Perhaps It’s Men Who Fantasize
Women’s Sexual Submission
The attraction of sexual submission, even in
its extremes, is remarkably widespread.
A high percentage of women entertain fantasies
where they are forced to have sex.
Rape fantasies are a place where politics
and Eros uneasily meet. It’s where what we
say and what we fantasize are at odds.
Although fantasies are something we can’t control,
they seem to be saying something about modern
women that nearly everyone wishes wasn’t said.
Perhaps they should be called
“fantasies of submission”.
It’s the wish to be beyond will,
But why, for women especially, would free will
be a burden? Why is it appealing to think of
what happens in the passive tense?
Why is it so interesting to surrender,
or to play at surrendering?
It may be that power is not always that comfortable,
even for those of us who grew up in it.
It may be that equality is something we want only
sometimes and in some places and in some arenas.
It may be that power and all
its imperatives can be boring.
ROPE is a film series documentary produced
and directed by Eric Minh Swenson on the
contemporary Southern California art scene.
ROPE is a film that focuses on the intricate
beauty and ornate process of rope bondage
as art and liberation from sexual norms.
There’s a fictional account of a woman lying
on a gynecologist’s table perversely
fantasizing about having AIDS.
It would free her from ambition, from responsibility,
from the daunting need to make something of her life.
It’s a great scene, a vivid piece of real-seeming
weirdness, which raises the question:
Is there something exhausting about the relentless
responsibility of a contemporary woman’s life?
Is it the pressure of economic participation,
about all that strength and independence
and desire and going out into the world?
It may be that, for some, the more theatrical
fantasies of sexual surrender offer a release,
a vacation, an escape from the dreariness
and the hard work of equality.
“the focus is on her fascination with self-injury
both as a form of escape and as a kind of dark indulgence”
What If a Woman
Wants to Be Degraded?
Women receive mixed messages about sex:
Sex is evil. Sex is good inside a marriage. Don’t show your body or men are more likely to sexually harass and abuse you. If you like sex, you are a slut. If you don’t like sex, you are frigid and cold.
Sex is an inextricable part of life, and the more we fight against that fact, the more we punish ourselves. The punishment is particularly harsh against women, but it is also borne by anyone who doesn’t have a traditional relationship.
What is the connection between sexism and porn? The myth of the “wicked woman” is so pervasive, any woman who chooses to express her sexuality openly is called out and criticized.
I know the anti-porn feminists disagree with me and mostly believe that porn is degrading to women, because in their estimation porn reduces women to basic pleasure tools for male fantasies.
What if a feminist wants to be debased, dominated, and disrespected? What if she’s turned on by that? Is it wrong? Shouldn’t she be allowed to express her sexuality without judgement?
The majority of women have submission fantasies. From classic romance The Flame and The Flower to classic erotica The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty to Twilight BDSM fan fiction to 50 Shades of Gray, submission themes are immensely popular in female erotica.
Where does this interest come from? Almost every quality of dominant males triggers arousal in the female brain: dominant scents, dominant gaits, deep voices, height, displays of wealth, displays of physical strength.
Role-playing master/servant roles is likely a way for women to activate ancient submissive cues shared with other female primates while also activating the female brain’s less ancient cues for strong males.
That’s why so many women want their partner to pretend they are a savage beast, a powerful man, a brutal man, an authority figure, or an outright rapist—but always someone who takes charge in the bedroom and has his way with her.
The individual details of a woman’s “dominant male” fantasy are highly variable and depend on her own experiences, personality, and other erotic tastes.
Whether you want your husband to pretend to be the family physician or a Nazi doctor might depend on your past medical experiences.
Whether you want your boyfriend to dress up like a werewolf or a lion or Smokey the Bear might be influenced by your childhood literary preferences.
Based on online data gathered from millions of women from around the world—all of these submissive fantasies reflect a healthy, natural, and utterly normal sexual brain.
We should never underestimate the central importance of dominant and submissive roles in sexual arousal. These run through all of male visual pornography and through female erotic narratives. It’s one of the very few erotic interests that men and women share.
Both sexes prefer sexual content with dominant males and submissive women, though some men appear to be born with a preference for male submission and a smaller portion of women appear to be born with a preference for female dominance.
