The Fantasy of Being Ravished

50 shadesAs with many of my recent articles, the idea for this one came through a twitter conversation with Illimitableman about the nature of female fantasies. Specifically those involving “The Desire to Be Ravaged” and the observation that rape seems to punch above its weight in terms of media attention, with a new article appearing every day. Yet, the best-selling series of female porn in recent memory, “50 Shades of Grey” features coercion on a level that would qualify as rape by most modern standards. Despite “50 Shades of Grey” depicting what many modern journalists and activists would outline as rape, abusive and coercive, it sold 70 million copies in the U.S alone, has been translated into 50 languages, and outsold Harry Potter as the fastest selling paperback. This caused me to look into the “Bodice Ripper” genre [4] of “romance novels” to see if there was a pattern to them that gives insight into why such stories hold such an appeal.

You may know a man through his choices of vice and his imagination. If one were to dig into the production and distribution of male sexual fantasies in the pornographic industry, it becomes quite clear what many men fantasize about. One could by analyzing this develop a framework, to the end of determining the nature of male desire. Pornographic movies made for men, are often focused on an absence of foreplay, the women are ready to go and to engage in any act the man desires. It is often a non-emotional encounter, where one expects little would take place in the aftermath other than potential booty calls. In a funny sense, it is a safe space where the man can openly embrace his sexuality and sexual desires free of the normal psychological and social barriers.

Assuming that the female variant of pornography, romance novels follows a similar patterns, I selected to explore the seedy world of best selling romance novels in the “Bodice Ripper” genre. For those who are unfamiliar with the genre, it normally features a heroine, who despite being very beautiful is also quite naive when it comes to carnal pleasure. Often she has been betrothed by her father or male guardian, to a classic Beta male provider archetype quite a few years her senior, in what has been deemed an appropriate marriage. She then meets the alpha male, often in the form of a rogue of some variety who is the opposite archetype of the Beta provider. While highly attracted to the rogue, she faces a conflict between her ego, super ego and ID.  Her super-ego is offended that such a brute would behave the way he does, yet her ID is on fire with desire. Over time her ego seeks to mediate the two, rationalizing that her Beta fiance is a safe future and would make a good husband and father by social standards, yet she cannot forget the rogue. Finally, they find themselves alone and he overpowers her and familiarizes her with a world of carnal pleasure unlike no other.

The Bodice Ripper and reality

The “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, starts off as a traditional romance novel, with the alpha male protagonist in a position of power and dominance over his young, innocent female friend. He is in full control of the relationship, the dynamics and their time together. As the trilogy progresses, the relationship slowly twists and turns, ending as a classical happy ending with the couple married and expecting their second child. This represents a trope very common in romance novels, that of the unrepentant Alpha male that falls head over heals in love with the female, and thus elects to leave behind his former lifestyle and become beta bucks for his woman. This is a subtle power dynamic, wherein the relationship starts with the male in the leadership and dominant role, ending with the role reversal with the female holding the power. This is representative of the female fantasy of “Taming the Alpha“, in which the power dynamic itself is the focus, not the relationship. A female does not doubt her ability to be the sexual conquest of an Alpha, however she doubts her ability to get him to settle down for her, thus the fantasy is one in which the Alpha falls so head over heals in love with his unicorn, that he throws caution and trepidation to the wind, and fulfills the goal of the feminine imperative.

The sub-genre in the romance novel industry, known as bodice rippers [4,5] was mostly popular in the 1970s, however as the 80s, 90s and 00s rolled by they gave up their place for more “feminist inclusive” romance novels featuring stronger heroines, less rapacious male characters, in short a more feminist friendly romance genre. Gone was the virginal, innocent and naive heroine who is simply too much to resist for the strong, muscular, long-haired, rebellious alpha, who ripped her clothes off and threw her in a haystack. Enter the strong, independent woman, with a troubled past, who really wasn’t looking for romance, but in a weak moment gave in to her urges and found herself falling for her fireman/police office/billionaire/[insert tired cliche here].

