The Ravish-Me Fantasy: Why Women Want their Man to Take Them. ~ Adam Sheck

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Do women really want to be ravished?

As a psychologist and couples counselor, I’ve been asked this question by men for the last twenty years. My specialty is helping couples bring back the passion in their relationship and using fantasy is one way of doing this.

And the fantasy of being ravished, being lovingly—yet forcefully—taken by her man is consistently in the top five female fantasies. In fact, it’s often the number one fantasy. This is different than the rape fantasy which has often been misrepresented.

Of course, women don’t want to be raped. Rape is an act of violence and power, not one of love. However, as revealed in romance novels, the fantasy of a strong powerful man initiating sex with a woman, not accepting her initial reluctance, and then loving her passionately, is a highly popular fantasy. This is not about abuse and power—in most of these novels (and fantasies), the couple ends up married and living happily ever after.

So what’s the truth here, at least from a psychological perspective?

When we first meet someone we’re attracted to, our bodies are designed to flood our system with hormones. We call this the honeymoon period.

However, this initial chemistry fades over time and we need to take steps to reignite it. To create sexual passion, there needs to be sexual tension and for this there needs to be strong sexual polarity. We need to consciously create this in our relationship.

Polarity comes from strong masculine energy meeting strong feminine energy. Just like the positive and negative terminals of a battery create electricity, so will the masculine and feminine interact to create passion. Now each of us, male and female have an inner masculine and an inner feminine and either sex can express either aspect.

For the heterosexual female ravish me fantasy though, we’re talking about the man embodying the masculine and taking charge with the masculine qualities of being focused, direct, relentless in pursuing his goal—in this case, loving his woman into submission.

This can range from simply initiating sex, to be a little more assertive than usual, to being more aggressive, to being a little rough, all the way to dominant-submissive role play and using restraints and sex toys.

To use a simple example, I’m 6’3″ and over 200 pounds and have found that many women have simply enjoyed the weight of my body pressing into them and found that arousing. I also happen to have large hands (no euphemism here). I’m usually able to hold both of a woman’s wrists in one of my hands and even that small step can often be assertive enough to feed into the submission fantasy. Just consider what you can do to orient yourself in that direction. It certainly doesn’t have to be whips and chains.

From an evolutionary psychology perspective, women want to know that their man can take care of them, and can hold them, both emotionally and physically. I have a female friend who is close to six feet tall and she loves that her husband can physically hold her, pick her up, engulf her and sometimes make her feel like she’s a little girl.

If we believe that form follows function, then if a man can open a woman sexually with his dominance, perhaps he can also metaphorically open her heart with his dominance.

Perhaps there is part of each woman that wants to have her heart ravished open, even more than her body. Don’t we all want our partner to help open our heart and experience more love?

Now on the flip side, there are times when a man enjoys his partner initiating sex in a more dominant and aggressive way. Being stuck in any role will ultimately diminish passion.

The bottom line is, to find that place of balance within yourself and within your relationship. This is best accomplished by communication with your partner.

So what are you waiting for, let the ravishing begin!


(This article first appeared on the author’s website under the title Do Women Want to Be Ravished.)


Editor: Lori Lothian

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Adam Sheck

Dr. Adam Sheck, the Passion Doctor, helps couples and singles bring back the passion into their lives and into their relationships. He is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles, is certified in Imago Relationship Therapy and has practiced JUST enough Tantra to be dangerous. He blogs about relationships at thepassiondoctor.comand about issues facing men in the second half of life at You can also find him on Facebook.


37 Responses to “The Ravish-Me Fantasy: Why Women Want their Man to Take Them. ~ Adam Sheck”

  1. Geoffrey Donne says:

    What a great piece Adam! We as men are so often conditioned these day, that assertive sensual behaviour is "wrong," and "controlling." THank you for reminding me that it's not just "okay" to be dominant on occasion, but healthy and loving as well. Indeed, let the "ravishing" begin… right now!

  2. rightoncue says:

    I wasn't expecting much when I clicked on the article title, but Wow, Adam, you GET IT!!! Thanks for describing it in terms that show how dominance and assertiveness can be delivered lovingly, to wonderful effect for both partners.

