Friday, June 11, 2010

onoes a rant

I started writing something. It was going to be a short something. It has turned into.. well, a beast. One thing led to another, and I was knee deep in reference books and notes. I possibly have more pages of notes than I do of actual writing. Historical fiction is no light undertaking for someone who skipped all but the required history classes in favor of the sciences for credits in school. It is unhelpful that I continue to become distracted and am simply reading these text books instead of digging out the significant information that I require. Even as I undertake this, I wonder just how much I actually need for the purposes of my story. I suspect very little.

On another note, I read Black Wade at the recommendation of this blog. The art is positively gorgeous. The writing leaves much to be desired. The dialogue is stiff and the script hackneyed. To say nothing (except that I am saying something) of the fact that it contained a few of my pet peeves in commercially available erotica. For example, why would the brawny pirate with thick body hair and scraggly jaw take the time to give his junk an immaculate shave? Did he do this while they were sailing in open water? At high seas? Imagine if they'd hit a swell. Oops, there goes a testicle! Guess it's Eunuch Wade we're reading from now on.

Then there's the issue of rape. This story isn't the only one guilty of it. It's an all too common theme. The author feels the need to incorporate forced sex in order to win over the 'curious' protagonist. However, at some point during this rough fucking, the victim (yes, dammit, victim) comes to enjoy the act. Now, I can understand the point that publishing houses don't want to publish actual rape. That a hint of resistance in the beginning and utter yielding and enjoyment are required for the sake of actually having your story hit press. However, if it's not rape, why not just skip it entirely? Use some other device. It's insulting.

Rape is not sex. Rape is not something that the victim enjoys. Sure, some people enjoy rape fantasies, but these are two very different beasts. In the realm of the fantasy scenario, I am the very willing partner playing out the role of the straight-laced archetype fighting and resisting my also very willing partner who is playing out the role of the big-bad pirate. Presumably we even know just how far the other person is willing to take said role. In the case of an actual pirate having kidnapped an actual naval officer (who has supposedly never dabbled and only has eyes for his well-bosomed fiance) and opted to give him what-for with ye old immaculately shaven endowment, the rape victim is not going to continue to cry 'stop' while visibly enjoying himself. And no, I don't just mean involuntary erection with possible ejactulation. I mean swooning expressions and lust-driven moans. I see it all the time in m/m fiction.

"Sure I fucked him. Yeah, he said no, but he didn't mean it."
"How could you tell?"
"The look on his face, your honor! The sounds he was making. He wanted it. Hell, he started begging me for it!"

In what universe does that not make the rapist sound like an ego-driven fuckwad? Oh yeah, the universe of m/m erotica. You know, the one in which the antagonist and protagonist shack up afterward and live happily ever after somewhere under the cumbow.

Dear writers, give us a little credit. Oh, and you know what else? Rape is not okay. Read about it, write about it, what have you. Just stop equating it to love-making. Your magical fuckstick is not going to turn that straight guy queer no matter how much you force him to take it up the ass.

7 comments:

  1. A M E N!!

    Ilu for this <3.... ilu anyway but still, very nicely put.

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  2. Lol ye ol' immaculately shaven endowment.

    Lol cumbow.

    Lol gay pirates.

    Seriously though rape-but-suddenly-I'm-ok-with-this is way too common in all erotica. Good to see plot bunnies from fanfiction can get published in the real world. :| /sarcasm

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  3. Lucille the WeirdMarch 9, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Commenting on an ancient post as I was re-reading your stuff (which I love), I just felt inclined to say...rape is not just "No, stop!" all the time. It can be rape whether you're screaming etc or not saying a word. And orgasms happen during rape sometimes. It's a Thing, y'know, with rape victims feeling ashamed or guilty because they got sexual pleasure out of it. Rape is bad, I'd like to eradicate it from the face of the earth if I could etc but..
    We're talking literature here. It's all unrealistic fantasies. And if the whole "You forced me to have sex with you and now I think you're really sexy!" angle is one that the writer likes/finds hot, why not? It's everywhere in BDSM lit as well, it should probably have a fetish name all of its own giving how common it is.

