neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

still interested in the conversation

Well, I haven't been conversing directly with the readers who love "Master/slave" fantasies, because I haven't read the particular books they're reviewing.  I don't think there's something to be ashamed of in readers liking those fantasies or forced seduction fantasies.  Of course they know they wouldn't want it in real life, but they separate that out from what works for them as fantasies.  As I told Teddypig, I read my share of the romances from the 1970s and 1980s with pirate captains and sheiks and whatever having sex with the heroines of the story until they liked it.  They usually liked it the first time.  Those books would bother me now, but it didn't strike me to have a problem with them when I was a teenager.

I don't mean modern-day "Master/slave" role-playing, because there's choice and consent involved there.  These are futuristic or fantasy (in the speculative fiction sense) books.  I don't think they usually go historical, because there are problems when you get into historical accuracy, especially in making it anything like a romance.  Master/slave historical relationships really were a different mindset altogether.  They were romanticized in the American South of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but in a different kind of way.  Classical societies had slaves, medieval societies had serfs.  It's hard to argue that it was romantic for slave or serf if you know about the history of the time period.

Besides, what does history have to do with erotic fantasy, except as perhaps an obscure basis or faint echoes?  I just think the erotica books should be labeled for what they are.  The books can have masters and slaves, bondage and discipline.  They can certainly have sadism on the part of the master.  It doesn't make them BDSM in the modern sense.  Trying to avoid serious abuse or to survive by having sex doesn't make someone a masochist.  It just means they have a reasonably developed sense of self-preservation.

There are labels in fan fiction so readers know what to look for or avoid.  I don't see why those labels can't carry over, since so much else of fan fiction has.  I think they'd be a great selling tool.  As I said, a fantasy is very different from real life, and what works for you works for you.  As long as you're not (non-consensually) hurting someone in real life, I don't think there's real harm there.  My opinions on it, anyway.

I'd welcome comments and continuation of the conversation.  I think it's quite an interesting one.

Tags: rambling, reading

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