Sunday, April 08, 2007

Why not to turn to gay men with questions on straight female sexuality

I've long since given up on Dan Savage for any substantive sex/relationship advice. I imagine that he has a dart board in his office that has two regions: cheat and dump. He throws a dart, and he has a column.

But I still read his column from time to time. Today, I really wasn't glad I did. First there was this gem:

Women's rape fantasies come up pretty frequently in the column, but men's rape fantasies don't come up so much. I am a mid-20s straight woman who dates a lot. Even though I occasionally fantasize about being raped and I make it perfectly clear to the men I date that this is just a fantasy, I am creeped out by the fact that some of the men I've dated have fantasies of raping women. Do you think that's unfair?

Double Standard

Yes I do, DS. Women who open up about rape fantasies—with their partners or in letters to skeezy sex-advice columnists—are always quick to include a qualifier along the lines of "this is just a fantasy," making it clear to all that they are not interested in actually being raped. Well, just as a woman can have rape fantasies without wanting to be the victim of an actual rape, a man can have rapist fantasies without wanting to commit an actual rape. And really, DS, where would ladies with rape-victim fantasies be without men with rape-perp fantasies?

There's actually quite a bit of difference between fantasizing about raping and being raped - and that's the fact that you really can't hurt anyone by being raped. Taking a fantasy of raping too far means actually raping, even if the fantasizer didn't want to "commit an actual rape."

And then, then there was this:

I am in my 20s. I was raped two years ago. In the two years since, I have dealt with the experience and have finally put it behind me. I know what I want now sexually and am ready, yet I can't seem to get any. I have plenty of attractive, flirtatious, and available friends, but I don't know how to get them into the desired situation. I am not looking for a monogamous relationship, just a casual, friendly, mutually respectful fling. Any tips for a recovering rape victim?

Too Young For No Sex Life

Find some new friends?

I'm not suggesting that you drop your current friends, TYFNSL, but you might need to look outside your present social circle for sex partners. If those attractive, flirtatious, and available pals of yours were aware of the rape after it happened, and were your support system during your two-year recovery, it may be difficult for them to see you as something other than a victim. Look elsewhere for sex partners and you'll have more luck.

It's hard to even know where to begin with this one. If my friends couldn't see me as anything other than a victim after being raped, I'd sure as hell want to drop them. Why would anyone else who learned of TYFNSL's experience - say, a long-term boyfriend or husband - be able to think of her as a whole human being, but her friends not? Maybe I shouldn't underestimate the general public's ability to drag out the misery of a rape victim as long as possible, but I should hope that her friends won't let the rapist steal her entire sexuality from her.

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