#Nominated for Best #BDSM Book – But Not Wanted! Non Consensual Erotica Again

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The Ties That Bind received a nomination for Best BDSM book of the year 2016, but was not accepted due to it being non-consensual erotica.

I disagree with this, mainly because it is discrimination and I abhor discrimination in all shapes and forms, and secondly because I believe it a woman’s right to be able to read anything she wants – including naughty fantasies of her choosing. Men have long had their fantasies, both as pinups and in pornographic movies, so why is there such censure upon literature these days?

Quote from Anne Rice

As a feminist, I’m very much supportive of equal rights for women in all walks of life. And that includes for me the right of every woman to write out her sexual fantasies and to read books filled with sexual fantasies that she enjoys. Men have always enjoyed all kinds of pornography. How can it be wrong for women to have the same right? We’re sexual beings! And fantasy is where we can do the things we can’t do in ordinary life. A woman has a right to imagine herself carried away by a handsome prince, and to choose for herself as she writes, the color of his hair and eyes, and imagine his silky voice. She has a right to make him as tall as she wants and as strong as he wants. Why not? Men have always allowed themselves such fantasies.

Why are people so worried about non-consensual erotica?

Anyone who’s read either my book, or Anne Rice’s Beauty series will realise immediately that they’re in the land of fantasy. You don’t see paddocks full of naked pony-girls very often, so it’s not a hard conclusion to come by.

You don’t read Superman and expect to be able to fly off buildings, similarly, you don’t read dark erotica and get out the whips and canes. That’s why it’s called FICTION. It’s make believe.

fic|tion
NOUN
literature in the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people.
synonyms: novels · stories · creative writing · imaginative writing · [more]
something that is invented or untrue:
“they were supposed to be keeping up the fiction that they were happily married”

The Horror Genre

Imagine organising a book fair and then banning Steven King from going along because there’s a lot of blood, gore, penises being chopped off, graphic rape and so forth. It’s horror. We understand that. That’s why people choose what they want to read. Everyone likes reading something different. I love dark erotica. I hate your typical romance, where the format is nearly always the same and I can predict the ending 99 per cent of the time.

As women, and as sexual beings, we have the right to naughty fantasies just as much as men do. So where has all this sudden distaste come from? Women have long been reading Black Lace fantasies and non-consensual erotica in the form of alpha males who won’t take no for an answer and big sword swiping figures in historical romance. Non-con is nothing new. It’s a popular fantasy. FANTASY. There, I’ve said the word.

Non-consensual has no place in the real world – but it has every right to be in fiction – just as much as horror does.

Political Forces At Bay?

At the time of the ‘Beauty Trilogy’ release, many feminists were very opposed to pornography arguing that it is inherently harmful or exploitative to women. However, Rice disagreed and she resisted all efforts to politicize or sanitize women’s fantasies. She firmly believed that women should be able to write and read whatever erotica they wanted, a sentiment probably supported by many in the H&H community. Unafraid to make a political statement, Rice released her hardcore fantasy erotica and it came to be considered a classic of the genre and a departure point for many discussions concerning the role of feminism within erotica.

Non consensual erotica does not encourage men to go out mauling women. For starters, the erotica literature market is around eighty percent women and twenty per cent men, and secondly, men would rather watch pornography than read it. We have to allow men some credit. They have brains, too. They know fantasy when they read it. If people who read Steven King don’t go around trying to stick axes in skulls, then we can probably safely say that most people don’t try to act out what they read.

Why won’t women stick up for their naughty fantasies? I’m curious. Don’t you think we should be allowed them? Should they be confined to our heads only? Because that, in my opinion, is about as sexist as it gets.

Rant over 🙂

12 thoughts on “#Nominated for Best #BDSM Book – But Not Wanted! Non Consensual Erotica Again

  1. I do think non-con is a different animal, but I don’t see why they can’t have a non-con category. Yes, in RL BDSM should always be consensual, but this is fiction and there’s a huge difference between the two. As you said, just because a character does something doesn’t mean we should all believe we are capable of performing the same feat. I don’t know much about the BDSM Writers Conference, but if they don’t accept non-consensual BDSM fiction, and I do guess that’s their right since it is their contest and their rules, they should make it clear in the guidelines, and I don’t think they do. The Ties that Bind is dark erotica for sure, and it is about as non-consensual as I’m willing to read, but I’m surprised none of the other nominated books don’t have non-consensual activities occurring as well, especially since I know a few of those authors tend to write non-consensual dark erotica. It’s a shame Ties was disqualified, but perhaps instead of the golden flogger award it should be nominated for the exquisite torture award. Just a thought.

