I am thinking about sci-fi/fantasy society in which sexual feelings between the individuals have a natural way of getting synced up. It can be achieved through pheromones, or magical link (it does not have to be scientific, only logical).

When two people are in proximity, their sexual feelings interact with each other without any conscious action on part of those individuals. There can be positive feedback, if both individuals feel attraction, and negative feedback, when at least one of the individuals does not feel sexual, and other's arousal does not invoke any response.

The net result is that when it comes to sex, both individuals will have to be equally aroused or else the sex can't happen.

This, as I'm thinking, would eliminate sexual violence and rape as we know it. Consider the scenario of sexual attack - an aroused man is attacking a woman. Woman gets scared and her sexual ego rebuts all attacks of man's sexual ego. Negative feedback starts and man is losing his arousal as well as interest in having sex.

Would these changes cause this society to have much lower incidence of sex crimes?

P.S Thank you very much everybody for the answers. I need to note, though, that this society's feature is not going to address all the motives for rape - it only one mechanism to prevent (or reduce) this specific crime itself.

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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – Tim B
    Mar 11, 2017 at 13:48

5 Answers 5


Number 1 - Makes sense, to a degree, because on a sub-level this is exactly what happens. Not quite as obvious and powerful, but it does happen.

Number 2 - No. Will they be Less amicable and harmonic? Also no. The thing is, arousal does not equal desire. Else, Viagra wouldn't need to exist. Someone committing a rape might lose their arousal, but that doesn't mean they don't WANT to continue, they just CAN'T. This COULD lead to things getting worse - They're now frustrated, and have already shown they're capable of doing violent acts.

Additionally, being aroused doesn't mean you WANT something to happen. Bodily functions are automatic - Ask any man if they've had an erection that they simply wanted to go away and it just, well, stuck around. This is something that a lot of people don't understand, and why men are often laughed at when they say they've been raped - They were aroused, so OBVIOUSLY they wanted it, right? Wrong, of course, but that's how society works.

Dropping such a mechanism onto otherwise human society really wouldn't change much. Could it be included into a society that's a bit more peaceful, sure, but by itself it wouldn't cause a lot of waves.

  • $\begingroup$ I was already thinking if loss of arousal can lead to worse things. It probably can, but only in a few cases. Potential perpetrators would know from their adolescence that they simply can't get what they want this way. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Mar 10, 2017 at 3:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Alexander - it would depend on what they want, wouldn't it? Non-sexual motives for rape (dominance, aggression, sadism, desire to be placated or feared, entitlement, control etc) are likely to still be present and lead to violence in your setup. It might eliminate, or more likely change, how those drives are expressed, how or what rape is in your world, but I doubt it is simple enough that loss of arousal will prevent rape. $\endgroup$
    – Megha
    Mar 11, 2017 at 16:22
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with Megha - Rape is very rarely simply "Because they were aroused." It's often about entitlement, and far too often dimply a matter of the rapist showing that they can have whatever they want. You also can't say that removing the sexual act from rape would make things less violent because rape IS violence. Many humans, unable to go sexual with rape, would fall back on a simple old fashioned beating or other abuse $\endgroup$
    – Andon
    Mar 11, 2017 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ This is what I'm trying to analyze. How much violence is going to be in this society? Would it be just battery, or more gruesome things like murder? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Mar 13, 2017 at 17:45

You are under the false assumption that rape is primarily a matter of sexual desire. It is not. Rape is very often a matter of domination and power more than lust. Depending on the exact way your link works, it might make it difficult for the man to maintain an erection, but even in the real world, some rapes are done with objects and once Viagra is invented in your fictional world, that's it with that saviour.

Such a link would reduce the number of date-rapes and misunderstandings, the source of many controversial rape cases where - possibly - the perpetrator did not actually intend a rape and was under the impression the sex was consensual. Such cases do exist, though the literature is divided over what the percentages are.


Besides what has already been said, couldn't this work on the opposite manner? If sexual feelings are linked, what would stop the woman that is being raped from starting to get aroused on the same measure of the man that is raping her? If this happened, then sexual crimes would increase, not decrease.


What it will stop:

  • Self justification of "she/he wanted it really". (Except in genuine psychopaths)
  • Societal condemnation/defence in court of "she wore a short skirt so she was asking for it".
  • Sale of any food/drug reputed to be an aphrodisiac (e.g. oysters, powdered rhino horn), which turns out not to be.

What it won't stop:

  • Rape/sexual assault of victims - male or female, adult or child - who are unconscious. Through, for instance, rohypnol, excess of alcohol or smashing them across the back of the head with a baseball bat.

  • Rape/sexual assault of victims with the rapist's fingers and foreign objects.

What it might stop:

  • Child brides. If the girls are too young to feel desire, and the men know they won't feel any themselves, they might decide to postpone the marriage until the girl becomes an adult. (Unless the marriage is for political or economic reasons, in which case the sex is irrelevant until heirs need to be produced).

  • Arranged marriages. If one or both of the bride and groom doesn't fancy the other, no grandchildren are going to be produced for the parents arranging the marriage. "Lie back and think of England" no longer works, so parents of prospective brides/grooms might think twice about forcing them to get hitched. (Again, marriages for political or economic reasons may still go ahead).

What it might start:

  • People spiking each other's drinks or food with 'arousal drugs'. Not viagra, but drugs which increase libido and reduce inhibitions. A quick google informed be that drugs called melanocortins increase sexual desire in men, and a drug called Addyi has recently been FDI approved to increase sexual desire in women (both for medical reasons).

  • If such arousal drugs have been known about for millennia (e.g. oysters or powdered rhino horn really do have that strong an effect), then child brides and arranged marriages of unwilling bride/groom don't stop - the parents just hand the groom a bottle of oyster juice or a pill of powdered tiger penis and tell them to get on with it.


I will let pass your belief that magic can be logical. I don't think it can be, at the molecular and atomic level, but that's a debate for another day. http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-05/science-arousal-during-rape In a storybook world, where people only have sex after they fall in love (and isn't that exactly what you're describing?), sure thing. Of course, in those story book worlds (children's stories, I mean) rape doesn't exist. So, can you eliminate rape by making the world into a storybook? Well, with magic, why not? Otherwise, no. Your idea that sexual assault is mostly about sexual desire is (to be more polite than I think I should have to be) incorrect. Assault is about bullying, sadism, and control. It is about aggressive domination of one person by another. It is a criminal act, NOT a physiological one. Rape is not physiological, it is pathological. I could say more, but I find this question really offensive. You've got a lot to learn about our species, I suggest you read up on rape and sexual assault, especially its causes. last note: You seem to be fixated on those organs (penis) which can be sexually aroused. So, answer me this: are more sexual assaults done with penises or with hands? (I hope you don't think hands can be aroused...). And when a rape occurs with a broom stick, or other phallic shaped object, how does your (wrong-headed) theory explain that?

  • $\begingroup$ I mostly agree with you points, but your condescending and bitchy way disqualifies your answer. $\endgroup$
    – user6415
    Apr 4, 2017 at 18:29

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