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"Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization
You keep telling yourself that.

"You enjoyed it Torrie! Admit it! You enjoyed every second of it! On Sunday night I'm going to show the whole world how much you enjoyed what happened in that hotel room!"
Dawn Marie, Thursday Night Smackdown

An excuse for rape, used by a character. Used in at least three situations:

  • When a rapist denies that his/her actions can be classified as rape because the victim climaxed. This ignores the physiological fact that orgasm is as much a function of sufficient nerve stimulation as anything else.
  • When a rape is occurring, and the victim first protests and then starts having fun.
  • When a character is raped until they like it and can't get enough of it.

There are real people who believe these things make rape into not-rape, or at least make it excusable. The law doesn't see it that way, and a person whose morals really justify violating a person's consent for fun is hardly moral at all, never mind how the victim feels.

Do not confuse with "rape fantasy", which is exactly that - a fantasy situation acted out by two (or more) parties with mutual consent. This trope is about the situation where the rapist and/or outsiders deny that it was a rape at all, because the victim became physically aroused or climaxed. Just because someone is into this kind of fantasy roleplay does not mean they are "asking for it."

Unfortunately, this trope will often lead to Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male.

Turns up often in Hentai, Boys Love Genre and Fanfiction. A lot.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Battle Vixens, the "translation" of Ikki Tousen had the line "It's not rape if you smile behind the tears." This was not in the original version..
  • In Black Butler, episode 17, Sebastian does it on a nun named Matilda.
  • Deconstructed in Sakura Gari, where we get to see the psychological consequences that such a trope brings on the victim - and arguably, even on the rapist.
  • Invoked in Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest. While he and his Yakuza goons are gang-raping Aoshika-sensei, Haguro Dou forcibly gives her a Psycho Serum that causes her to physically enjoy herself, in an attempt to break her further than he already has.
  • In Happy Yarou Wedding, Kazuki is determined that two men can't have a real relationship and considers his brother-in-law's reaction to being molested by him as proof, never mind Yuuhi's protests. Later on in the series it become clear why this was such an issue for him.
  • In Saikin Imouto No Yousu Ga Chotto Okashiinda Ga, the ghost Hiyori Kotobuki often possesses Mitsuki Kanzaki and forces her to masturbate or hit on her own brother Yuya. Sometimes, Hiyori will kiss, fondle, and molest Mitsuki (since Mitsuki can feel her) no matter how many times she says, "Stop" or tries to resist. Mitsuki complains about this a lot. Unconcerned, Hiyori points out that deep down inside, she enjoyed it. Mitsuki will blush and admit it is true.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Fritz the Cat story "Fritz the No-Good", Fritz rapes the girlfriends of one of the revolutionaries in the story. However, she actually enjoys it. This trope reoccurs in "Fritz the Cat, Superstar", where Fritz throws himself on a fan and she doesn't seem to object much, only commenting "wow, man, you're too much".

     Fan Works 
  • Sort of experienced by George in With Strings Attached, when Fi'ar doses him with Lust Dust and he leaps on her. Later, safely away from her and her vengeful mother, he decides she effectively raped him, except he remembers the brief experience as enjoyable, which annoys him. Ultimately he decides he has more important things to worry about.
  • In Fever Dreams Misa seems to think so when she assaults Light in front of his mother and sister.

