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FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: If you are a top in a consensual rape scene, does that mean you have rapist tendencies?

Is consensual non-consensual sex (e.g. choking or rape fantasy) anti-feminist? Then, if you enjoy the “consensual rapist” role, does that mean that you have rapist tendencies?

Short answer: not necessarily.

I firmly believe that no fantasies or consensual play are inherently bad, by whatever moral/ethical standards you’re using to make that judgment, as long as the following conditions apply:

  • "consensual" issues are all being met (over age of consent, "of sound mind," etc.)
  • all participants are getting something that they want, either in the scene or as part of a longer-term objective;
  • no one is getting hurt against their will; and,
  • no non-participating bystanders are being forced to witness.

So, you can be a right-on feminist and have your partner strap you to the fucking wall and have their way with you over your vociferous, sweaty protests, as long as you talked it all over beforehand and they know your safe word or signal, your actual “no, stop the action” cue.

If you have consensual non-consent fantasies—CNC, rape or ravishment, call it what you will—you don’t actually want someone to rape you. No one wants that. What people want when they are drawn to being the “target” of CNC games varies. It could be about approximating the experience of being powerless, of being controlled. Maybe they like the level of violence, or they like the physical release of struggling and being overpowered. Maybe it’s a mix of all of it, a mish-mash of physical force and the adrenalin rush. This has all been discussed a fair bit in the online world of kink.

What doesn’t get time in these discussions is the top in enacting ravishment or rape fantasies. We talk about the “rapee” in these CNC stories, but not, well, the “raper”, the person who has agreed to play the opposite role.

Does this person have “rapist tendencies,” the Fuckbucketeer writes. Let me tell you what I think constitutes rapist tendencies: unexamined feelings of entitlement and anger issues, “unexamined” being a key point.

This seems like a good time to mention one of my long-standing principles about role play or sex/kink games of any sort: if your “thing” happens to align with problematic dynamics or situations out in the world, you owe it to yourself and your partners to regularly check in with yourself and with them to see that you are keeping your “thing” from leaking out into how you are when you’re not getting kinky and that you’re aware of the stuff in the outside world. Get away from the "unexamined," in other words.

Do you like cop uniforms? Okay, so how up are you on police shootings and Black Lives Matter? Are you a male dom who likes submissive women in the bedroom? Right on, so how do you support assertive women out in business? Have you only ever dated thin people? Well then, have you taken a moment to sit with that when a beautiful fat person walks by? Seriously, when your “thing” dovetails with predilections that the mainstream 100 percent supports, I think that needs to be examined on a regular basis.

That’s what I recommend here, for the person who is in the role of the consent violator in this game, especially if that person is male-identified, and their partner is a woman or femme, perhaps even more so if the “perpetrator” is physically more powerful. Given how strong rape culture is, if you enjoy being the top in rape or ravishment fantasies, take the time to make sure your walls are firmly in place between play and the real world, to make sure that you remember and your partners remember that you're not actually entitled to a damn thing, no matter what you hissed into your partner's ear about owning them that made them squirm with pleasure.

Having done all that, though, and taken all normal/necessary steps and safeguards for rough play? That person doesn’t have rapist tendencies just because they enjoy that shit. They may, just as any demographic might. But enjoying that side of the CNC game doesn’t mean anything by itself.

An ethical, good CNC top don't actually want to rape anyone; the ravishment tops I know are appalled at the thought, as any right-thinking human is. Their enjoyment of that role just means that, hey, maybe they like physical exertion, the wrestling and overpowering part of it. Maybe they enjoy the mind games, or owning the power in a situation. Maybe they like devising ways to physically or psychologically restrain someone. Maybe they enjoy the playacting of it, being the “bad guy.”

From my point of view, as someone who frequently enjoys CNC play… when I’m doing that, I want someone who is in it with me NOT ONLY because they know I like it, but because they are enjoying it too, for their own reasons. I can tell if someone’s scared of it, or really doesn’t like it; they pull their blows, their words feel slightly stilted. I want a willing partner, someone who is able to step up to the game and play hard. And I want someone who is doing the work to be aware of the social context for the game. They know that actual rape is really, really wrong.

Someone who plays the game ethically and well is going to examine what they think they deserve, and what their emotions are when they play, and they are going to find out what their partners want and feel during that same play. They spend that time, to get more fully centered in themselves and the real world, before they go out to the edges.

*****

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