Her Sexual Fantasies
There’s evidence suggesting half of Heterosexual women
have fantasies about other women that involved some kind
of sexual experience”. Does this mean they’re bisexual?
Lesbian? Bicurious? Who knows? Who cares?
We don’t need to label every thought that comes into our minds, unless doing so helps us in some way. I’d imagine that there are plenty of heterosexual men who’ve entertained a homoerotic fantasy at some point, but are reluctant to admit that for fear that doing so would “make” them gay.
The same goes for sadomasochism and dominance and submission. Plenty of people get off to BDSM scenarios they wouldn’t necessarily want to try, yet too many are ashamed of these fantasies and don’t even fully admit them for fear of being seen as somehow deviant, when the fact is that eroticising power, helplessness and pain are extremely common.
My girlfriend recently confessed she has some very dirty thoughts when we have sex. Nnone of them are about me — they’re all about strangers.
Like things she’s seen in porn or imagined after reading erotic stories. Is that a bad sign? Shouldn’t she be thinking about me during sex?
A woman’s mind wanders more during sex, something scientists call “cognitive distractions.” More often, women’s minds wander to nonsexual things such as laundry, unfinished work, packing school lunches or whether they turned the porch light off before bed.
We women think about our responsibilities and all the things we should get done far more than we should — and especially during sex.
Your girlfriend is thinking some thoughts that likely arouse her and help to enhance her experience of sex. That’s my assumption, since you didn’t mention her feeling shameful or guilty about her thoughts.
If she likes these thoughts and they help her to feel good, then great! There is no rule about what people should think about during sex, and thank goodness. The last thing we all need is the “sexual fantasy police.”
Although not all men watch porn, the majority do. My guess is that you, therefore, have thought about other people during masturbation. Maybe some of these thoughts have carried over to your sex life, too.
As long as your girlfriend enjoys being sexual with you, does it matter if her experience is heightened by some additional sexy thoughts?
it may make you feel more tolerant of your girlfriend to check out some popular sexual fantasies among women. For example:
1. Sexual Submission
Women often imagine themselves being ravaged and taken control of — it doesn’t mean you want it in your real sex life, but it’s fun to entertain the idea. Fantasize about someone powerful having his way with you sexually. Maybe there are blindfolds or restraints. Maybe you’re taken by surprise!
2. Voyeuristic Sex
You’re being watched while you’re having sex, maybe being forced to have sex in front of other people. You might also be the one spying on someone else having sex. Anyone, a stranger or someone you know, can be the subject of this fantasy. You would be ashamed — maybe ruined — if anyone ever found out. But that’s exactly what makes it so good!
3. Being a “Bad” Girl
Women who follow all the rules in daily life may dream of letting the bad girl out to play. Maybe you strip for a roomful of men or seduce a man you’ve just met for casual sex. You’re aggressive, and you go after who and what you want with no apologies!
4. Taking Control
Many women dream of taking charge in their favorite sexual fantasies. You could be a dominatrix leading a man back to your hideout and planning to make him your sex slave. You’ll tie him up until he promises to be submissive, and then you’ll tell him when, where, and how to touch you.
Her Rape Fantasies
A large number of women have occasional
fantasies of being forced into sex.
Do they feel guilty?
The desire to to tame a dangerous man?
An open attitude to rough trade?
Sexual blame avoidance
This is the most popular explanation. It recognizes
that women’s erotic desires may trigger feelings of
anxiety, guilt, and shame.
How can women enjoy robust sexual fantasies
without developing these feelings? Fantasize
about being forced.
That way, women aren’t responsible
for the sex and needn’t feel distressed
about it. I was forced. It wasn’t my fault.
This explanation reflects the arc of romance
fiction, which is wildly popular among women
(and the single largest-selling category of fiction).
In romance novels, a powerful, dangerous man becomes
so enthralled by the protagonist that he must have her,
even if his pursuit is assaultive.
Eventually, she tames him and they marry and have children.
The sexual-desirability explanation says that women have
rape fantasies to bolster feelings of seductiveness and
desirability. I’m so hot. I drive men crazy.
This explanation says that women who enjoy sex and accept
their enjoyment without anxiety, guilt, or shame feel
sufficiently free to play with erotic scenarios
beyond the boundaries of what they’d ever want
to experience in real life. It’s fantasy.
I’m free to fantasize anything.