    Film 
  • Perhaps most controversially used in Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, in which the unfulfilled wife of a nebbish professor is raped by her brawny former boyfriend and, midway through, begins to enjoy it due to her lingering affection for the man.
  • Similarly in the Russ Meyer film Lorna, the titular character is raped by an escaped convict and starts to enjoy it. She subsequently invites the man back to her home for sex.
  • The plot of the 1977 adult film Joy. The heroine enjoys it so much her enthusiasm scares off the rapist. Soon she's indiscriminately doing the same to men all around town. Her male victims are uncertain whether or not they should press charges for the same reason.
  • In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Frank N. Furter sleeps with both Brad and Janet. To do this, he disguises himself as the other character and gets frisky. When the disguises come off, they initially object, then give in.
    Janet: "Oh, STOP... I mean help..."
  • Also shows up in Doctor Zhivago:
    "And don't delude yourself this was rape. That would flatter us both."
  • In Monty Python's Life of Brian, after Brian discovers his father was a Roman:
    Brian: "You mean...you were raped?!"
    Mother: "Well, at first, yes."
  • In Revenge of the Nerds, Lewis (a nerd) commits Rape By Fraud against head-cheerleader Betty by disguising himself as her mean boyfriend, Stan (the quarterback). He reveals himself to her immediately after, she is so overwhelmed by Lewis's sexual expertise that she falls in love with him. This was lampshaded in Robot Chicken.
  • In Gone with the Wind, Rhett Butler rapes his wife Scarlett, but the next day she's blushing blissfully about it. This also counts as Values Dissonance since the idea of marital rape being a crime is a very new concept and was not around at the time the book or movie were made.
  • In the Hanzo the Razor trilogy of films (starring Shintaro Katsu of the Zatoichi series), the titular policeman interrogates women by raping them until they cannot refuse telling him whatever he wants to know.
  • In Rob Roy, Archie (the villain) is speculating on various possible fathers, one of whom "lifted [his mother's] skirts at a masque ball." When Archie's girlfriend, shocked, replies "He ravished her?" Archie simply says "I would put it no higher than surprise." Later on, when Archie rapes the hero's wife, Brian Cox shows up to tell her that it doesn't count as a sin (of adultery) if she didn't enjoy it. Even further on, Archie taunts Rob by musing if Mary enjoyed it somewhat.
  • In High Plains Drifter, the third thing Clint Eastwood's character does after riding into town is to drag off a woman who was harassing him and force himself on her. Halfway through the act she starts kissing him enthusiastically. Later she comes after him with a gun—according to the other characters she was angry because he "didn't come back for more", but given how awful the townspeople are it's debatable how true this statement is.
  • The Killer Inside Me: Joyce starts hitting Lou, Lou hits her back, and then shoves her down on the bed and starts beating her with his belt. It's awful... until he apologizes, looking shocked at himself, and she tells him it's OK and kisses him. They then begin an S&M relationship.
  • A borderline case occurs in Unfaithful (the American remake of "La Femme infidèle"); wife Connie Sumner (Diane Lane) is walking out on Paul Martel (Olivier Martinez) to stop her affections from developing further. Martel angrily chases her out of his apartment, slams her against the wall, and starts forcibly kissing and groping her. She struggles at first, then quickly submits to her infidelity.
  • In Lust, Caution, the heroine ends up falling in love with the man she's been ordered to sleep with and whose idea of intimacy is to take her by force.
  • In Dreamscape, people have the ability to visit other people's dreamworlds while they're asleep by way of psychic abilities. Alex uses this trope as his rationalization for covertly inserting himself into Jane's dreams to make her think she was having a sex fantasy about him, rather than making out with the real life person. The fact that she enjoyed herself doesn't negate the fact that he just basically raped her (Mind Rape?), as she was in no position to give informed consent.

    Literature 
  • Used in Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. In her own words, Ayn Rand declares "If it is rape, then it is rape by engraved invitation." Through the use of subtle advances, the heroine basically does everything an upstanding woman of the 1920s can do to get his attention - without ever explicitly consenting. She repeatedly refers to it as rape after the fact, yet seems to be proud of the experience.
  • Tylin to Mat in The Wheel of Time. A truly horrifying example in which the victim keeps on seeking help from his (female) friends who are awesomely powerful mages that owe him their lives... and they laugh at him, telling him he "deserves" to be repeatedly raped (for offenses which include having been a flirt in his teenage years, and the aforementioned saving their lives). It is only after he has had a personal breakdown from these events, recovered from it, escaped (saving his ingrateful alleged "friends" once again), and several other events have happened that someone gives the women in question a What the Hell, Hero? speech and makes them apologize... which they use as simply another opportunity to insult Mat.
  • In the Outlander series.
    • Jack Randall purposefully alternates between brutal sadism and romantic attentions, in an attempt to elicit a physical response from his male victim, and he succeeds. Jamie is left disturbed, confused, and furious.
    • In another example, with a female making the advances and without the sadism, Geilis quite clearly takes advantage of Ian during Voyager. Other characters seem ambivalent about this, in what appears to be Deliberate Values Dissonance.
  • Carrie: Margaret crudely tells Carrie how she was produced via rape because Margaret considered all sex — even within marriage — to be offensive and sinful. She starts screaming about how she admits she enjoyed it.
  • A weird example in another King book, The Waste Lands. An incubus doesn't want to rape Susannah if she's enjoying it. At first it overpowers her and forces itself upon her painfully, but when she pretends to like it, it tries to get away.
  • Subverted in Kushiel's Legacy. Several times, Phedre has been placed in situations where she has been forced into sex with another person. She mentions the worst part of the experience is always the humiliation of enjoying it.
  • From the Discworld:
    "Not rape. I believe," said Mr. Betteridge, finding a rock on which he could stand. "Not in the case of Cohen the Barbarian. Ravishing, possibly."
    "There is a difference?"
    "It's more a matter of approach, I understand." said the historian. "I don't believe there were ever any actual complaints."
  • Speak: Andy Evans pulls this on Melinda in The Climax, right before trying to rape her. Again. This time, she kicks his ass.
  • In V. C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic, after Christopher begs Cathy to forgive him for raping her, she comforts him by insisting that she wanted it just as much as he did and could've stopped him if she'd wanted to. However, in the description of the rape itself Cathy describes having initially tried to fight him off, but that "It wasn't much of a battle" because of his greater weight and height (a sentiment she follows, however, almost immediately with "And I loved him"). Factor in that the two are brother and sister and the whole event becomes even more distressing.
  • Invoked in the Hurog series by Patricia Briggs, Ward is very uncomfortable discussing what happened to him while he was a prisoner. Another character reassures him that he shouldn't feel guilty or question his sexuality; rape is rape, no matter if his body enjoyed it or not.
  • How Like A God almost hits this trope, but the protagonist has just enough decency left to reconsider. (It helps that the issue of consent's even iffier here than normal.)
  • One of the most disconcerting parts about Push: Precious recalls her father raping her and vividly remembers enjoying it in parts, despite the awful shame and self-loathing that came with it (not to mention the two pregnancies).
  • Played disturbingly straight (despite Aliens Made Them Do It, and all the more so for the fact that they end up as an Official Couple) in Stardoc with Cherijo and Duncan. And again in Bio Rescue (in the same 'verse, but not the same series) with Dair and Onkar...only without Aliens Made Them Do It, and with the addition of its resulting in pregnancy.
  • Near the end of One Hundred Years of Solitude, the latest Aureliano is unable to cope with his attraction to Amaranta Ursula, who is his aunt and who he believes to be his sister, and rapes her while her husband is in the other room. She tries to fight him off at first, but ends up enjoying it so much that her feelings of love are transferred from her husband over to him.
  • The Rape of Lucrece. Where it's debated whether a rape victim is pure or not, if the victim might have enjoyed it. Only through killing herself is the stain removed. Yeah, there's a reason this one isn't talked about as much as Shakespeare's other works.

