Some of my earliest fantasies involve kidnapping. Not necessarily sexual fantasies, but fantasies nonetheless. I grew up in the eighties when kidnapping was all over the news and a common trope in after-school-specials. Every kid from that era remembers going down to the police station to get fingerprinted, right? So they could identify our trail if we were lost or taken? (This was before accurate DNA testing).
Fear of being kidnapped ranked right up there on my childhood terror list in second place after nuclear war with the USSR and just before acid rain.
I remember distinctly on my first day of first grade, being told by my mother that “I looked so cute, I hope no one kidnaps you!” This was said with actual concern, not in a joking tone. Luckily, my town was so small and my home environment so safe that I never really felt afraid of actually being kidnapped. (At least I don’t recall it). Though I likely internalized my mother’s fear quite a bit and that’s probably why I’ve been somewhat cautious my entire life.
What I did feel was a certain abstract sense of thrill at the prospect. When I was very young, I imagined being blindfolded and stuck in the back of a pickup truck, the kind with the camper topper, and being driven across the country to some scary city somewhere. In my imaginings, the kidnapper would always make a mistake, a moment of not paying attention, and I’d free myself through some bit of clever ingenuity and find a payphone and call my parents. Often this nameless kidnapper had also kidnapped another girl and it was always my levelheadedness and quick thinking which invariably saved us both.
When I got a little older, maybe fourth grade on, my fantasies took a more elaborate turn. In these fantasies, I was some sort of beautiful professional, kidnapped by evildoers and then left for dead in some treacherous terrain where I would be rescued by a group of men (all played by imagined-adult versions of the boys in my grade).
In the scenario I went to most often, I was a famous dancer (possibly having watched Flashdance too many times), captured by an evil Dr. No type and inexplicably dropped from a plane onto the frozen ice of Antarctica. There, a group of male researchers would find me and bring me back to their lab and coax me back to life. This restoration invariably involved me being unconsciously undressed by one of the rescuers, and waking up to find him in bed with me, also naked, reviving me by body-heat transfer – the fastest and most efficient medical technique, apparently. While I remember this particular situation being a major part of the story, I don’t actually recall it being sexualized any more than the nakedness. It’s possible I didn’t have the vocabulary or imagination for what else we could get up to.
After I was successfully revived, sometimes with amnesia, sometimes not, this group of rescuers would all vie for my affections. There were seven boys in my grade and imagined grown-up versions of them all played a role. Sometimes, it was Wade who I fell in love with, sometimes it was Bobby, sometimes it was Justin, sometimes it was Shane. Of course, it was never Troy because he was my real-life cousin.
Sometimes I was a famous scientist myself, kidnapped and left to die in the dessert, when a crew of archaeologists (still my classmates) would discover me. Or I was left alone in the woods and had to hike my way out, only to be rescued by a group of park rangers. But really, it was the Antarctica scenario that sticks most in my mind.
I would lay in bed at night, trying to fall asleep, and go through every detail of each scenario. Every word said, what I was wearing exactly, what they were wearing, what the lab looked like. I often fell asleep in just the decorating, but that may be beside the point.
I’d play out scenarios for weeks, trying to stay awake until I could get to the good parts, but absolutely needing to get all the preliminary details right first. (Er, that could be a metaphor for a lot of things in my life… note to self to mull on that later). AFter I got bored with one scenario, I’d change it up.
It’s actually a technique I still use when trying to fall asleep, though the naked body heat bits are usually much more elaborate and the scenarios slightly more realistic. (My car breaks down, I go out for a drink alone in a new town, I sit next to someone hot on a plane).
I think the kidnapping fantasies and the being rescued speak to my submissive interests when it comes to sex. Interestingly, the focus in my mind at the time was not usually on the kidnapper but on the rescuer. Though I would say now, the things I like during sex (restraint, struggle, being overpowered) are definitely more in line with a kidnapper than a rescuer. I just don’t think I had any concept of the idea that a “bad guy” could be “good” when I was young. And while I masturbated from a very early age, I don’t think my sexuality blossomed until much, much later. The two were not really tied together, the physical sensation and the awareness of myself as a sexual being were (and still are to some extent when it comes to masturbation) completely separate functions in my brain.
While I remember these fantasies in some detail, I sure wish I had taken the time to write them down back then. Who knows what I’ve forgotten that I thought about kidnapping 30 years ago? I’m sure it would have made for a very interesting read.