Solving Anita's Troublesome Sexist Sexual Fantasies - Part 1
Anita was turned on by things that troubled her. How could she trust her desire when it activated in response to sexist fantasies and inappropriate and traumatic events including hearing about actual sexual violence and rape on the news?
And yet, when we took a closer look, we found that her sexual fantasies were actually really positive psychological mechanisms and her desire was on her side. The trick was understanding what her fantasies and turn-ons were really trying to achieve and forming an aware relationship with them.
Part 1 of the case study of Anita's turn-ons - with sexual fantasy coach, Artemisia de Vine.
“I feel so ashamed! I care deeply about us women being able to access our true sexuality. I am really against slut shaming and actively against abuse. Rape is horrifying and devastating. I would never, ever, ever want that to happen to anyone for real. I’ve done all the embodiment and trauma training and know that being present is key to great sex but when I ovulate or just before my period, I get so horny! I find myself fantasizing about things that go against my real morals around that. I find myself scrolling through still images of women being dominated and humiliated. It makes me more excited if they don’t like it. If they are being forced and used.”
Heads up folk! While this blog deals with really important topics, it also contains some explicit descriptions of Anita’s sexual fantasies*. Themes may be confronting or triggering for some people.
It includes a brief mention of actual rape.
It also includes fantasy themes that include: being forced, humiliated, used, anal, piss, masturbation, sexist power abuse.
If you suspect you may be triggered into a harmful episode by these themes then there are two options for you:
1) Skip this blog.
2) Scroll past the main descriptions of the actual turn-ons and fantasies and just read the theory. Note: There will still be brief mentions of Anita's turn-ons but not in an explicit way.
The most explicit parts are book-ended by the below image. If you want to read the theory only, you can super speedily scroll down until you see this picture again. Recommence reading after the second appearance of this image.
If you choose to continue reading you do so at your own risk as per outlined in the terms and conditions with acknowledgment that The deVinery is not set up to support you should you become distressed or triggered into a harmful state. You will need to take self-responsibility and seek social or professional support elsewhere should you need it.
*Shared with Anita's permission. Not her real name. Identifying details changed to protect her identity.
“In fact, continued Anita, when I hear about genuine cases of rape or abuse on the news, I sometimes get turned on! What is wrong with me!? My heart really does go out to the victim and I am actually furious at the perpetrator. I even hate him! But under it all, I am also turned on. I’m so horrified about what that might say about me! Can you help me make sense of this troublesome turn-on? I just want to be able to get off like normal people. I don't want to be like this.”
“Firstly,” I reassured her, “You are not alone. There are lots of people who are horrified to find themselves turned on when they hear about these things and no it doesn’t automatically mean you are a bad person or that you would actually act on it, or that you wanted that to really happen to a real person. In fact, it falls within the normal range of turn-ons but few people actually talk about it."
I continued, "Let’s take a closer look at the themes in your turn-ons and see what they might mean. They are there for a reason and I trust the message behind them. Let’s step away from the news example for a moment and circle back later. For now, can you tell me about some of your sexual fantasies?”
Anita, a normally composed and successful professional, blushed as she confessed: “I fantasize about being chained to a tree out in nature somewhere. I am naked and in a position that exposes me. I can’t hide and I get used by any strangers who happen to come across me. I’m not gay but it turns me on to be used by any gender. Old, young, attractive, or gross, my holes get used by anyone over and over and I have no say in it. In fact, if I don’t find them attractive and it is not the gender I am normally attracted to, it turns me on all the more. Being forced to do it even when I don’t want to is what makes it hot.”
“Have you ever wanted to actually do this?” I probed.
“Not really. I mean yes and no. Not for real. But you know, sneakily stripping my clothes off in a secluded spot in nature and then masturbating is so damn hot! I don’t actually want anyone to catch me at it and use me, but the thought that it is possible someone might stumble by, gets me so horny I nearly lose my mind!”
“So if someone did come along what would you do?”
“Oh, I’d cover up. My concern for my safety, and for them, would make the horny go away. I wouldn’t really want it to happen. In reality, I’ve set it up in such a way that I’d know they were coming before they saw me so I can hide or put my clothes on in time.”
“So you enjoy the symbolism of the fantasy but not the reality of it? It is good to notice that difference. Tell me, which was the hottest experience for you? Staying safely in your bedroom and masturbating thinking about this fantasy in all its details, or only symbolically living out a little bit of it by masturbating in the secluded countryside?”
