"Rape Fantasy" seems to be all over in the book world these days. I get requests to review it all the time. I see it milling about on book promotion pages and author pages all the time. And when I see it, I get angry.
I mean spitting mad, blind rage type of anger, folks. I've seen this terminology lifted up and defended. "Don't judge what other people are into," they demand. "Their bedroom, their choice," they yell in all caps.
These people aren't fantasizing about rape though, and that's the problem here. Rape isn't something anyone fantasizes about, and saying that it is detracts from the severity and depravity of it.
They don't actually want to be raped. What they want is to decide to yield control of their bodies over to someone else for a while. What they want is to feel used and abused. What they want is for someone they trust to treat them like an object for a while.
What they want is not rape.
They aren't fantasizing about rape.
They aren't fantasizing about a lifetime of shame and regret.
Years of wondering what they could have done differently. What if I wore a longer skirt? What if I didn't go to that party? What if I didn't accept that date? What if I didn't take that shot? What if I had told my parents the first time it happened?
That's not what people who claim to have these fantasies are longing for.
They aren't wishing for a lifetime of trust issues.
They aren't fantasizing about not being able to walk in a parking lot alone.
They aren't dreaming about freezing up during sex with their spouse, over twenty years after it happened.
They aren't hoping for a lifetime of secrets and lying.
They don't desire to flinch ever time men of a certain age or build come near.
They aren't asking to be constantly suspicious for the rest of their lives.
They aren't longing for a broken family and people to point the blame at them.
They aren't envisioning social media exploding with their story.
They don't want a lifetime of nightmares and flashbacks.
All of that and so, so much more is all a part of rape that they aren't fantasizing about.
They don't want any of that.
They don't want to be raped.
What they want is an experience where they can lose control for a while. But where they get to decide that it's what they want.
Rapists don't give their victims a choice.
What people with a "rape fantasy" want is a one-time experience that they can wake up from.
Rape isn't a one-time thing.
Even if there is only one rape, it lingers.
It doesn't go away.
You can't shut it off.
They want to know that it was their choice. It was what they wanted. Through it all, they still held control.
That isn't rape.
That's a lack of control fantasy.
Yes, there's life after rape. But no matter how long ago it was or what kind of counseling you received, it will forever color your life in ways you would never ask for and can never control.
That's not fantasy.
That's a nightmare that never goes away.
Stop romanticizing abuse.
Stop minimizing the reality of rape.
Rape is not a fantasy.