Monday, January 30, 2012

The dominance game

In the romance genre, there is a recurring theme of the hero taking the heroine. He forces the point, gets her in his bed, and she falls in love with him. In the real world, we would call that rape.

So why is it so hot in a novel?

Both readers and authors can't be deranged, taking mental instability right out. The population isn't out forcefully seducing each other, so art isn't imitating life. Nor is there a wave of bodice ripping in a case of life imitating art.

Meaning that this desire to be claimed is a deeper psychological need, not expressed in polite company.

Outright rape is horrid, is the product of a terrible mind. It is something women should defend themselves against, and is an unfortunate reality for too many people.

Which makes it seem sick to suggest that to be forcefully seduced is rooted in our base beings.

The key differences between rape and being taken are love and fear. Rape is about destroying the victims, about the power wielded over them. Taking your lover is about breaking their defenses so they'll listen to their heart and be happy.

Romance novels delve into that fantasy, allowing inner desires to come out. The pages are our safety net, letting us give into the darker wants without feeling ashamed. We can keep the characters at a distance, enjoy what they do, and never have to admit how much we want it for ourselves.

Because lots of us want the man of our dreams to whisk us away for a night of passion and love, even when we pretend to say no.

2 comments:

  1. Well, the problem is that no is no, or at least it should be once you're past the toddler stage. (When Daughter Dearest was 2, "no" really did mean "yes" for her, much of the time.)

    It's easy for a lot of men to get caught up in a moment of lust and dominance, and in that moment it's easy to convince himself that "she's pretending" even when she isn't. So it's always best to assume that no is no, unless the couple in question knows each other well enough to tell when it isn't. Because lots of us don't want to go to prison and spend the rest of our lives on a sex offender registry. :-P

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    Replies
    1. My roommate actually stopped dating a girl because he realized that he might be capable of ignoring his girlfriend's no, and pushing too far. It scared him, and he broke it off.

      Great to get a man's perspective, outside my hubby.

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