    • LMAO! I’m over it now, but I need to rant. As to the ‘exquisite torture award’ – maybe we should start up our own competition? The Naughty Girl’s Guide to BDSM. Now I just need someone who knows how to design websites lol.

  2. Reblogged this on S.J's Blog and commented:
    I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed this series and I’m gutted that the nomination for The Ties That Bind was removed. Not once did I think the non con aspects of it were wrong as I read because it’s FANTASY and bloody hot, delicious fantasy at that.
    C.P you’re a winner in my eyes sweetheart xxx

  3. Noncon is tricky. As a reader and a writer, I wrestle with this a lot. Many of my own fantasies flirt with, or dive headlong into, dubcon/noncon territory.

    Fiction is fiction. There is no denying that. I agree with your analogy of erotica horror. I’ve made similar arguments myself. Why is it okay to display a magazine with an assault rifle on the cover (something I see regularly in my area of the U.S.) but not bare breasts? Our society has weird ideas of what is taboo.

    I think rape fantasies make people uncomfortable. Even if they’re fantasies that you entertain, they don’t fit well into a rational person’s worldview. They cause cognitive dissonance because they’re not okay in real life. It’s uncomfortable to endorse a story that contains noncon. But humans are both biological and rational beings. Our sexuality is based in something that closer to primordial ooze than modern politics of sexuality.

    As you point out, fantasy and reality are two different things. Let’s face it: people like to read about stuff that would make us cringe in real life. Quidditch would NEVER be allowed at a real school. It’s way too fucking dangerous. And consent is ALWAYS important in real life sexual encounters.

    But c’mon. This is fantasy. Dream whatever you want, and do unto others what you would have them do unto you. Which may include restraints and nipple clamps. The rule still holds. 😉

    You might be interested in this rant, on a related topic: https://sexscribbler.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/romance-as-accidental-rebellion-a-response/

    • I can understand the problems with rape fantasies – because I wouldn’t want to read that myself. But for the most part, non-con is often being kidnapped and falling in love with your captor. There’s usually no ‘force’ involved – and let’s face it, rape isn’t exactly erotic. I can’t imagine anything written in that fashion selling particularly well, although I suspect I’d be surprised. I’m just annoyed that everyone is going PC out there. One day these type of books will be wiped from the shelves and that will be a sad day. Readers are just as entitled to a sexy erotica capture story, as they are to being captured aboard a space shift and flown to the planet XXX. As to the article – loved it – was entertained by the part about amazon removing most of the self-published erotica and leaving the big guys alone. No great surprise. But my biggest beef is with the world in general. You can get guns over the counter in the US which KILL people. You can’t buy several naughty books on Amazon because they have been sent to the dungeon never to be found again. Explain the politics of that to me. Amazon could very easily identify the ages of their shoppers – indeed they do – via their accounts. Just prevent youngsters from seeing the naughty stuff. Easy. This isn’t what it’s about. Grrr. Stamp feet etc. LOL.

      • Well, I think it’s likely that books with edgy content will continue to be sold, just perhaps not on Amazon. That being said, it’s possible that new generations of readers will demand more explicit content that fits their tastes (kinks). I guess there’s no guarantee of this progression, but it seems likely given the past fifty years or so. At least, I have hope that in ten years a lot of this erotica won’t be a big deal. Remember, until a few years ago, a lot of people had never encountered these kinky ideas in mainstream bookstores. Already there seems to be a movement toward acceptance, although it’s slower than I’d like.

  4. I think we should be able to read what we choose. It is high time that people in general get a grip It is Fantasy people!! Good grief, I am so tired of having to police for other people’s inability to think for themselves. As Forest Gump said “Stupid is as stupid does” Keep on writing!!!

  5. There’s a certain level of discrimination in regards to anything written by women that is not mainstream, politically correct, socially acceptable, and that a man would read. Unfortunately, some of that discrimination leaks over into the same community who are supporting the writings of women, as in this case. It shouldn’t matter whether it’s consensual or non-consensual eroticism. If the writer places the character there and the character enjoys it in any level of manner, it becomes consensual. The same argument existed with early modern romance writing. As soon as sex was introduced into the story line, it was deemed male dominance over a virgin female and so considered a rape, hence the derogatory label of ‘bodice rippers’ tagged on romance…by men.
    The only way to change things is to educate people and rants like this, Christina, is one way to do it. This was a good one and since you quoted folks who helped shape the community, it makes it all the better. Brava!
    Btw…congratulations on the nomination even if they don’t know the good read they just chose to ignore. 🙂

    • Aww shucks! Thanks Amy 🙂 I just needed to get it off my chest. I hope one day that it will change – I want to be able to read and write what I want, not the ‘politically correct’ or ‘socially acceptable’ version. Fairy tales have long been about and long may they continue! We are still in a land of free speech, right? 🙂

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