By Danni Moss
Copyright protected, all rights reserved
Quite a few times I have seen this phrase as a search term used to find this blog. I’m not sure what that phrase has found on my blog since I have not directly addressed that question prior to this, but the question is obviously something quite a few people want to know. Since it keeps coming up, I am going to address it.
Some of you may be wondering, “what on earth?” However, there are a couple possible reasons someone might be asking this question.
The first we will dispose of immediately. If someone had was thinking of committing rape and had the erroneous idea that victims actually enjoyed it but only protested for show – let me just make clear for the record, that is not true. However, I doubt this idea was the motive behind all the times the question has been asked.
There is another very common reason this question is asked.
Victims of rape ask this question. And the internet is a safe place to ask it because they may be fearful of asking anyone who can see their face, for fear of judgment.
The question is really this – if I experienced an orgasm during non-consensual, forced sex, does that mean I wanted it? Does that mean it wasn’t really rape?
This question torments victims of rape – especially victims of incest, intimate-partner rape, and victims of long-term or repeated violation by the same offender.
So here are the facts. Orgasm is simply a biological response to stimuli. It can be an involuntary physiological reaction over which the victim has no control. Having an orgasm during rape is not an indication that the victim wanted to be raped or enjoyed the experience.
If anything, experiencing your body’s “betrayal” during rape, makes the event that much more traumatic.
This experience is not rare – especially in the circumstances I mentioned above, or even in a single-instance rape. Rape-crisis caregivers are aware of the phenomenon and do not judge the victim for it. They fully understand why it happens and they understand it only increases the victim’s emotional pain, guilt, and shame. Therapists who specialize in counseling rape victims are also aware of this issue and are safe to talk to about it. They understand and do not judge.
So the answer is – if a victim’s body experiences a physiological response during rape that does not diminish the reality or severity of the incident(s). In fact, it only increases the damage.