What comes to mind at this point, is that seeing as the “bodice ripper” had been out of fashion for 30 years, how did the modern variant become so popular? [6] While the physical coercion is somewhta absent from the 50 shades trilogy, it does tackle other forms of pressure, such as psychological and emotional consent. 50 shades follows the classic trope of Alpha meets young, innocent, naive woman. Woman enters into relationship on the Alphas terms, doubting herself substantially along the way, yet ends up married with children. The Alpha having given up his sexual strategy and accepted the one she prefers.

A red thread in the bodice ripper style is that the relationship between the heroine and the male character develops out of a situation, where at first she despises him, as representative of everything she perceives as being wrong. The form of a Byronic hero [7] is quite common. The hero is frequently the direct opposite of the heroine, if she is poor, he is noble, if she is noble he is poor and so on. As they spend time together, however an uncomfortable attraction forms within her, that forces her to review everything she knows about right and wrong.The heroine tortured and troubled by the conflict between her mind and her body, pines over him, yet despises him for some time, often to build tension. Supporting characters help build his character as hard, yet vulnerable, perfect yet flawed, Alpha yet beta. If the male character was a real person, he would be suffering from a severe case of dissociation identity disorder, as his entire personality consists of inconsistent dichotomies.

The heroine’s conflict is often carried on, chapter after chapter. She tries to forget about him, then randomly meets him, she dreams of him, reasons with herself that her body is leading her astray for a hundred pages or so, until they are finally alone, he throws her on a pile of hay, rips her bodice and has his way with her. Once this takes place the pacing of the piece of writing takes a predictable path, where they fall in love, get married and live happily ever after. Thus, she gets her now tamed and neutered alpha, who turns into her husband, provider and father of her children.

In this situation, one could argue that the Hero throwing her down on the haystack, is in fact validating her innate narcissism, she is so attractive to him that he cannot help himself and has to have her then and there. Never mind that this is set in a time where this would ensure his death should she report him to the authorities. He does not care if he is killed in the aftermath, it will all be worth it as long as he can have her now. His desire for her is so strong that it overrides his rational thought, his innermost values, even his sense of self-preservation. What brings her satisfaction is not the sex itself, but the idea that the man has placed his very life into her hands, it is the power over him that is her aphrodisiac. Through his consumption of her flesh, she consumes his soul.

To contrast with the reality of a rape, a woman is grabbed from behind, by an unseen assailant, or she falls asleep after ingesting copious quantities of alcohol or other drugs, and wakes to find herself being penetrated by another party against her will, is quite a different situation. Rather than hand her the feeling of power, it is the taking away of all her power. Physically in that she is overpowered, mentally in that the Machiavellian machinations that she engages in are now worthless to her. Finally, evolutionary, in that she has lost control of her hypergamy, in that the man who took her by force was not selected by her, thus she has no idea of his genetics, however by implication it would follow that a man who could easily liaison with women would not rape.

Her solipsism, is exposed for what it is; hollow. Despite her self-image as strong, independent, capable, intelligent and however else she views herself, it does not matter because force can always override it. It breaks one of the cultural delusions of our modern societies, that despite our progress, our civility and our culture, a forceful animal lurks beneath, threatening to crush the veneers of polite society. In the bodice ripper case, the woman is ultimately in control, and being ravished represents her femininity conquering the stronger male. The male is also the male of her choosing, and one that optimizes her hypergamy. He affirms her feminine power and her desirability to the Alpha male, therefore validating her narcissistic self-perception.

In the reality case, the man was merely looking for a target of opportunity, thus it does not validate her innate narcissism. The rapist is not likely to optimize her hypergamy as great looking, alpha male billionaires tend to not need to hide in the bushes wearing a ski-mask on the prowl for targets of opportunity. Rather than being seen as a unique snowflake among her gender, for whom the male cannot control his animal desires, she is seen as “whatever woman walks by when nobody is around to help“, it is completely random. A useful contrast is perhaps “50 shades of Grey” as opposed to “Irreversible” or “Last House on the Left“.

