IAMA sexual assault therapist discussing when orgasm happens during rape. AMA!
I did an AMA on this a few months ago and have received a number of requests to do it again.
The basic concept of experiencing orgasm during rape is a confusing and difficult one for many people, both survivors and those connected to survivors.
There are people who do not believe it's possible for a woman or man to achieve orgasm during rape or other kinds of violent sexual assault. Some believe having an orgasm under these circumstances means that it wasn't a "real" rape or the woman/man "wanted" it.
I've assisted more young women than I can count with this very issue. It often comes up at some point during therapy and it's extremely embarrassing or shameful to talk about. However once it's out in the open, the survivor can look at her/his reaction honestly and begin to heal. The shame and guilt around it is a large part of why some rapes go unreported and why there is a need for better understanding in society for how and why this occurs.
There have been very few studies on orgasm during rape, but anecdotal reports and research show numbers from 5% to over 50% having this experience. In my experience as a therapist, it has been somewhat less than half of the girls/women I've worked with having some level of sexual response. (For the record, I have worked with very few boys/men who reported this.)
In professional discussions, colleagues report similar numbers. Therapists don't usually talk about this publicly as they fear contributing to the myth of victims "enjoying rape." It's also a reason why there isn't more research done on this and similar topics. My belief is that as difficult a topic as this is, if we can address it directly and remove the shame and stigma, then a lot more healing can happen. I'm hopeful that the Reddit community is open to learning and discussing topics like this.
I was taken to task in my original discussion for not emphasizing that this happens for boys and men as well. I referenced that above but am doing it again here to make this point clear.
I was verified previously, but I'll include the documentation again here. (removed for protection of the poster)
This is an open discussion and I'm happy to answer any questions. Don't be afraid if you think it may be offensive as I'd rather have a frank talk than leave people with false ideas. AMA!
Edit: 3:30pm Questions/comments are coming in MUCH faster than I thought. A lot faster than the other time I did this topic. I'm answering as fast as I can; bear with me!
Edit2: 8:30pm Thank you everyone for all your questions and comments!! This went WAY past what I thought it would be (8 hours, whew!). I need to take a break (and eat!) but I'll check back on before going to sleep and try to respond to more questions.
Edit3: 10:50pm Okay, I'm back and it looks like you all carried on fine without me. I'll try to answer as many first-order (main thread, no deviations that I have to search for) questions as I can before I fall asleep at the keyboard. And Front Page! Wow! Thank you all. And really I mean Thank You for caring enough about this topic to bring it to the front. It's most important to me to get this info out to you.
Edit4: 2:30am Stayed up way later than I meant to. It kept being just one more question that I felt needed to be answered. Thank you all again for your thoughtful and informative questions. Even the ones that seemed off-putting at first, I think resulted in some good discussion. Good night! I'll try to answer a few more in the days to come. And I have seen your pm's and will get to those as well. Please don't think I am ignoring you.
Edit5: I was on for a few hours today trying to answer any remaining questions. Over 2000 questions and comments is a LOT to go through, lol! I am working my way through the pm's you've all sent, but I am back to work tomorrow. I have over 4 pages, so please be patient. I promise to get to everyone!
And not a huge Douglas Adams fan, but I just saw that the comments are exactly at 4242!