I'm going to write that book. I think.
OK, I'm definitely going to write it, but I'm not going to share it with my critique group.
Oh, but then if I publish it, I don't want it to be one of those indie books that's so riddled with errors that most can't enjoy reading it. I'll at least need a beta reader, but who can I trust not to freak out?
...Maybe this would be different if I came to writing from reading erotica or even romance. Erotica's naughty by definition and each of those related genre has a history of stories including...dubious consent. Instead, I've always been a fan of science-fiction and fantasy, especially urban fantasy of late. There, rape is part of a backstory that explains why the heroine has become so hardcore. Or it's part of an ongoing story that pisses many fans off, but can also explore a situation that too many readers have experienced and, in the hands of a very skilled author, can bring some measure of understanding or even healing. It is never, ever for titillation.
But titillation is exactly what I'm looking for.
I can get that in various places across the web. I discovered that I wasn't the only one with dirty little taboo fantasies by stumbling upon fan fiction (oh, the things Krycek would do to Mulder when he had him trapped away from Scully). Hentai is loaded with chicks abused by perverts and demons. There are loads of live action rape fantasy sites...I can view this material on my computer screen where it's nobody's business but mine and my husband's.
Yet, as a speculative fiction reader, I want this titillation in (SOME of) my sci-fi/fantasy. Until recently, the best I could do was erotica with spec-fic elements or BDSM erotica, neither quite hit the mark. Of course, there's paranormal romance, but I think it's pretty obvious right now that romance isn't what I'm looking for. As indy publishing (erotic or not) carries less stigma, more books that come closer are coming out all the time.
Then I found Reapers by Marata Eros.
*REAPERS is a 21,000 word/80 page mixed genre paranormal novella (1-2 hours reading time) in the following categories: Erotica/horror with an undertone of romance.
**WARNING- possible objectionable material: This book is intended for an adult audience and contains marginal consent, RAPE, multiple partners, forced breeding, vampire sex, and oral play.**She had me at "warning". With all the bad reviews from people who bought a rape story but didn't want one, she's (at the time of this writing at least) offering the novella for free. How could I say no? I dove right in and...it's OK. She's a good writer and I plan to read more of her work. But. The rape is...well...rape. Michelle, the slutty best friend of the main character, hooks up with a guy for a little casual sex. Dancing with the guy's buddy, our heroine (Rachel) decides that she doesn't like how Michelle vanished without giving a clear signal, so they go looking for the other pair. They find Michelle getting pounded, not just by the guy who picked her up, but also by another man, forcing her face down on his cock. Rather than feeling all tingly, I wanted to call 911. But it did speak to promising things to come.
The horror element wasn't particularly scary. Instead, the Vampires, Druids, and Rogue of the story made for interesting paranormal world building. It left me wanting to read more. It left me wanting to explore some of the taboo ideas that interrupt my "normal" writing.
I hit the web again for resources and found a lot of romance and urban fantasy fans condemning rape in fiction. I've long since reached the point where I embrace my personal kink, but dare I share when that attitude prevails? Then I found this. Her experience is similar to mine and she embraces her enjoyment of rape fantasies, both in reading and writing. I feel encouraged to do the same.
So here I am. If the writing proves fruitful, this is the first blog post of my career in erotic speculative fiction with dark themes. If it doesn't, then at least I've got a spot where I can explore those themes and promote the stories that I find.