The Dichotomy

My contention would be that case A: The Bodice Ripper serves to satisfy solipsism and hypergamy, in that it the male character in such novels is created in order to hit all the “Yes” buttons a woman has. Thus the “fantasy of being ravished” works to satisfy her hypergamy through the male always being the embodiment of traits that give him a very high sexual market value. Christian Grey for instance is aloof, good looking, very rich, dominant and is not afraid to be demanding (outcome independence), he embodies both alpha and provisioning. The addition of the male not being able to control himself, and risking everything for her, also adds an extra spice as it represents that his desire for her is so overwhelming that he would lay down his life for just a fleeting moment with her.

Furthermore, the ultimate end of such bodice rippers is a long term, monogamous relationship with the woman taming the Alpha, who then rapidly approaches the Beta traits, accepting the female relationship frame and compromising his own sexual strategy in order for hers to take center-stage. The bodice ripper predictably ends prior to him fully falling to Beta provider status, and the women branch swinging to another alpha, or engaging in liaisons with the pool boy at her 17th century mansion.

This fantasy is about the woman having the ultimate power over her ideal male archetype, a power so complete that she possesses his very spirit, and that he would happily sacrifice every moment remaining in his life in exchange for just one moment of carnal desire with her. In essence, this casts the woman in the role of succubus. Thus, while the act may appear to be against her will, in reality it is not.

If we compare with case B: The actual rape, this does not satisfy solipsism or hypergamy. For one, the man is most likely not an alpha. This means that a man with below par genetic material may impregnate her, thus saddling her with offspring that has poor genetics. Historically during our evolution, this would be a high risk situation for the woman, as it may compromise both her short-term mating efforts, and her long-term security.Furthermore, long term social conventions could have doubled up this risk. Thus it compromises her hypergamy. Furthermore, the perpetrator is not doing out of targeted desire but out of general desire. It is not the desire for her, that leads to his risk taking, it is his desire for anyone this offends both narcissism and solipsism in that it contradicts her self-image. Thirdly, it robs her of all her perceived power, in that rather than her covertly selecting and signalling him, the male takes what he desires by force, bypassing all the civilized covert communications. Forth, rape is a crime for a reason.

The reality of this situation is that it is the opposite of the power dynamic, she is literally powerless, while the man has all the power. The man performs an act against her will.

Summary and Conclusions

As I’ve outlined throughout this essay, there is a distinct difference between the fantasy and the reality. Also within the fantasy, there are two types, the erotic and the aversive [12]. The former is embodied in romance novels, the latter in more nightmarish regards. This distinction is of importance, to outline the difference between what the female fantasy actually is, versus what the female fantasy is not.

There is a very distinct difference between the fantasy and the reality [1,2,8] in reality the female is seeking out the power dynamics and dominance that she craves from a masculine man in a scenario where she has very little risk, with the ultimate goal being that of “catching” the ultimate man. This is why the term “rape fantasy” is inaccurate, as the fantasy itself is the equivalent of someone having a “being murdered by Jason Voorhees” fantasy because they watch “Friday the 13th“. If one accepts the argument that rape is about power, namely the man overpowering the women by force. The bodice ripper is a reversal on this scenario, where the woman overpowers the man psychologically prior to the act, and the man then overpowers the woman physically with her approval. Her approval in this case being implicit rather than explicit. According to a study:

Three explanations of rape fantasy were tested: openness to sexual experience, sexual desirability, and sexual blame avoidance. Women who were higher in erotophilia and self-esteem and who had more frequent consensual sexual fantasies and more frequent desirability fantasies, particularly of performing as a stripper, had more frequent rape fantasies. Women who were higher in erotophilia, openness to fantasy, desirability fantasies, and self-esteem reported greater sexual arousal to rape fantasies. Sexual blame avoidance theory was not supported; sexual desirability theory was moderately supported; openness to sexual experience theory received the strongest support. [13]

The results of which support the conclusion of this post that sexual desirability is a major factor within this genre of fantasy. A second dimension not tested for in the study is the presence of power dynamics and a test of the dichotomies of aversive and erotic fantasy.

