Exploring Kinks: #1 Dubious Consent
This is all about exploring dubious consent. I’ve been wanting to go into some of the different kinks/genres out there for a while now and really get into the why of what makes them so satisfying. I love the human mind, especially the fucked up ones. I come from a background of, to put it simply, life. I’m drawn to other people that have lived their lives as well and I just find them so damn interesting. The same way certain people are drawn to each other because of shared archetypes in their past, so too are similar people drawn to certain sexual genres. There’s a reason there are popular genres out there: people are wired similarly. And no, not all people like the same thing but there are usually plenty of people that do share a love for one specific topic to make them feel comfortable enough to realize they’re not alone in the world.
This particular topic I am certain has a large following but at the same time, I feel like it’s also one deeply entrenched in the closet, so to speak. There’s a reason for this. Many reasons. The easiest one to point out is that most people, for whatever reason, think dubious consent is the same as rape. I’m here to very loudly tell you that it’s not.
So to start off, let me say that I’m going to be focusing on dubcon/dubious consent in this post but you may see some slipping into noncon/non-consensual/rape in fantasy a bit as well. I personally think that these topics are two very different genres and noncon deserves its own post, but at the same time, if a noncon scene meets certain criteria it can just feel like a slightly racier form of dubious consent.
Also, to be completely clear, this is all in fiction. These are erotic fantasies. They are not created with the intent to send people off into the world to pressure people into having sex, or to force them into it. In real life, I feel consent is 100% necessary for sex, especially for enjoyable sex. I think a big push back against dubcon is for, whatever reason, people cannot differentiate between reality and fantasy for this topic. I also think people freak out about this one a lot because they have some deep-seated attraction to it they can’t face, so they overreact.
Yeah, I said it. By the time I’m done with this post, you might even agree with me.
So, as you’ve probably noticed if you’ve read any of my fics or even just the free one you get when you join my mailing list, I enjoy writing dubious consent. You also may have noticed that how I write dubious consent is usually very different to how many people have come across this genre before. Usually, I see dubious consent hand in hand with drugs, alcohol, manipulative situations where characters are ‘forced’ into sex to *insert resolving conflict here,* they’re cast under hypnosis, or the character being coerced doesn’t actually enjoy the experience. These sorts of scenarios usually don’t do much for me. Why? Because usually the underlying emotional driving force beneath the mechanism of dubious consent is ignored or not understood.
Today I want to explore the emotions that drive readers to dubious consent fantasies. I’m going to dissect this topic as much as I can so even someone that doesn’t enjoy this particular kink can understand why others do. I’m going to offer examples, the psychology beneath it all, and be as open, accepting, and honest as I can be. If you’re here to write, I can tell you that when you understand why people are drawn to a kink, you can write that kink more effectively and draw more readers in. Research is so important for erotica. I don’t care what anyone says about just assuming the reader will fill in the gaps you have failed to detail.
But really, I’m writing this post because I’m tired of people being ashamed of liking this genre. I’m tired of the world condemning this deep seated sexual fantasy because they’re too afraid to look at it objectively. There is absolutely nothing shameful about dubcon and I’m going to prove it to you.
A Non-Sexual Dubious Consent Scene
I’m going to start with taking the sex out of dubious consent to help illustrate that dubcon really isn’t about rape. It’s actually about a struggle of internal wants vs internal and external pressures. Really. That’s all it is. Oh, you might think I’m making this shit up. I promise I’m not.
Charlotte stood staring through the large, crystal clear window while the crowd stepped around her. Inside the store were rows of colorful candies. Bright hot pink gumballs, translucent red Swedish Fish, glowing yellow Lemonheads, deep velvety brown chocolates; the rainbow of sweets began to blur before her eyes and she made herself blink. God, she hated her diet. Why was it the second she decided she needed to lose weight she noticed every piece of candy in the damn town?