“Oh masturbating outdoors for sure! It was so much more exciting.”
“Even though in reality nothing humiliating or harmful actually happened? In fact, the only part of the fantasy you actually lived out was being naked and sexual in a technically public place - that is actually really private. That was more exciting?”
“Yes, it was still hotter. I knew no one else was there but the thought that it was possible - even remotely possible - made me alive all over with excitement! The sexual act itself was probably only a minute or two, but I was excited all the way up the mountain. I’d been playing with the ideas in my head the whole way. That orgasm was so good, but I have to say, I shut straight back down again afterward. The voice in my head went straight into criticism, ‘What the hell, Anita? What is wrong with you? Why did you just do that?’”
“That sounds like a shame hangover. That happens when we are not in ally-ship with our sexual desires. When we don’t understand or trust them. The good news is, you don’t have to stay in that part of the pattern. As we continue this work together, we will form a new way of understanding and relating to your desire, and then the shame hangovers usually begin to disappear. Furthermore, instead of climaxing and then slamming shut in shame, you will likely be able to deliberately access more of the places inside yourself that those desires were guiding you to. You will get to spend more time being in the bliss beyond the horny urgency, rather than slamming back to earth so to speak.”
“Really?” She looked equal parts hopeful and doubtful.
“Of course each person is different and I can never guarantee what things will be like for any given individual but yes, I believe it is possible. It has consistently been my experience, that forming an aware relationship with the part of you creates shifts inside you and brings them into alignment. When you are no longer struggling against them, they work for you, not against you. But it is hard to begin to trust these turn-ons as wise guides without having some sort of understanding about what they are really trying to say to you.”
I continued, “Tell me Anita, what other kinds of fantasies do you have? Do you always default to that one or are there other ones that reliably work for you?”
“Oh yes I have all sorts of different fantasies! Sometimes I imagine people I genuinely hate in real life lording it over me as they use me sexually. Deliberately doing acts that will bring them pleasure but ignore my needs. Like anal for instance. I can’t orgasm from anal, or feel much physical pleasure, but his cock gets pleasured.
After they’ve used me, I imagine having to face them at the board meeting or at some other place where I need to keep my dignity. It turns me on imagining they would have a secret knowing smirk and would be able to have the upper hand in business matters over me because they’d seen me spread-eagled, helpless and begging for them to fuck my pussy while they ignored my desires and came inside my ass. I’d be ruined because I was nothing but a used set of holes to them now. No good for anything but to be used again and again.”
She hastily added, “I know that isn’t really true. I am not really a slut shamer, but in my fantasy it is true.”
She continued to describe the fantasy, “Now that my business nemesis has this power over me, they can force me to come into their office, shut the door and service them, or anyone they choose, whenever they want. If I have a disagreement with someone in the office, or challenge an idea in a meeting, my nemesis might take me aside later and make me apologise to that person and get on my hands and knees to suck their cock as a way to put me back in my place. Together they will enjoy humiliating me, controlling me, ordering me around and filming me. Blackmailing me to do all the things they want me to do both sexually and in the business world under the threat that if I don’t comply, they will release the films to the whole corporation and all my relatives.
“Are you always the submissive, or used one in these fantasies?”
“No, not always. Sometimes, I am just a witness watching it happen to some other woman. Sometimes I am the one doing it to another woman. It is always a woman. So sexist I know! But to your point, most of the time it is happening to me.”
Now on a roll, she volunteered another fantasy.
“Sometimes I fantasize about being a lady in a royal court and I am in a power struggle by different factions. One other courtier, in particular, is my competition. It can be either a man or a woman. I somehow offend the monarch, sometimes a queen and sometimes a king, and as punishment, they force me to sexually submit and service my biggest nemesis in front of everyone. It is often another woman. A woman I am genuinely struggling against politically and emotionally. It is usually someone that has been unfair and cruel to me, manipulating politics to try and crush me and my whole family. She’s like the school bully who is now an adult and didn’t grow out of her bullying ways and she’s done truly horrible things to me. She’s the one threatened by me and jealous of me that wants to see me humiliated and destroyed. She’s the person I am least safe with.