    Live Action TV 
  • This trope is often discussed on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, especially when there are male rape victims. "Arousal is not consent", or words to that effect, are often heard in these situations. Specific examples include:
    • When three female white collar workers are accused of raping a male stripper. Lots of politics get flung around at the bail hearing, until the judge declares that women's rights have moved forward enough for women to also take responsibility as potential sexual predators.
    • There's another episode where a man is raped by another man and doesn't want his girlfriend to know about it because he climaxed.
  • In Picket Fences, a woman rapes a man, and the police are a bit confused, also pointing out that he did climax himself.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: In the episode "The Nightman Cometh" this rationalization makes up the plot of the song "Nightman," but don't try to tell Charlie that.note 
  • This is literally the rapist Dean's defense when Paige Michalchuk sues him for rape in Degrassi The Next Generation.
    Dean's Lawyer: And you find my client attractive?
    Paige: (hesitating) Yes. I did. Before.
    Dean's Lawyer: My client put his hand inside your blouse, did you immediately reject him? Slap him? For the record, please.
    Paige: No.
    Dean's Lawyer: This is very difficult for you I know, but when my client touched your breast how did you respond? Did you enjoy it?
    Paige: (hesitating) No. Well, at first...yeah.
    Dean's Lawyer: You're telling us that you did. Ms. Michalchuk.
  • The defense used by the people who run the Dollhouse in Dollhouse is that when Actives are sent on romantic engagements, they genuinely love the clients and willingly have sex with them, having no idea that they've been hired out rather than being in long-term relationships with the clients or that their own memories and personalities are constructs. Agent Ballard disagrees, of course, and feels terrible about sleeping with Mellie after learning that she's an Active. He also refuses to have sex with Echo, a self-aware Active who has integrated her imprint personalities, because he doesn't think it's right while her original personality, Caroline, is still missing.
  • Rescue Me's third season episode "Sparks" features Tommy in an argument with his ex-wife over the ownership of some property, all of which Tommy insists are his and basically tells his ex-wife "You're mine", and forces himself on her, she fights for a while but eventually enjoys it. Cue outrage.
  • Discussed in the first episode of Crownies by two of the prosecutors.
  • Cracker had a discussion something along the lines of
    Perp: "But he got a hard-on, he enjoyed it!"
    Fitz: "I've had a hard-on from the vibrations of a bus, it doesn't mean I want to shag the conductor."

    Theater 
  • A similar discussion is seen near the end of Titus Andronicus, ending in The Reveal via the Tragic Hero casually killing his daughter.
  • The Phantom of the Opera alludes to this. There has been much debate over what happens between Christine and the Phantom after the lights go out at the conclusion of "Music Of The Night"—and if there WAS sex, it would be rape, as Christine was alternately unconscious/in a trance at the time. When Christine describes the encounter to Raoul, she states that though she is terrified of the Phantom, she is equally drawn to him by his beautiful music. There's also debate over whether the Phantom is even physically capable of having sex.

    Video Games 
  • The Neverwinter Nights mod series The Bastard of Kosigan has a couple of scenes that can play out this way. If the player has a high enough Charisma and chooses the violent rape option with Diane in the forest north of Cologne, the following text is something along the lines of "she is a lot less reluctant than she should be."
  • Embric of Wulfhammer's Castle sees the Duchess raped by a woman; she acknowledges that it was rape, and does accuse Carmina of raping her, but the fact that she enjoyed it (and doesn't mind describing it in erotic detail for her maid to arouse herself with later) is just one of the mitigating factors involved.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Yosuga no Sora, Nao rapes Haruka while they're young teens. Afterwards she begins putting her clothes back on, while he's still sort of on his back apparently not knowing what to do. Later he chases after her, and although she feels ashamed, he tells her he enjoyed it.

    Web Original 


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alternative title(s): Not If They Enjoyed It Rationalisation
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