She resisted the urge to rest her head on the glass, fighting back a sigh. She couldn’t. Really, she couldn’t. She had her big presentation coming up and she needed to look her best and that meant fitting into her expensive, painfully tight suit. Having cellulite thighs weren’t going to get her the promotion she wanted. Not to mention, her mother had been giving her shit again, suggesting that if she just lost a few more pounds, maybe she’d finally catch herself a husband so she could finally start a family and give up her job. It was really hard for Charlotte’s mother to understand that she didn’t have a job, she had a career, and starting a family wasn’t really on the top of her to-do list. Hell, it might never be on her to-do list. She had enough on that list already, most of it involving getting away from the candy store.
Sighing again, she turned, walking slowly down the street while trying to ignore her reflection in the windows she passed. She wasn’t fat, not really. If anything, she was curvy. Just, curvy apparently wasn’t ‘in’ at the moment. Her reflection just seemed to prove to her that she failed at life no matter how hard she tried to be perfect.
Her mother was very good at making Charlotte count every extra pound as the metaphorical indulgences she didn’t truly deserve in her life. Charlotte wasn’t sure why she didn’t deserve them—She worked hard. She worked as hard as anyone in her office. She scrimped and saved every week so that she’d be able to one day have that house she’d been dreaming of. So what if she didn’t have a boyfriend? So what if she had breasts? Was it a fucking crime to have boobs now? Why did she have to look like a starving stick just so the world would finally relent to the fact that she worked hard?
Charlotte shook her head sharply, crossing the street once the lights started to signal. She was being childish. She didn’t need sugar. She didn’t need candy. She was an adult and adults ate healthy, went to the gym every day, and had grown up relationships instead of one night stands. Her mother was right and she needed to get over it already. She wanted to work in the adult world than she needed to actually go the extra step to be an adult.
Standing taller and sucking her tummy in, Charlotte was too busy glancing sideways at her reflection to realize someone had stumbled in front of her. Gasping as her heel caught on the other person’s clothes, she barreled forward, her knees knocking painfully against the hunched over form. “Shit, sorry! I’m so sorry—I wasn’t fucking looking. Shit.”
Wincing internally as a line of curses fell from her lips that her mother would be so ready to tell her wasn’t befitting a young lady, Charlotte righted herself before she ended up on the concrete, turning her worried gaze to the person sprawled on the ground. A woman in her late thirties blinked back at her, her long brunette hair curling around her shoulders in a puffy mess. She was dressed in a floor-length, flowy dress that looked like something that had come straight out of a hippie commune. Looking down, Charlotte could see the woman’s sandal strap had broken and the colorful canvas bag she had been carrying had dropped, spilling its contents all over the sidewalk.
“Fuck, let me help.” Charlotte immediately knelt, trying to catch the nearest item to keep the careless bystanders from stepping on it. She efficiently rounded up every small foiled item and it wasn’t until the fallen woman had finally caught her breath and managed to get her dark mane of hair under control, that she really noticed what she was cleaning up.
“Sustainable Truffles?” She held the brightly foiled wrapper up, staring at it warily. Seriously? She had thought she’d escaped the damn candy store and all that temptation for the day.
“Have you heard of us?” The fallen woman shot Charlotte a dazzling smile, taking her bag when it was handed back to her. “We’re a local business, actually. We try to use all environmentally friendly and economically sound sourced ingredients for our chocolates. Our truffles are our most popular seller.”
“Oh… Wow.” Still staring at the candy, Charlotte very deliberately dropped it into the woman’s still open bag. She offered her a hand up, steadying the shorter woman once she was standing. “You’re not hurt, are you? I know these heels of mine can do some damage.”
“Nah, I’m fine.” The woman flashed Charlotte a grin, pulling one of the chocolates from her bag and opening it with a pull of the foil. “Nothing a little chocolate and a new pair of sandals can’t fix.”
“Right… Um, well, that’s good.” Glaring at the chocolate being revealed before her, Charlotte went to leave. “I hope the rest of your day goes better.”
“Wait! You can’t just run off. I need to thank you.”
Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. Charlotte forced herself to stop, ignoring the voice telling her to run before it was too late.
