The following is reprinted with permission from "Reforging Relationships: intimacy without violence" by David Frazee and Suzanne O'Brien from the Stanford Rape Education Project.
"I'm not aware of any common English phrases that allow one to express sexual desire in a way that acknowledges both lust and humanity." - Timothy Beneke in "Men on Rape"
"Metaphors may create realities for us, especially social realities. A metaphor may thus be a future action. Such actions will, of course, fit the metaphor. This will in turn reinforce the power of the metaphor to make experience coherent. In this sense metaphors can be self-fulfilling prophecies." - Lakoff and Johnson in "Metaphors We Live By"
"Just what is non-rape-supportive language? How can I nicely say that I want to give my boyfriend a blow job?"
"Not every man is a rapist, but every man who grows up in America and learns American English learns all to much to think like a rapist, to structure his experience of women and sex in terms of status, hostility, control, and dominance." - Timothy Beneke in "Men on Rape"
"I don't think men realize just how much their language can intimidate. It doesn't comfort me any that women often use the same language."
"fuck (taboo) vt. To cheat, trick, take advantage of, deceive or treat someone unfairly. Very common. The relationship between sex and fraud is best illustrated by this usage..." - Wentworth and Flexner in _the Dictionary of American Slang_
Through metaphors, common English phrases contribute to and perpetuate attitudes that condone rape. The metaphors which we commonly use to talk about sex often create or legitimize attitudes which connect sex with violence, sex with degradation, and sex with dominance. The following list is adapted from Timothy Beneke's 1982 work "Men on Rape."
SEX IS ACHIEVEMENT
I'd like to make it with her.
He's successful with women.
I went all the way with her.
I didn't get anywhere with her.
SEX IS PERFORMANCE
You were great last night.
I got rave reviews in bed.
He's good in bed.
She's a good screw.
WOMEN ARE OBJECTS
She's a cute thing.
Take off your clothes and show me your stuff.
How would you like a little bit of that?
She likes to flaunt it.
He played her like a violin.
WOMEN ARE ANIMALS
She works like a Playboy bunny.
She's real foxy.
Let's see if we can shoot some squirrel (or beaver.)
She's really a dog.
What a bitch!
WOMEN ARE CHILDREN
Do you like the girls at the office?
Janice is our playmate of the month!
SEX IS FOOD:
She was the best piece of ass I ever had.
What a dish!
WOMEN ARE THEIR GENITALS
She's a cunt.
MEN ARE THEIR GENITALS
He's been a real dick lately.
What a cock.
A PENIS' LENGTH is MANLINESS
He's hung like a bear.
He couldn't please anyone with that thing.
He's more man than she can handle.
She's not ready for my hot beef insertion.
A SEXUALLY ACTIVE WOMAN IS BAD:
What a slut.
She's a little tramp.
She'll spread for the break.
A SEXUALLY ACTIVE MAN IS GOOD
Boy is he a stud.
He's a player.
He's a master of the bedroom.
SEX IS A HUNT, A CONQUEST
I'm going to go out and get a piece of ass tonight.
They're going cock hunting.
He's looking for a good fuck.
He tamed her.
SEX IS BEING SERVICE BY A WOMAN
She wouldn't put out for me.
She did it for him but she wouldn't do it for me.
Last night she gave me a blow job.
She knows how to please me.
SEX IS INSTRUCTION
I know how to show a woman a good time.
You could learn a lot fom me, baby.
I could teach her a thing or two.
SEX IS TRIUMPH
I really put it to her!
I really stuck it to her!
SEX IS TRIUMPH THROUGH INFLICTING PLEASURE
Boy, did I make her moan!
I got her so hot she could hardly stand it!
She was in such heat she was begging for it.
SEX IS MADNESS
I'm wild with desire.
Every time I look at a woman I go crazy.
SEXUAL FEELING IS ELECTRICITY/FLUIDS CONTROLLED BY A WOMAN:
She turns me on.
She really got my juices flowing.
One look at her and I'm all stirred up.
FLIRTING/FOREPLAY IS ASKING FOR INTERCOURSE
She really wants it.
She's hot for you.
She's just asking for it.
SEX IS A POWER WOMEN HAVE OVER MEN
She's just a cock teaser.
If she wouldn't give it to him, why did she lead him on.
Women can have it any time they want it.
SEX IS A COMMODITY
I've never had to pay for pussy.
Why should a man rape if he can get it for free?
She wouldn't give me any.
He's not one to let an opportunity pass him by.
You got her used.
She owed it to me.
VIRGINITY IS A COMMODITY
She lost it to him.
She's damaged goods.
I'm saving it for my husband.
SEX IS POSSESSION
I'd like to have her for a night.
I bet I could get her if I tried.
I want him to have me.
SEX IS A SPORT:
I hope I score tonight.
I struck out with her.
I reached second base with her.
He made a pass at her.
He's playing the field.
SEX IS A AMBLING GAME
If you play your cards right, you'll score.
Your best bet is not to come on too strong.
SEX IS WAR
I tried to get her into bed but got shot down.
If I can wear down her resistance, I'll score.
He's always hitting on women.
She ignored his sexual advances.
SEX IS THEFT
She's good snatch.
If she won't give it, I'm going to take it.
He's robbing the cradle.
I'd like to cop some ass.
SEX IS HITTING A WOMAN'S GENITALS
I'd like to bang her box.
MASTURBATION IS HITTING ONES OWN GENITALS
I beat my meat last night.
I like to whack off.
IMPREGNATION IS AN ACT OF VIOLENCE
He knocked her up.
A PENIS IS A GUN; SPERM IS AMMUNITION
He shot his load into her.
SEX IS AGGRESSIVE DEGRADATION
I'd like to screw her.
I want to fuck her.