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  4. Lucille the WeirdMarch 9, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Re-reading that post again, I guess you already addressed a coupla those points but in reply to "Your magical fuckstick is not going to turn that straight guy queer no matter how much you force him to take it up the ass." (which made me laugh)...give the writers a break! If we be realistic then the victim is never going to want to go anywhere near the antagonist again, and then how are they meant to revisit that pairing, unless via MORE rape, and then it's just a rape-fest and rape-fests get boring. Oh, the qualms and quandaries of erotica...

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    Replies
    1. On many levels, I agree with you. It's just fiction, and fantasy, and so why not? Let the writers write what they will. Let the publishers publish what they will.

      You are correct about it being prevalent. It is so common that it has become a standard. It is portrayed as both normal and acceptable, and is heavily romanticized. So what is the issue?

      The real quandary here is that the industry pushes this angle. Rape is not allowed. You cannot have the story stop to point out how Not Okay it is. Rape disguised as consensual sex is allowed. If you try to submit noncon erotic fiction to most pub houses, they will turn around and suggest that you make it acceptable in the end, even if it wasn't at the start. I believe this is also part of why it is so heavy in BDSM lit. There you can further disguise the trapping of an unwilling victim as a form of fetish play. My heart bleeds for the relative scarcity of safe, sane, and consensual BDSM fiction in the mainstream publishing industry (the very thing that inspired me to write this).

      I was discussing the industry here, mind you, and used an individual piece (because that's what I was glancing at when I decided to write this post) as an example for a genre issue. Admittedly, it could use more references for the sake of thoroughness and argument, but I did not provide them at the time as I was just expressing an oft-expressed personal opinion (hence the rant warning in the subject line).

      I think that, even if one were to go the route of "this love god is raping me nononnnn-yesssss" that one should at least acknowledge that that is what it is. Either allow rape, or not, and if not, purge it All from your slush pile and drop it into the recycling.

      I realize that my opinion differs from a great many people's. I am respectful of your right to write as you wish, and even of the publishing industry to publish what it wishes. It is just that I think we would all benefit from more developed plots, as well as scenarios where people grow, change, and do not come to fundamental realizations of their inner selves whilst at the start of a traumatic experience. Realistically, that comes in the aftermath. And, again, I dislike the hypocrisy.

      Granted, this comes from someone who posts snuff-porn and rape revisited repeatedly through Stockholm syndrome. But, you know, I recognize that my spade is a spade.

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    2. Sigh. I fail at my own blog!

      The thing I was compelled to write was this: http://marcusavenier.blogspot.com/2010/09/good-smutty-short.html

      Also, I appreciate that you have both enjoyed the writing, and taken the time to read my nattering on between stories. I do hope that our difference of opinion has not detracted from your experience too much.

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    3. Lucille the WeirdMarch 12, 2012 at 2:09 AM

      Actually, I think we probably agree. At first when I read this post I thought to myself, "Erp! I'm kinda guilty of this!" But then I actually scoured through all the non-con sex scenes I've ever written (too many) and...I kinda don't go that route. Either the "victim" actually consents in some way to get around it or they're, y'know, unhappy about being raped (and unless it's a psychopath character, there can be guilt on the side of the rapist too). Whether it's hot or not, they're unhappy afterwards. They avoid the rapist. I've had characters leave town and make a new life somewhere else simply because they don't want to be near someone that violated them...but then I'm talking about a 300,000+ word saga, so I can afford to put that in the story. When writing a short you don't really have the space, I guess. Would be nice if they at least tried though.
      I don't know, people are really trying to put the focus on consent in BDSM culture so it really pisses me off when I come across BDSM lit where consent is totally ignored and yet it's magically meant to be okay if the victim gets into it.
      If I put BDSM in my sex scenes, it's consensual, and there's probably safewords. It's if's rape then it's not bloody BDSM, it's just RAPE with additional bondage or whatever.
      I have a bit of a fever right now, so I don't know if any of that made sense. Hopefully. :)

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