“Please, just take a few truffles. I guarantee you’ll love them. And let’s be honest, you look like you could have a little pick me up today,” the woman added, taking in the tear in Charlotte’s tights she had gotten when scraping on the sidewalk.
“I’m good, really. I just can’t eat…” Holding her hand up in protest, Charlotte met the woman’s eyes. God, she must sound like a total asshole. The chick made the fucking candy by hand and she was going to say no? But there was no way she could take the damn chocolate. Chocolate was her weakness. If it was around her and available, she would eat it. Then she’d get fatter and hate her life even more. “Really, I can’t.”
Before Charlotte could escape, the woman grabbed her wrist, her grip surprisingly strong. “There’s nothing wrong with them, I promise. I can even show you the packaging we usually keep them in. I just like having a lot loose with me so I can give out samples.”
“I didn’t think there was…” Charlotte stared with narrowed eyes as the woman tried to push a handful of chocolate into her caught palm.
When she didn’t hold them, the woman gave her a calculating look, her eyes glittering with a smile. “They’re vegan.”
“Er… I don’t really care about that kind of thing,” Charlotte muttered, wishing she could get away from this crazy woman that seemed determined to give her a fucking pound of chocolate.
“Come on, just one. I ruined your nice stockings. The least I can do is give you a piece of candy.” Undeterred by the taller woman’s glare, the woman finished unwrapping her first piece of candy, the sphere of chocolate exposed. “Open wide.”
“Really—I can’t!” Before she could pull, away the candy was popped into her mouth. Freezing, Charlotte glared at the other woman, wondering if this was going to end in some sort of street brawl. Really, the fucking nerve…
It was heaven. She was eating heaven. Fighting back a moan, Charlotte held the candy on her tongue as long as she could, her eyes closing in bliss. Holy fuck.
“Want another one? I have a caramel filled one that’s everyone’s favorite.”
Charlotte opened her eyes, finding another piece of chocolate pressed to her lips at the same moment the first had managed to melt away. Caramel? She loved caramel. But really, it would only lead to trouble and her mother talking shit. “I… Um… I can’t…”
“Nonsense. They’re barely five carbs of sugar each. Let yourself have something nice for once.”
The pressure increased on her lips and before Charlotte could question what she was doing, she opened, letting the candy be pushed into her mouth. Holy fuck, it was better than the first one. She had never tasted anything so luxurious as the flavor filling her mouth, making her feel warm until a smile was twisting at her lips.
Wow. Just wow.
“Amazing, huh? I eat like twenty of the damn things a day and I’m always happy.” Pushing her long hair over her shoulder, the woman started to rummage in her large bag. Moments later she pulled out a brightly decorated paper bag, clasping Charlotte’s hand around it firmly.
“Enjoy it, girl. And thanks so much for stopping and helping. Most people would just walk past.”
Staring blankly at the bag in her hand, Charlotte eventually looked up, shouting a quick thank you before the woman disappeared completely into the crowd. She couldn’t help but notice for as many chocolates as the woman claimed to eat, she was skinny as a stick.
Wow. Feeling half in a daze, Charlotte walked to the train station, a smile on her lips. By the time she got home she had eaten two more truffles and was barely feeling guilty about any of it. Why feel bad when it tasted that good? She couldn’t remember the last time she had smiled like this and she was enjoying every moment of it.
So a quick breakdown. You have the internal main conflict, in this case, Charlotte wanting candy. Then you have the internal and external pressures. She associates candy with making her gain weight, something she thinks is bad and will lead to an inability to move up in the workplace or have a lasting romantic relationship. She also just thinks it’s a reflection of her being a failure. She might not want a family at the moment but she can’t stop thinking she’s ‘supposed to’ have one. The external pressures are really just her mother, and maybe some indication from work that overweight women don’t get ahead, not to mention all the social pressures that are likely bombarding Charlotte left and right telling her to look like a stick-thin model to finally be happy and valuable as a human being.
