Now, I don’t often publicize my stances on things, mostly because even if your views are different than mine, if they don’t hurt people, I’ll respect them. However, this one’s been boiling in the back of my mind for a long time, and it involves the topic of consent.
I was in the mood for a paranormal romance the other night and decided to check out a different book. Solid writing and steamy sex scenes should’ve meant I was in for a great time, but instead, I finished it feeling knots in my stomach and bile in my throat. Here’s the deal, guys. If the heroine says no, that she doesn’t want sex, and swarthy, domineering alpha male charges in and takes what he wants anyway, that’s rape. I know, I said it–the ugly word–the one that makes people start shouting feminazi from the highest hill. But seriously, this shouldn’t be a difficult concept to digest, and I have to admit that it really twists me up inside to see this in a modern day romance novel.
Now, I know the domineering thing can be a turn on. So can possessiveness, aggressiveness, and all of those charming dom traits, but at the end of the day, if a vocal ‘no, stop’ is being disregarded because daddy needs to get his rocks off, this is no longer in the realm of sexy hero–we’ve stepped into the danger zone of thinking women aren’t human beings any more. And you know what? It’s so tired, people. Obviously, we are. I’ve read tons of romances where there are submissive chicks and dom guys and they all coexist happily and sexily ever after with consent. My point? It does not need to cross over into rape territory.
I’ve heard plenty of arguments during the height of the Fifty Shades shenanigans where folks defended abusive behavior. Maybe for some people, the abuse and rape is a fantasy, however, for a hell of a lot of people it’s real, and I can almost guarantee you know at least one person who has been, whether they’re open about it or not. So yeah, I don’t like those sorts of books–let me make that abundantly clear. I’m not here to tell you what you should and shouldn’t like, but I will say, that for modern day romance novels, as authors and readers, we can do better than those antiquated and outdated views.
For my readers, I promise you this: When I write two leads getting their groove on, I sure as hell guarantee that both parties will be one hundred percent on the same page.