After being forced to put myself in numerous humiliating positions and do shameful things to myself in front of her and the whole court, I am forced to drink every last drop of her piss without spilling any, as she laughs at me. It is a turn-on but also disgusts me so I fail and some dribbles out of my mouth. She is triumphant at my failure because now she can punish me. She chains me naked to a stone slab in front of the whole court and lets all the lowly servants fuck me. People who are normally beneath me, and are physically unattractive, are now more powerful and taking their cruel revenge by sexually using me.
And the best/worst bit? I like it and can’t hide it. They all see me get so excited. My nemesis makes me beg for more even as I beg for them to stop and hate it! But I also love it. Against my will, I orgasm, again and again. The more humiliated I am, the more they laugh at me, the more excited I get. She makes me thank her at the end by kissing her feet.
Afterwards, I am allowed to still be a lady in the court but my wings are clipped. How am I going to get any respect in the court again after this public ruining? How am I going to be taken seriously by any servants, or anyone in power? But I have nowhere to go. I must live in this new shame where no one respects me. My new vulnerable position means that I find myself in situations where just to get by, I am continuously forced to sexually service those who used to be my equals or subordinates but are now above me.
“Do you think about having sex with your real nemesis, competition, or people you really hate, when you are actually in the same room as them?” I asked Anita.
“Oh no, not at all! If it were to really happen I’d be traumatized! It is only when I am really horny that I get turned on thinking about it. In real life, I protect myself from them and I’d be the opposite of horny even thinking about it around them. Yuck! My whole body just went cold when you suggested that.”
“So you were again turned on by the thought of something harmful happening but when faced with the reality of that situation - of actual harm - you are not horny at all?”
“Yes, I suppose that’s true. Except real harm did happen to someone on the news."
"Yes, and we will circle back to that. For now, it is useful to notice the pattern of how this part of your mind behaves in response to the fantasy of seemingly harmful things happening to you or someone else. If your sexual excitement switches off when your fantasies become literal, is it possible this part of your mind never meant for you to interpret its messages literally? That it was using imagery and concepts as symbols of something else? Symbols of a kind of feeling perhaps?"
Anita looked thoughtful and something began to click but she needed more scaffolding before this would make sense to her.
I continued, "It is also really useful to notice that your sexual arousal got hotter when you acted out a small part of your fantasy where no harm was done at all to anyone! Your sexual arousal, was not reliant on actual harm at all. It became far more responsive in the symbolic play in the secluded countryside. Play, that in reality, hardly resembled your fantasies at all... but was a fantastic embodied symbol that allowed you to tap into the essence underneath the surface of that fantasy."
Winding up the session for that day, I left Anita with this. "For now, just contemplate the difference between being faced with the actual reality of the situation you heard about on the news as if you really were there, and the idea your imagination came up with in response to what it heard on the news. I mean if you were actually there experiencing it, you would be having a different kind of response than if you just think about the words as a general concept that happened to some stranger over there that doesn't seem quite real."
The symbolic language of the unconscious.
It is not practical or realistic to live out Anita's fantasies literally. Nor in fact does she desire to. It would be genuinely harmful and traumatizing. So let us take a closer look at what might be going on here and try on a meaning-making framework for size.
Luckily for us, fantasies are rarely meant to be literally enacted. They are symbols of something real and potent though. Something genuinely valuable. When we gain real clarity around that, and we discover the key elements in the fantasies, we can embody them symbolically through play.
This is when we can access the places inside us they were trying to take us to all along.
But to do that we need to
- Understand how symbolism works.
- Understand the key underlying symbols in these specific fantasies and what their psychological functions are.
- Learn how to embody the right bits through sexual play in order to get the juice out of them.
(Hint: Often just living the fantasy out step-by-step in a role play doesn’t work as well as we imagined it would. There is more to it than that.)
This is a lot! Too much for one blog alone, so I will break it down over the next 3.
So don’t panic if you still have questions at the end of this one.
Next blog I will use the example of Anita’s sexual fantasies and turn-ons to explore the key symbolism repeating throughout her erotic psyche. I will also talk about how instead of literally trying to act out her sexual fantasy, she worked with her desire to come up with associations already "tagged" in her unconscious to create embodied sexual play experiences that lead to the fuller potential of her erotic expression.
Hint: She did indeed learn to trust her turn-ons and her desires. She learned that her troublesome turn-ons were not as troublesome as she thought, but actually pretty clever. No one had to get harmed for her to satisfy and meet the actual need behind the symbolic turn-on.
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