Enter the aggressor. Your manipulator. For those that think dubcon is about rape, if you will, your rapist. The short little hippie with fluffy dark hair and a big smile that makes her own candy. She forces the issue with Charlotte about the chocolate while dismissing some of her internal concerns. Not only does Charlotte finally indulge in some candy, loving it by the end, but she also starts wondering if she’s really going to blow up like a balloon is she has a little sugar once in a while. She’s been doing all these things that are supposed to make her happy while still feeling miserable, then suddenly finds happiness by giving in to the little thing she wanted.
That’s the basics, peeps. For real. Sure, you might see the external struggle of wills between these two characters but it’s really Charlotte’s struggle with herself that fuels her choices. This is what dubcon is about, just with the focus on sex. Hell, this scene could have easily turned into (I am an erotica writer after all) the little hippie dragging Charlotte into a side alley to feed her sweets and have sex, with Charlotte finally admitting that she doesn’t want a husband cus she really likes girls but she’s been unwilling to face it because of her overbearing mother. Charlotte might get so inspired that she decides to start her own entrepreneurial business, maybe candy related too.
That’s part of what good dubcon needs. Not just the resolution of the internal conflict (Charlotte wanting chocolate) but a way to see that with that resolution, things have changed for the better because the character has released her tension. I know, it sounds like a damn therapy session. It’s probably hard to see things that way when you read an erotic story about a young lady that finds herself forced to deep throat a dildo made of chocolate, giving into the sensations and loving it, but this is the underlying psychology beneath it all.
Dubcon is the freedom we’re looking for when it comes to sex.
Bold statement, but I believe it to be true. And I believe it because society had destroyed people’s healthy associations when it comes to sex. Big time. There are so many internal/external pressures, it’s amazing people have sex at all. And really, what a shame because sex is amazing.
I’m a girl so I’m going to start with the many things I’ve seen, heard, wondered, felt the pressure of and laughed in the face of when it comes to me desiring and having sex to accepting being a sexual being. It’s a long list and probably not complete. I’m sure you have your own to add.
Oh, and let me add, I don’t come from a fully sexually repressed culture. I’m in America, although, with my religious upbringing, it could have gone repressed damn quick if I bought into that crap.
A List of Society’s Perversions of Sex:
Sex = Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Birth control = being a slut
Sex = Pregnancy
Sex = Love
Sex = Letting down your parents
Sex as a woman outside of marriage = Being a slut and of no value for marriage
#1 religious assault on women’s sexual self-esteem I’ve run across would be the Virgin Mary. She managed to give birth without sex so why do you want it?
You’re not allowed to have an enjoyable sexual experience if you’re not:
Clean shaven enough,
Monogamy = Right
Women with multiple sexual partners = You’re a bad human being
Sex = Your value as a human being.
Man not having sex = Not a man.
Man being monogamous = not owning his sexuality.
I’m sure there is more. I run across sex gurus on the Internet that want to tell me my orgasms are wrong because I’m not following their methods. These are people supposedly trying to help women enjoy sex, all while telling them how they have it is wrong. This shit is exhausting. How do people free themselves from all of this? A dubcon fantasy.
A Sexual Dubious Consent Scene
Alright, I’m pulling this scene out of HEAT: Abducted To Be His Mate because I don’t feel like writing an example. Not going hardcore to the end but it’s still NSFW.
Shane fell silent the moment the basement door was wrenched open, the wood slamming against the wall loudly. He barely heard the footsteps that followed, his heart hammering in his chest threatening to drown out all other noise. Ryan looked feral, the boy’s knuckles torn, his strange eyes glaring, muscles puffed up and revealed beneath his torn shirt. The scent that had faded away was suddenly all around him and Shane realized blearily that it was from the brunette.
“You need to stop yelling,” Ryan muttered, his voice a gruff growl as he stood in front of the tied up blond.
“What, so you can keep me in your fucking basement until I’m dead? Like fuck, jackass,” Shane shot back, his voice coming out hoarse and breathy.
The kid sounded like he’d been sucking dick, Ryan’s nostrils flaring and cock twitching at the very thought. He tore the cover off the water bottle, pressing the tip to Shane’s swollen lips. “Here.”
Shane didn’t move to drink, his expression wary. “Poison?”
