The UK is considering banning porn that depicts rape—not just actual rape, but simulated rape scenes between actual consenting adults. And that distinction matters a whole lot, writes Tracy Clark-Flory at Salon. "In general, the BDSM scene … is smarter about consent and negotiation than the vanilla world." Many BDSM videos even include videos, before and after, in which performers discuss what they plan to do, and what boundaries and safewords they'll set. "That is the opposite of rape."
Many women enjoy rape fantasies—as many as 52% of women, according to one study. "This does not mean that 52% of women want to be raped; it means that they have enjoyed the thought," Clark-Flory says. Rape fantasies are a safe way to explore these desires, one "that is paradoxically controlled by the fantasizer." Nor does the fantasy seem to encourage the real thing; in the US, rapes have declined 85% over the past 25 years, even as porn access has increased. "It matters whether a video depicts a true crime or a simulated one," Clark-Flory argues. "Ironically, this amounts to an attack on consent." Click for her full column. (Read more pornography stories.)