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Annie’s Mailbox: Boyfriend’s fantasy is fairly common

Dear Annie: My wonderful boyfriend of two years recently told me he has rape fantasies – both of being the rapist and of being raped. He said that, for obvious reasons, it’s not something he talks about. But things are getting really serious between us, and he doesn’t want to keep any secrets hidden from me.

I am fairly open-minded, but this seems strange, and I’m not comfortable discussing it with my friends or family. I am part of several Internet communities, however, and asked my chat buddies what they thought. Many of them said it was a perfectly normal “kink,” and that fantasy isn’t the same as reality. It doesn’t mean he would ever do it. Is that true?

My boyfriend is a wonderful guy, and I love him, but I’d be lying if I said this revelation didn’t set me on edge a bit. When he first told me, I actually checked the national sex offender registry, but he wasn’t on it. Annie, I just need some reassurance. Should I be worried about this, or has my life been more sheltered than I thought? – Can’t Help Being Concerned

Dear Can’t Help: Try not to overreact. Rape fantasies are fairly common, even among men, and they are actually about dominance and submission. Your boyfriend doesn’t want to hurt you. He may simply get turned on by being totally in charge or being completely overtaken. He should not force you into anything, but if you are willing to role-play with him, it could add excitement to your love life. The choice is yours.