“God, you’re a paranoid fuck.” Ryan rolled his eyes, taking a swig from the bottle. Like he’d poison the stupid fuck? He was a fucking wolf. He’d tear a body to pieces before wasting his energy going out looking for fucking poison. “Dumbass.”
Shane’s glare only grew. “You tied me to a fucking chair.”
Ryan couldn’t stop his mean grin. “Yeah, and if you want something to drink, this is the only time I’m offering.” He pushed the bottle back to Shane’s lips. Reluctantly, the blond parted his dry lips, avoiding the other’s gaze as cool liquid filled his mouth.
Tearing his eyes away from the blond’s red lips, Ryan forced himself to look elsewhere, only to be drawn to the way the boy’s throat convulsed with every gulp. God, he was hot, and the blood and soon to be scar on the boy’s throat marked Shane as his. His mate. His boy to do with however he fucking pleased.
Shane gave a whimper when the bottle changed angles, his head forced back to reach the spout. Water suddenly flooded from the bottle and the blond sputtered, choking and coughing as the clear liquid sluiced down his neck and chest. “You fucker!”
“Seriously, you really want to shut the fuck up, babe,” Ryan said with a growl, his palm sliding through the water on the blond’s neck. He was kneeling before he fully realized it, his tongue lapping out to taste the wet flesh of his angry mate. The wound on Shane’s throat was healing but not nearly fast enough. The blond wasn’t changed yet from his bite. Still human. Still delicate and fragile.
“You’re fucked in the head,” Shane grunted, pushing against the hand trying to keep his head still.
“Shhh.” Ryan slid his tongue down, licking over Shane’s throat while holding the blond by his short hair. He needed to stop. He needed to get the fuck away from the boy’s perfect scent and delicious skin. God, but he tasted so good. Made the angriest, most helpless noises. Lips crushing to the thin flesh of the blond’s neck, Ryan nipped lightly, Shane’s entire body jerking in response.
“Fuck, don’t bite me,” Shane whimpered, flinching from the feel of the brunette’s deadly fangs.
Ryan raised his head, meeting the boy’s dark eyes. “I’m never going to bite you like that again, babe, promise. It was a one-time thing the wolf needed. He had to mark you.”
Shane was pretty sure Ryan Moss was out of his fucking mind. Werewolves? Was he seriously supposed to believe the kid was a fucking werewolf? They had gone to school together forever. He had never once done anything to come off as one of those crazy shifters. Well, besides today. And for real, Shane was pretty sure the kid was just trying to find a way into his pants. He wasn’t a fucking werewolf, he was just a goddamn pervert wearing weird teeth and contacts. He probably had a gaggle of idiot friends giggling like hyenas just upstairs, laughing at his expense.
“Let me the fuck go,” Shane demanded as commandingly as he could. His scowl only grew when Ryan bit back a condescending smile.
“What the fuck is wrong with you!” Shane hollered, immediately regretting it when Ryan’s hand grabbed the wound on his neck. “Fuck!”
White blue eyes glaring into his, Ryan leaned too close, his nose brushing the side of Shane’s. “You are what’s wrong with me, you annoying fucker.” He let his fingers dig into the weeping wound on the boy’s neck, drawing fresh blood and a pained hiss from the blond. “It’s going to scar. Everyone is going to know you’re mine. My angry, fucking sexy bitch.”
Whether he was a wolf or not, Shane was certain Ryan Moss had lost his fucking mind. “I’m not, you fucking psycho!”
Shane’s anger only seemed to spur the brunette on, Ryan’s smirk feral as he bent down and teased his tongue into the fresh blood dripping down the blond’s collar. “Quiet, babe.”
Shane whimpered, jerking from the touch but not getting far. He was pinned in place, tied to a fucking chair, and he was realizing even for all his yelling, he wasn’t getting free. No, Ryan was able to do anything to him, from touch to tongue, and he couldn’t do shit to defend himself. It should have terrified him, maybe it did a little, but Shane’s stomach was twisting with a different feeling, his dick threatening to grow hard, his body tingling for something he didn’t dare allow himself to think about.