  3. Abhi says:

    YES PLEASE! first of all…and than I must say Adam, you managed to present such vital distinctions so greatly interwoven. Love that! It feels like a much needed infusion of oxygen in today's 'woosyfyed' society.
    So let me say again YES PLEASE… I am not afraid to admit, that I loved to be ravished by the right men, there is nothing like the feeling of sweet surrender.

    • Abhi,
      Thanks so much for your compliments as well as your thoughts and honesty on this topic. It's ALL a dance and sometimes I lead and sometimes YOU lead and sometimes Spirit leads when we're open enough.

  4. yogasamurai says:

    Thanks Adam, but this is actually the heterosexual "vanilla" version – as you well know! There are a lot of virgin ears here – though – so good work. The range of dominance and submission fantasies is really wide. There are women I know who participate in serious male gang bangs and men I know who get totally turned on by their dominatrix. Then there is a spectrum in between, shall we say. And we haven't even talked about animals. Read the last major sexuality report sponsored by Trojan. Even Kinsey would blush! Good work. YS

  5. Mymlen says:

    Great post – and thank you for not seeing this as a reaction to feminism. I am a very assertive woman, and always in control, but I love to "surrender" in the bedroom. For me, submission is about letting go of my "everyday me". In my everyday life, I usually rely on myself all the time, so for me, sex is a great way to learn about trust. To be "ravished" is a way of letting go and trusting the love of the other person, and experiencing – hands-on – that the other person is respectful of my boundaries.

    Your post reminded me of a great poem by Pablo Neruda:

    The Question

    Love, a question
    has destroyed you.

    I have come back to you
    from thorny uncertainty.

    I want you straight as
    the sword or the road.

    But you insist
    on keeping a nook
    of shadow that I do not want.

    My love,
    understand me,
    I love all of you,
    from eyes to feet, to toenails,
    all the brightness, which you kept.

    It is I, my love,
    who knocks at your door.
    It is not the ghost, it is not
    the one who once stopped
    at your window.
    I knock down the door:
    I enter your life:
    I come to live in your soul:
    you cannot cope with me.

    You must open door to door,
    you must obey me,
    you must open your eyes
    so that I may search in them,
    you must see how I walk
    with heavy steps
    along all the roads
    that, blind, were waiting for me.

    Do not fear,
    I am yours,
    I am not the passenger or the beggar,
    I am your master,
    the one you were waiting for,
    and now I enter
    your life,
    no more to leave it,
    love, love, love,
    but to stay.

    Pablo Neruda

    • DrAdamD. Adam Sheck says:

      I think that this is more about Jung's concept of holding the tension of the polarities, of integrating what "appear" to be opposites. Women ARE strong. As I share on my blog on my reaction to the Divine Apologies", the Divine Feminine can swallow the Divine Masculine whole and still have room for dessert.

      Thank you so much for sharing the poem, I've always loved his work. Especially love the line, "I am not the passenger or the beggar …"


    • yogasamurai says:

      Yes, from the Captain's verses which is my favorite Neruda collection. Try this one, EL TIGRE.

      Actually, Sheck's not quite right — each gender, under the right stimulus, can swallow the other whole.


      I am the tiger.
      I spy on you between the foliage
      wide like bars
      of moist mineral.
      The white river swells
      under the mist. You come.
      Naked you submerge.
      I wait.
      Then in one jump
      fire, blood and teeth,
      with one claw stroke
      I break your chest and hips.
      I drink your blood,
      I break your limbs
      one by one.

      I keep vigil
      for years in the woods
      over your bones, your ashes,
      far from hate and anger
      disarmed in your death
      entangled in the lianas,
      motionless in the rain,
      unrelenting sentinel
      of my deadly love.

      Pablo Neruda

  6. muks says:

    When I read the text I do not think "Wow, my secret fantasies are uncovered here." I do not feel turned on. I am having pictures in my mind of men not listening to me or ignoring my need for a longer foreplay and the moment of the beginning of actual arousal. So, what did and did not turn me on on the past when it came to sex?