It is a fairly common and accepted axiom in Red Pill circles that the sexual market place is arranged in accordance with the feminine imperative. Meaning, the sexual freedom for women to engage in their dualistic sexual strategy, of Alpha Fucks, Beta Bucks. This translates into needing an ability to seek out the Alpha genes and ideally be the mother of Alpha children. However, it also translates into locking down a provider to ensure her long term security and that of her children. Thus, we see situations such as the mother of an Alpha gang member’s children becoming the housewife of the boring, beta accountant from Irvine. The Alpha gang member is bound to have multiple stints in prison, a very low level of income security and a high chance of being shot at some point. However, he is most likely an embodiment of traits that give the impression of high genetic fitness, and thus optimal for reproduction.

However the ultimate female fantasy is to lock down the ultimate alpha, who is so enamored with her that he surrenders all power and control to her. He is both the source of highly fit genes, and of unparalleled long term security. Of course, the Bodice Ripper always ends shortly after the star-crossed lovers get married and have children, otherwise it would rapidly be followed by her disillusion at her former Alpha now becoming a boring beta. Her branch swing to the next Alpha or better Beta, the inevitable divorce rape and her renewed longing for a happiness which she will never obtain. A colloquialism for hypergamy is “marrying up” however this is a gross oversimplification. While marrying up outlines the form hypergamy often takes, in that a woman wants to lock down a man of higher SMV than herself. Outlining the means as the end, ultimately means accepting the feminine relationship frame of long-term monogamous relationships being the desired outcome. Hypergamy in reality comes down to the optimization of female reproduction requirements combined with female security needs, and the balancing of short-term mating opportunities with long term security needs.

The romance novels offers this promise, and this is one major and interesting distinction within the genre, where the romance novels of the early 70s often had the Alpha – Beta dichotomy, in that the woman would fall for the broke, outlaw alpha and thus select her short term mating prospects over her long term security. The trend in more recent hits such as “50 shades of Grey” or “The Billionaire Boys Club” that offers the ultimate in hypergamic optimization, in that the same man satisfies both the short term mating and the long term security needs.

The bodice ripper is a “safe and controlled danger” much in the same way that a person can experience fear and suspense in a safe manner through watching a horror movie. It is the ultimate expression of danger, passion and desire without any real danger actually being present. It is a story of how she tames the alpha, turning an activity that is inherently dangerous into one where no real danger is present [11]. It is a story about how her feminine powers are so strong that the man lost control of himself, and put his very life on the line for a single fleeting moment. This validates her need for security, power, hypergamic optimization and validates her narcissistic solipsism in one single scenario. It is the taming of the Alpha.

Sources

[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-sex/201001/womens-rape-fantasies-how-common-what-do-they-mean

[2] http://www.slate.com/blogs/humannature/2009/01/26/rape_fantasies_and_female_arousal.html

[3] http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9118/m2/1/high_res_d/dissertation.pdf

[4] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bodice%20ripper

[5] https://www.goodreads.com/genres/bodice-ripper

[6] http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/03/beyond-bodice-rippers-how-romance-novels-came-to-embrace-feminism/274094/

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byronic_hero

[8] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201411/don-t-call-them-rape-fantasies

[9] http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fvsv9410.pdf

[10] http://www.businessinsider.com/50-shades-of-grey-by-the-numbers-2013-9?op=1/#million-the-number-of-digital-and-print-copies-publisher-vintage-sold-in-less-than-a-month-4

[11] https://therationalmale.com/2015/02/09/topping-from-the-bottom/

[12] http://kinseyconfidential.org/deal-rape-fantasies/

[13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22544306

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2 comments on “The Fantasy of Being Ravished

  1. Speller says:

    head over heEls

    Like

  2. […] garner the attention and affections of someone who is greatly out of their league. If one considers romance novels in the mix, one notices that they are marked by the woman lusting for the alpha male, getting him, […]

    Like

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