If Ryan noticed, he didn’t mention it as he pressed his lips against the blond’s throat. “You sound too sexy when you yell. Begging for it, sexy.” Ryan drew a long line up the boy’s throat with his tongue, the touch hot and wet and strangely exciting. “I’m trying really hard to be good right now, so shut that sexy mouth of yours.”
“I’m straight, you sick fuck,” Shane gritted out, hating his body so much in that moment. “You know I’m—” Shane fell silent with a gasp, something sharp and very much like claws digging into his flesh. He couldn’t really be a werewolf. He couldn’t actually be a fucking werewolf.
“Good boy,” Ryan murmured, inhaling slowly as he ducked his head lower. Water was still wet on the blond’s skin and it seemed reason enough to taste him, Ryan kissing and licking down the heavily panting boy’s chest. Shane’s skin was strangely smooth, little to no hair to be found. It was different, fascinating, Ryan running his lips lightly over the boy’s flesh to find the softest of light bristle where the blond had shaved for swimming. Moving to the side, he found a peaked, dusky rose nipple, quickly drawing the hard bud into his mouth so he could torment it.
He could hear Shane’s heart, feel his chest heave in alarm, the boy finally realizing just how fucking helpless he was. He could leave him tied in his basement, leave him to starve and no one would ever find him. Or he could touch him, taste him, do whatever he wanted to the blond’s gorgeous body and there was nothing Shane could do to stop him.
It sent a hot thrill through Ryan, one that went straight to his aching cock. Nipping Shane’s bud sore, he deliberately rubbed his erection against the boy’s leg, grunting to finally get some relief to the pressure building. It would be so easy to fuck the blond. So easy to take him, and have him, and never, ever let him go. No one could stop him. Hell, Shane had been suspended for a fucking week. No one would even be looking for the kid for at least that long. Long enough to ruin him, to fuck him so full of his dick that the boy wouldn’t even remember who he was before him. His mate. He could mate the angry boy and keep him.
His own breath growing heavier with want as he fought his sex-crazed inner wolf, Ryan ran his palm down Shane’s washboard abs, his calluses rough against the blond’s firm, sleek flesh. He pushed lower, finding the boy’s waistband, grabbing the blond’s dick through his jeans, only to groan loudly when he discovered Shane was erect.
“It’s not what you think,” Shane muttered tightly, hissing when teeth nipped his chest, taunting his nipple. “Fuck, you’re all over me and…”
“And it makes you hard,” Ryan growled triumphantly, sliding both his hands up the boy’s muscular torso, digging his fingers into his flesh. “You like it. Want it.”
“No!” Shane insisted, glaring down at the boy. “It’s just a natural fucking reaction to—”
“You get hard over a lot of guys, babe?” Ryan asked, meeting the angry glare challengingly. “Or just the ones that touch you? Maybe you just want the ones that tie you up and won’t let you go?”
His face flushing red, Shane struggled uselessly in his bonds. “Fuck you! I don’t fucking like guys! Shit—Wait! Wait… fuck… oh, fuck.” Gasping hard, he broke off into a low whimper, Ryan’s strong hands squeezing his ass remorselessly and forcing Shane’s cock against the brunette’s muscular stomach. “I fucking hate you,” he groaned, closing his eyes and exhaling shakily.
So by the end of this fic, Shane starts admitting to liking Ryan and just about everything the boy does to him. You realize the kid has been hiding from his own wants because of overbearing parents and a fear of people thinking he’s gay. In this story, the dubcon is used as a way for Shane to face his sexual desires without having to man the fuck up and face them on his own. It’s okay, it’s a hot story because of it.
The quote that everyone misquotes and I likely will too:
Most women fantasize about some form of rape—said by some guy to the outrage of all women everywhere.
