As someone who has forever been scarred by their own history with sexual assault, rape fantasies have always been something that shook me to the core. I’ve flinched every time I’ve stumbled across the words, or when I see people talking about consensual non-consent – a BDSM roleplay kink where people consent to taking part in acts of primal aggressiveness where they give up control. The most common ones include being kidnapped and forced to perform sexual acts, and so on, but at the core of the act is agreeing to give up control and let the other carry out their deepest, darkest desires.
As a survivor, it took me an age to not dissociate from my body at the idea of sexual intimacy. BDSM has helped me regain control of my body, it has let me reclaim my body for myself. The idea of control is what helped me the most. Even when I was being tied, I still had the power to stop it the moment I wished to. So what is it about consensual-non consent that was so attractive for people? I set out on a two week-long research journey and tried it out for myself. (The things I do for our blog here, hehe).
Rape Fantasies Are Not About Violence
Rape fantasies are mistakenly named — it is an imaginary act of being taken by a passionate male, free from any possible assault. As it is happening in our minds, consent is out of question. No harm comes of it. It’s about nothing but surrendering to our lizard brain, giving up power. These “rape” scenarios are arousing because they are creating the illsuion of danger without actually being in danger. It is a desire for submission, that can be lived in safe BDSM Dom/Sub scenarios — with full consent, without the fear of being hurt.
– Octavia Morrisson, Rape Fantasies Have Nothing to Do With Rape
I went online and started my exploration on Reddit. There’s a subreddit called r/consensualnonconsent, where people talk about their experiences with CNC and share their fantasies. I went in expecting the worst, thinking that I’d be triggered. To my surprise, there were a large number of survivors on the thread, talking about how CNC has helped them reclaim their own sexuality and bodies. While there exists a small section of folks for whom rape fantasies and CNC are entirely about the violence of the act, the vast majority were focused on how primal the act is. The focus remained on how the main dominant person in a CNC act wants their submissive so badly, they’d do anything to have them. The release of control and power was something that helped many survivors reframe how they felt in the aftermath of their own assault before. To take back power by agreeing to the act, with a consenting and caring Dom let them reclaim bodily autonomy.
For others, it is more about the power dynamics. The idea of being helpless, of fighting an uphill battle and ultimately giving in to someone who wants your body so badly drives them crazy. The kind of fantasies that are being role-played on the subreddit talk about knowing that it’s futile to fight, of relishing how primal it feels to be taken, and of enjoying the aggression of the act, while also knowing that their Dom will take care of them at the end of it all. It isn’t about being used, not in the way that most sexual assault survivors feel afterwards. I couldn’t completely wrap my head around it, so I asked one of my favourite Doms if he’d be able to help me explore this. And we needed to do so much prep work. Here’s a few tips for you, if you or your partner/s are looking into trying out CNC as a kink.
Both of us spent a week talking to other people and doing our own reading into CNC. Without prior research, it can be rather shocking at the moment, especially for the sub.
Once my Dom came up with a plan, he gave me a vague idea of what acts he had in mind, and the time frame within which the scene would be done. The vagueness is to ensure that the surprise aspect of the CNC act remains the same, while I get to retain control over what ultimately happens.
- SAFE WORDS & GESTURES
We both set up our own safe words and gestures to indicate that this needed to end immediately. This is vital to the act, I cannot stress it enough.
We both set up immediate aftercare which included a shower together and him massaging me down and cuddling me right after. I set up a therapy session for the morning right after. We also set up a check-in system to address both our needs, and make sure we didn’t experience a drop in the week after.
Trying Out CNC
It has almost been a week since we played out a CNC scene. Surprisingly, the act itself wasn’t as much of a trigger. I think that might be because of how well-prepared we were. The aftermath
however, was quite devastating. I had a breakdown right after, and my Dom implemented the aftercare regimen we had set up, which helped me calm down immensely. What struck me the most was the shame that came with being aroused, for both me and my Dom. It made me rethink my own definitions of attraction and sexual arousal, and for my Dom, it put them through a bad phase where they thought they might have truly assaulted me.
Thankfully, because we both undergo counselling on a regular basis, we were not affected for very long. After a week or so, both of our emotions are regulated and we are hale and hearty. I did not experience any triggering flashbacks to my own assault. For those who wish to try out CNC as a kink, please tread it carefully. I personally do not intend to try it out ever again. But I will not judge anyone who likes it either.