I have been struggling with my sexuality for a few years. My main concern is that I become greatly aroused when thinking about rape. It is not a fantasy, but I often cannot feel any kind of arousal when thinking about "regular" sex. I am also bisexual, and have never been sexually abused or assaulted to the best of my knowledge.
This is worrying me, because I have great difficulty imagining being intimate with my partner and I have never experienced an orgasm when we have become sexually intimate. I want to have a healthy relationship, but I fear I will never experience satisfaction with another person.
Should I tell my partner about my arousal when imagining being raped? Is there something wrong with me? I am really confused.
The single most common theme in romance novels is some variation on the "gentle rape." That is, a woman engaging in sex because she "has to" in some way, such as out of gratitude or obligation, or because of mild force. This theme is intensely appealing to women in American society because it absolves the woman of responsibility for being, or wanting to be, sexual. After all, the predominant messages are that "Nice girls don't, those who do are nasty, and those who enjoy it are sluts!" I hypothesize that you inherently want to feel aroused, but that when you start to have those feelings, intense guilt quashes the positive feelings, and the thoughts of rape take the responsibility out of your hands.
For reasons probably related to guilt induced by Judeo-Christian messages, many people experience guilt around their thoughts of rape. I implore you to re-think the purpose (and groundlessness) of the guilt.
I encourage you to share your arousal when thinking of rape with your lover(s). You might be delighted with what they share in return based on your role modeling! In addition, many heterosexual and homosexual couples engage in light bondage and rape role playing precisely for these reasons. Incorporate it as a positive force in your sex play instead of fighting it. If it is still distressing, consult a sex therapist.
This question has been answered by Dr. William Fitzgerald, a.k.a. Sexdoc. He is a bona fide sex therapist. He is one of the sex therapists at the Silicon Valley Relationship and Sexuality Center, in Santa Clara, California. For more of Dr. Fitzgerald’s work, visitors can check out Ask the Sex Doc, his website devoted to answering questions about sex therapy, sexuality, and relationships.For more information visit: http://www.sexdoc.com/