This is not a new idea. When you’re in your bed lying next to the love of your life trying to masturbate because he/she isn’t in the mood, some people think about dubcon. They want a reason to give in to those sexual desires but they’re stuck in the image society wants them to conform to. So instead of going out and getting laid, they imagine that a powerful, sexually aggressive being has come along and taken the choice from them so they can have some amazing sex. And sure, in that fantasy they might be saying ‘no’ and ‘stop’ but that’s part of the fun of the fantasy. Because, hey, that sexually aggressive character can’t stop. You’re just too hot for them to keep themselves away. Or maybe it’s not even a character, maybe it’s a machine, alien probe, mindless animal—It’s still the same underlying fantasy of being forced to give in to your sexual urges that you’re repressing.
I think guilt and repression are the biggest kinks out there. Maybe because I was raised Catholic. XD
Dubcon is about giving in to what you want in the first place. Just, to the untrained eye, they keep seeing the ‘no’ and ‘stop’ and they think rape. Some people don’t realize that when they fantasize about being ‘forced’ that they’re really just looking for a way to give in to their sexual urges. I’m sure a lot of young people spend years of their lives thinking they’re fucked in the head because they get off thinking about doing things that in real life really wouldn’t appeal to them.
Some people don’t realize they’ve entered a fantasy world when they read a dubcon. A world where sex can solve a problem of repression for a character. A world where the characters already know the boundaries and don’t need to speak them aloud. That’s erotica, at least, the way I write it. I like people to get to know why the characters are resisting before slowly breaking down their resistant. I want the reader to have the psychological experience along with the fantasy because I feel it makes the fantasy more real.
Some perspectives of Dubious Consent
Dubcon is all about conflict. Man vs self, man vs man, man vs environment. Mainly it’s man vs self no matter the fact that you have another character there seemingly forcing things a certain way. Some examples:
The one being coerced fighting self only: This is your Sub/victim character fighting his/her desires. It can be all in their head or they can be fighting off an alien probe or mindless animal, but it’s still all about them dealing with the fact that a part of them wants sex while other parts have a million reasons as to why they ‘shouldn’t’ want sex.
The one being coerced fighting self and the representation of desire: This is man vs self and man vs man. Your Sub/victim fighting his/her desires and the desires of the sexually aggressive character that has them in their hold. This allows for a voice to start combating all those internal reasons your sub is fighting the want of sex.
The one doing the coercion fighting the other’s resistance: Man vs man again. So this from the Dom/sexually aggressive character’s perspective, and this is usually the types of stories people start getting confused and throwing the word rape around. If not written well, you sometimes only see the Dom getting off and you miss the part of the Sub having their sexual epiphany. But, don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a hotness factor of a sexually aggressive character taking what they want which is why this is such a nice perspective. You just don’t always know that your Sub wants it too.
The one doing the coercion fighting self: Man vs Self. I personally like this one too. You can have your Dom seem so much more sexually aggressive when he’s also fighting his own desires, trying to keep from giving in to his overwhelming need right before he crosses the line. Good stuff.
The Essentials of Dubcon
The resistance. You need your character to say no. Not just that, you need him/her to have some strong emotional reasons for that no. Having a headache isn’t going to cut it. You need them to show no, fight themselves internally or their soon to be lover externally. The conflict is part of the fun.
Sexually aggressive character/mindless prop. You need a plot device to have your Sub bend to. Be it a sexually aggressive heartthrob that just won’t give up on being with the Sub, or some mad scientist’s fuck machine your character has woken up strapped to, you need something that forces your Sub into a situation where he/she is going to be experiencing sex.
Giving in. This is one of the big difference between dubcon and noncon, in my opinion. Your Sub needs to give in to their desires eventually. Otherwise, it’s not consent. And I’ll be blunt, for me that doesn’t always mean it’s not sexy but depending on my readers, some will disagree.
Enjoyment. This is so freaking important in my mind when it comes to dubcon and another line compared to noncon. It’s the damn entire point of dubcon and I get so frustrated when I read a dubcon fic and the Sub doesn’t enjoy the act. The mentality behind dubcon is about being forced into giving in to an internally repressed desire—If your character doesn’t feel the reasons it’s desirable, the whole scene has been a waste.
