Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ravishment 101 by Desmond Ravenstone

Ravishment, like all sexual activities, carries an inherent risk of physical and/or emotional injury. While the guidelines set forth in this program will minimize the potential for injury, I encourage you to be aware that you are taking some risk when you decide to engage in these activities, and to accept personal responsibility for said risk. In acting on the information printed herein, you agree to accept said information as is and with all faults. Neither the presenter nor any other persons associated in the presentation of this program are responsible for any damage sustained.

Ravishment 101
Desmond Ravenstone

First published in The Dominant’s View, Vol. 6 Issue 2
One of the most common motifs of erotic fantasies are those of force and resistance – so-called “rape fantasies” as well as fantasies of abduction, captivity and forced enslavement. Many who have explored, written about and enacted such fantasies have formed their own distinct subgroup within the larger BDSM Scene, and this “ravishment community” has increasingly become an important source of information and inspiration.
While these fantasies and scenes are known by many names – play-rape, forced-sex role-play, fantasy rape – the term “ravishment” has been favored more and more, both to distinguish consensual role-play from nonconsensual abuse, and to imply the intense pleasure often desired and experienced in such scenes. So, in this article, I will use the term ravishment to refer to “the safe, sane and consensual enactment of an erotic fantasy where there is an appearance of coercion and resistance.”
Why ravishment?How is it that some people fantasize about being “raped”? The paradox of “wanting to be forced” seems too obvious to be ignored. In fact, it is more appropriate to ask: “What is it that this particular person finds arousing about this particular fantasy?”
Just as fantasies differ from person to person, the attraction to those fantasies also differs. Two women, for example, may share a very similar fantasy: a stranger enters her bedroom while she sleeps, grabs and restrains her as she struggles, forcibly has sex with her, and then leaves. Each may be attracted to the fantasy for different reasons, however. Let’s say that the first woman is excited by the intensity of struggling and screaming, while the second one enjoys being desired and feels greater pleasure when restrained. This in turn affects how each scene will play out. For the first, the ravisher might wrestle with the woman, tear off her clothes, and speak very little. The second scene may have the woman restrained with bondage, her ravisher flattering her in seductive whispers and gently caressing her to build up arousal gradually.
In listening to the myriad specific reasons why people are attracted to ravishment, I have noted some common themes:
* Primal passion – Ravishment fantasies appeal to primal emotions of lust, aggression and fear, which are often intertwined with one another.
* Physical intensity – Many ravishment fantasies and scenes involve highly physical restraint and resistance. Sex is, after all, a physical act, and intense physicality often expresses and feeds into emotional intensity.
* Paradox and contrast – There is an innate paradox to fantasizing about being “forced” to do something you want done, not to mention the contrast of desire and pleasure with fear and aggression.
*Sweet surrender – For some, it is not resistance or struggle that is the turn-on so much as submission. Being helpless and overpowered allows a “letting go” of anxiety, guilt and inhibition, and an opening to sensation, pleasure and trust.
*Simply irresistible – There is also the desire is to be desired oneself, of the ravishee seeming to overpower in terms of her or his allure, and the ravisher the one who “surrenders” to overwhelming passion.
*Catharsis and closure – Some survivors of sexual assault may find a sense of resolution or healing with a ravishment scene. Such cathartic release is not limited to survivors, however. A person who feels guilty about sexual pleasure, or is troubled by what they consider a “dark and dangerous” fantasy, may also experience this sense of release once their fantasy is made flesh.
Discussing, negotiating and planningRavishment fantasies vary greatly, from simple “grab-and-thrash” episodes to elaborate stories of abduction and seduction. Understanding the why behind a ravishment fantasy is essential in guiding how to act out that fantasy. Explore the predominant theme or themes as much as the storyline and setting. The ravisher should decide based on this whether to play a “brute” (mostly physical), “tormentor” (fear play) or “seducer” (pleasure).
Talk about any past history of sexual abuse for either of you. The last thing you should do is inadvertently trigger traumatic memories or emotions. If you have not dealt with abuse issues in therapy, consider doing so before doing any ravishment scene.
Discuss safewords, non-verbal signals and other codes to be used. Don’t just rely on a simple “red” to stop everything. Think of a “startword” to signal the beginning of a surprise scene, or a “good-stop” safeword so that the ravishee can ask to stop without alarming the ravisher that something is wrong.
Another major factor is how predictable a particular scene should be. Some people want a scene that is tightly scripted; others prefer a seemingly chaotic scene (albeit with limits respected, of course). Some people want to be ravished by a stranger, which requires great care to arrange, often with the help of a third party. Surprise scenes also require prior agreement about possible times and locations where the scene may begin.
Choose where to set the scene and what specific arrangements may need to be made. Will neighbors be disturbed by any noise? Any breakables or items that might fall on someone and injure them? Clothing - pulled off, torn or cut off, or none at all? Leave no detail to chance, and always put safety first. With resistance play and takedown maneuvers, take the time to learn martial arts and bondage techniques that are effective with a minimal risk for injury. Before doing the scene, consider having a written outline or a signed consent statement, especially including the safewords to be used. Aside from using this to review what you’ll be doing, it could come in handy just in case the police come by.
Aftercare is important not only for the ravishee, but for the ravisher as well – especially a first-time ravisher. Take the time to rest, collect yourself, and talk over the impact of the experience which you’ve just shared. The physical and emotional intensity can be very different from other BDSM scenes, so expect unexpected reactions. For one thing, many ravishees often do not experience an endorphin high, but do experience an adrenaline rush.
Last but not least, clean up after yourselves, especially if you do your scene in a hotel room. Yes, hotels have maid service, but the last thing you want to do is give some unsuspecting employee the willies that “foul play” might have taken place. Cleaning up can also provide a sense of completion, and a reminder of the fantasy aspect of the scene.
Ravishment scenes are intense, powerful and edgy – but they need not be dangerous. Communicate openly about your desires, limits and expectations. Be creative, be smart, and above all, be safe!


For more Ravishment information, visit Ravishment University at


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I suppose I fit into the category (as an ravishee) 'catharsis and closure' I am a gay male, I have had my 'plethora' of sexual violence incidents perpetrated upon me. The first two that happened is before I came out into the LGBT Community. I still contend today that coming out is totally unrelated to those first two attacks. Only thing missing in your article (as to inform the public at large) that ravishment is not necessarily gender specific, but gender neutral as in real rape and sexual situations happen to both genders as attacker or survivor, this ravishment play is also found in heterosexual, bisexual, and gay settings as well. I have never look into ravishment scene as of course I am an actual survivor of non-consensual no safeword violent situations.

    This may sound strange that I would actually consider ravishment play (as the ravishee, or passive partner) after sustaining real rapes and one case of sexual assault, but this role in catharsis and closure seems to be where I stand at the moment. I have received counselling, and feel despite such that this might be of help to me.