The Thirty Year Old Married Woman Who Wishes She Could be Turned On by More Than that Hackneyed-Rape-Myth Scenario

Dear Couch,

Umm, let's give this another try: I sent in a question, two columns ago, about fantasies. (I'm the thirty year old married woman who wishes she could be turned on by more than that hackneyed-rape-myth scenario.) Now, granted, this isn't quite as funny as the $19.95 penis promise, or as sad as the hymen-hysteric. I realize this. Also, it's a question probably better directed to a shrink. I've been there as well, but was curious as to what you might know about people and their fantasies/impulses. How one's development and life experiences might inform their preferences. You seemed a good person to ask.

Also, I'd be willing to bet I'm not the only woman in the world muddling over this problem: How an urban, married, educated professional -- a so-called ' normal' person comes to be preoccupied with sexual humiliation. What's wrong with me? IS there something wrong with me? If that's not interesting enough for your column, could you possibly answer it off-line? Suggest a web-site or something?

Still curious

Dear Persistent,

Addressing your preoccupation with ' hackneyed-rape-myth' scenarios obviously would require us to examine the prevalence of the same in the trashy romance novel, the equivalent of soft porn for women. Before everyone gets pissed off, let us explain that rape myth is the concept of the forced kiss or forced fantasy. The woman resists initially then succumbs to physical bliss. We're not talking about rape. Rape is rape and it is of course wrong. Is this a fuzzy distinction? Yes. But the simple fact is the two exist separately. Just read this page of romance novel reader's comments regarding the P.C. debate over their favorite genre to get an understanding of that fuzziness. As long as 20 years ago 'rape myth' was examined in Nancy Friday's collection of women's fantasies My Secret Garden: Women's Sexual Fantasies and again in her recent collection Women On Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Sexual Fantasies.

So the question is not if it exists but rather why? Why the hell do a lot of women get turned on by being pushed towards the act? One reason could be the puritanical view of sex by our society. Women are not supposed to enjoy sex. We know this is changing and we're doing our little part to encourage it. But for those women who feel guilty about sexual pleasure for religious upbringing issues or whatever, the force fantasy is an excuse to indulge. This concept is very well described by Lorelei's personal explanation for her force fantasy issues. So rest assured you are not the only one to have this 'preference' and it's less important to dissect how you came to be the way you are than to accept it and enjoy yourself.

And to all you little horny bastards that think you can run out and push yourselves on women thinking 'no' means 'yes' well slap yourself in your right testicle cause that's not the case. Unless you want to end up explaining to the biggest guy on the cell block that your dropping the soap does not mean 'yes', we suggest you continue to conduct yourself as a gentleman.

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