College newspaper sex columns have long provided rich fodder for sex blogging, but too often (especially in the early days when campus sex columnists tended to spray burbling prose in a “Squeee! I’m writing about sex like a grownup!” sort of tone) they’ve tended to instigate mockery rather than respect. However, when “Dr. Strokes” addresses the extremely tricky subject of the rape fantasies so many women enjoy, the result is just about the calmest and sanest such discussion I’ve ever seen. Here’s an excerpt from Anatomy of A Rape Fantasy:

What are some of the reasons that people want to pretend rape?

1. Guilt avoidance. It sucks, but we still live in a society where people, especially women, are made to feel guilty about wanting sex. Let me quote Nancy Friday, from her classic 1973 book of women’s fantasies:

“The most popular guilt-avoiding device was the so-called rape fantasy… it simply had to be understood that what went on was against the woman’s will. Saying she was ‘raped’ was the most expedient way of getting past the big No to sex that had been imprinted on her mind since early childhood.”

2. Being irresistible. It can be fun to imagine that you’re so attractive that nobody can resist the urge to touch you, and that they need to have sex with you so much that they’re just going to take it. Let me repeat: it can be fun to imagine when you are in a highly sexually aroused state and completely in control of who is touching you and how. Not so much otherwise.

3. Fear can heighten excitement. This is a known fact—fear gets our adrenaline up, our heart pumping, our pupils dilate, even our genitals aroused. Think of a rape fantasy as like a roller coaster—a controlled fear experience which you can get off of, and not you being thrown around out of control at 150 mph.

4. The more positive side of guilt avoidance is “pressure to perform” avoidance. In my violent rape fantasy, nobody really expects me to “perform” or to be “good” or to really do anything but what my instincts tell me to do. And it’s fun to imagine a situation where we’re expected to just run on instincts. (This is another gradation for me between “BDSM” and “rape” fantasies—in my BDSM fantasy, I have less pressure to perform because I have less ability to perform, but in my rape fantasy, I become a purely instinctual creature.)