken because she was in love with the guy and he turned out to be a total jerk.



I have just started looking a this site, and am very intrested in the ideas that are brought up. The one thing that I would like to say is that for a man to "rape" said women, in the manner of showing his burning desire to take control of her is in fact not true. In the Taken In Hand view I found that it is the control that a man has over such emotional outbursts to where rape is the conclusion of his success. In theTaken In Hand idea, the man is dominant; the man cannot achieve this if he is submissive to his urges. So I agree that some forceful play is a big turn on for women, and being a man being able to "man handle" my part (for lack of a better word) is a big turn on as well. All agressioin from the day is taken out of play and placed in the bed. That feeling of being able to do such is a great psychological release for me and for my partner. So, is rape a romantic expression of overwhelming appriecation for someone? No. The resistrant the man has is, and knowing when to show your dominant feelings at the right moment. So FYI guys, show her you burn for her by showing her these urges when she is willing to accept what you are trying to go for.



Reading your comments I have to admit made my heart pound. Although I would never like to be raped in the illegal sense, I surely desire to be taken by a man I am attracted to. I am getting married soon, and I have a strong desire to be handily spanked by my new husband as soon as we are at last alone. I want this to be firm and without reservation on his part. If he so chooses to take me sexually in the manner you describe I would love that too, although I would find it impossibly hard to resist, so for me the idea of a very sound and threating spanking is much more powerful. It puts a fear in my heart and my resistance would be more present....thus my surrender to him, which is what I want to feel right then more authentic.