    Men with big hands and a bear-like look: yes
    Men who are novice in some practice: yes
    Men who seem to have far more experience than me: no
    Men who ignore my words or initial reluctance: no
    Men holding my wrists tight: no
    Men trying to be the dom: no
    Men who are courteous in a traditional way: yes
    Men who pay stuff: yes
    Men who talk too much about differences in men and women: no
    Men who talk about differences in men and women and exhibit one of the proclaimed female characteristics later: no

    This text does somehow not appeal to me right now. Maybe at some later point in time it does. I am going through some changes now anyway. I had thought I am in control, but I am learning to let go – towards God, not towards men. This makes me surrender and a lot stronger in the same time. Maybe I will feel some need to be ravished some time. Right now I think I am developing towards a more mutually balanced sexuality.

    Thanks for the interesting read anyway.

    • Muks,
      Thanks for your thoughts on my post and for sharing your own personal turn ons and offs. I'm only sharing my thoughts about this common fantasy and the possible psychology behind it, NOT suggesting that it is everyone's fantasy. Congratulations on your search for balance.

  7. The nuances you describe are very important…and yet, I'm also wary. In our internet, instant gratif-u-ckation society we now live in, the missing element from many of our relationships, sexual and otherwise, is the build up. The tension, the delicate dance of promises to come and desires to be satiated, the trust that comes from time spent getting to know another person and knowing that after the ravishing comes the kisses and tenderness…this is being lost, or at least, I fear it may be so. People are yearning for meaningful intimacy and that includes hot, passionate sex. Are we still patient enough for the build up?

  8. Dr. A says:

    I agree with you totally on this. No ONE way will work EVERY time, there are so many types of sex. And I'm also a firm believer in what I call "all day foreplay" which I teach to long-term couples that see me to reignite the spark lost from their relationship. I also blog about it on my site and I think it addressed the issue you bring up "the build up".
    Thanks so much for commenting,

  9. Cesare says:

    I've felt the need to re-post this in all the articles I found that touched on "ravishing" women, so forgive me if you are reading this more than once. All I can say is WOW!, but not in a good way. So when is a no a "real" no? Basically the ravishing concept says to me that the woman maintains all the power in the sexual encounter, both in telling me to be more assertive and then arbitrarily deciding when a no really means no. If anything, this inspires misogyny in me. This is one on the few times I'm actually jealous of Charlie Sheen, and his alleged comments about not paying prostitutes to have sex with him, but to leave after the fact. That seems far more honest of a relationship to me.

    And before anyone accuses me of simple-mindedness, let's look at the The American Heritage® Dictionary's definition of ravish:

    1. To seize and carry away by force.
    2. To force (another) to have sexual intercourse; rape.
    3. To overwhelm with emotion; enrapture.

    Yeah I can see how the 3rd definition could possibly fit. But the other two, they seem very much to be about force and violence. Dr. Sheck even boasts of his large frame, and how women he's come across LOVE (emphasis in the original) when men can make them feel like a little girl.

    You are so playing with fire on this point.

  10. Cesare,
    I can certainly appreciate your position and associations with the word "ravish" and your need to share your views. AND, what I am addressing in this post is the "ravish FANTASY" which seems to play out in the collective psyche of our world.

    This INNER symbolism and its psychological counterparts are quite archetypal and are expressing themselves in our society in many ways. What stays in shadow and remains unconscious and unexamined gets acted out. My intent is to shine a light on possibly WHY this fantasy is making it's way into the public consciousness at this time and how we can understand and USE it to open our hearts, minds, souls and bodies.

    Does any of that make sense to you?

    Thanks for your passion on this matter,
    Dr. Adam Sheck

  11. One need only look at the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, a "ravish" extreme to see how the collective shadow is coming out of the closet, big time.

    • awarenessishere,
      It most certainly IS revealing itself, praise the Lord! Bless those who are chosen to give voice to these energies and mysteries for the greater good. The more we illuminate the shadow, the more interesting life gets!