Conflict resolved. This is essential in most any story but also in dubcon. You don’t need to tie a ribbon around it all, but it’s kind of important to establish that the dubious consent occurring in the fic was really consenting by the end. At least when you’re selling your stories on Kindle. Even then, you might get your story taken down depending on how Amazon is feeling that week. Dubcon, like I said in the beginning, is still really misunderstood and some people just throw it in with rape.
What I like to add in Dubcon that fits my own preferences:
Affection. This one might seem surprising given the questionable nature of dubcon. For me, it’s a priority. I need my characters to actually like each other on some sort of level. I need them to respect each other and understand each other, all while pushing those boundaries to get your Sub giving in to his/her repressed needs. Some people might not need this extra bit when writing their own fantasies. I enjoy it. It reminds my readers that it’s not just about using another person and bending them to their will, but that they’re doing it for the greater good, so to speak.
A connection. This goes with affection but it’s a bit different. I like my characters to connect with each other on the obsessive level a bit. There’s no one else in the world for them but the other character. They know what the other one wants, likes, needs. I guess it’s on the lines of that true soulmate thing but I like to think I’m not so sappy about my delivery of it.
The important thing to understand is that affection and/or connection adds a level of safety that some people really need when it comes to a dubious consent fantasy. Sure, you can assume that the fantasy alone is safe because it’s a fantasy but some people really need to feel like this fantasy they’re being led into isn’t going to end with them being ruined (emotionally, mentally, sexually.) As an author focused on immersive writing experiences, it’s my duty to be aware of that and protect my reader so he/she can have the full experience without fear of being scarred.
Getting to know the characters. I think characterization is damn important in a good erotica. It’s not just bodies having sex, it’s personalities, hopes, dreams, etc. People. I don’t like to watch dolls screw so I make sure my readers meet the characters, maybe even care about them a bit.
A happy ending. Super important. Erotica is fun for me no matter how dark a scene might be. I need the characters to be happy by the end. Unfortunately, that usually results in that stereotypical relationship set up where they all live happily ever after, but fuck, I can’t fight my brain. I don’t like sap but I can get sappy despite my best efforts.
Other genre’s where Dubious Consent is found.
Everywhere. For real. It’s the difference of saying yes right away compared to saying no twenty times and then giving in. I personally think dubious consent pairs well with straight to gay, incest, first time, and BDSM to name a few favorites. Why? Because of the internal struggle of the characters and the internal struggle prominent in those other genres. Internal and external pressures abound; might as well work with them to create a hot story.
Dubious consent goes hand in hand in BDSM especially because sometimes it’s not just the giving in to that secret need but also realizing part of that need is the want to be dominated by another force in a sexual manner, or, on the flip side, to dominate someone sexually. But I’d rather save that topic for when I go into BDSM. I know these all have their own little niches but kinks share underlying similarities if you look hard enough.
Dubious consent isn’t rape. It’s born in the mind where the fantasy of being forced is desired. That desire is the consent for this fantasy even if your Sub character isn’t necessarily voicing it. Just because you were invited in to view that mind from an audience seat doesn’t mean you understand the fantasy going on in front of you. This is one of the reasons the line of dubcon and noncon can be so tricky at times.
Some people like pain, some people don’t want affection but sternness and roughness in their sexual fantasies. At the end of the day, it’s erotica, where you’re allowed to explore any level of your sexual wholeness you want and hopefully, you won’t be judged for it. I’m not a fan of violent rape fics with the characters having no connection to each other, but I still respect the right for other people to write those fantasies. What makes my fantasies more valid than another person’s beyond my own egotistical opinion or preference? Absolutely nothing.
I hope you guys have gotten a better understanding of dubious consent through all this because, really, I feel like pretty much every damn person out there has so many different pressures when it comes to sex that they likely have a propensity to the idea of dubcon even if they don’t understand why. Then again, we’re not all wired the same. But it’s still good to know your own wiring. It’s sad to think there are people out there that fear their own brains just because they haven’t taken the time to face their sexual psychology. Life is so much more enjoyable when you know who you are. Sex too.
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