  12. […] previous article on “The Ravish Me Fantasy” provides a more psychological exploration. This one is a bit more personal. And it comes from my […]

  13. […] The Ravish-Me Fantasy: Why Women Want their Man to Take Them …Jun 28, 2012 … Do women really want to be ravished? As a psychologist and couples counselor, I’ve been asked this question by men for the last twenty years. […]

  14. […] queasy about premarital sex. Maybe I gave off guilt-waves that kept my boyfriend from wanting to ravish me (and no, I don’t mean […]

  15. […] is a collective of the great masculine. It is a gathering of all my lovers. It is my virginity ravished with a savage […]

  16. Roxy says:

    Way to go! you really said it. So want to be ravished!

  17. Jenn says:

    This is what I've been trying to tell my husband for seven years! In bed my husband only puts his hands in three areas but it's not in a "ravish me" way. He touches my top in a way that he thinks turns ME on rather than in way that turns HIM on. A lot of times I've even thought he was gay. Men RAVISH your women!
    If you want them, then show them that you want them! If you do not they will begin having fantasies about other men and may even act them out. Do not be shy in bed!

    • Trilobite says:

      Yea, but don't you understand, in society and as growing teens we are taught NOT to approach women in this way. Seems like a double standard to me, and the cause of much confusion.

  18. Jenn,
    Thanks so much for sharing Jenn, hope your husband reads this and gets it – and then you do!
    Take care,

  19. Rachelle says:

    I may be just missing something, but I didn’t like this one at all. I consider myself very open-minded, but I just can’t get behind this whole concept. As someone who’s experienced my share of men sexually harassing me and not taking no for an answer, I find this whole concept too much. I’m also licensed to be a therapist and I would honestly never suggest anyone – male or female – disregard ANY kind of a no. I think truly passionate relationships occur between two people who love each other, respect each other, and feel completely safe. I’m sorry and I mean you no disrespect, but I completely disagree.

  20. Laura McNally says:

    As a psychologist I don't subscribe to 'evolutionary' arguments about 'masculinity and femininity', a very limited view and one that reproduces inequality in personal and political life. We need to deconstruct this inequality to build truly connected relationships, and to delineate women from any from of oppression. I recommend Cordelia Fine, a neuro-psychologist who argues this evolutionary bias view as 'neuro-sexism' in our discipline.
    Sheila Jeffreys writes: "The 'difference' between men and women is created in and by culture but is regarded as natural and biological. The huge difficulty that so many women and men have in seeing femininity and masculinity as socially constructed rather than natural, attests to the strength and force of culture."… "A hundred years of sexology has told us that when women learn to take pleasure in submission in sex, we will be subordinating ourselves in our lives as a whole. In this respect, the sexologists knew their business. And their business was to ensure that women were undermined, unable to fight their oppression… Through eroticizing our subordination in the name of sexual liberation," they shore up the foundations of male supremacy."
    So no, as a psychologist and a strong woman, I don't ever seek to recreate social norms or subservience to men, to me that is the antithesis of sexual and spiritual connection.

  21. heather says:

    I am a 5' 11" tall woman who spends 95% of life in charge and total control of things around me. I am a supervisor at work. I hire and fire. My job is mentally taxing as I work in a high demand, fast paced office.we have two teenage sons and i am the sole care giver of my grandmother. I am a self admitted control freak because it is easier lol BUT my 6'5" tall husband of 15 years not only loves and supports me he gets me. I need to feel ravished during sex. I love the passion and control of him being in "charge" . There is no s&m or bondage involved I just like to feel his power and strength. I spend my whole life being dominate and I need those moments when I can let my guard down and feel like a woman again. Like his woman. His weight on me the way he looks in my eyes and holds my arms etc. Are the only times in my life I feel like i can be "weaker" and safe and protected at the same time I need to feel like a woman sometimes instead of a drill Sargent. I could never give myself to anyone else like I do with him because our trust and bond is so deep. It's just nice to be able to feel small and feminine and loved above all others. Not everyone feels this way I'm sure but as a larger woman who has spent years around men who were intimidated by the fact I stood eye to eye with them I enjoy my man ravishing me.

  22. Brock Patel says:

    This is so great to find this. I love this about my man, not many men know that for some reason this is what makes it very passionate, So amazing just thinking about him..

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