Lyssa Dering

M/M author and trash connoisseur

What makes romance and erotica “dark”?

In trying to solidify my author brand (it’s an ongoing process), I’ve often tried to wrap my mind around what dark romance and erotica actually are. It seems like a straightforward-enough answer–romance or erotica plus horror, right? But I often get stuck in this spiral of: Is my work dark? Is it dark enough to put the word “dark” in my ever-changing tagline? If I think it’s dark, does that mean readers do, and vice versa?

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Dubcon is Unproblematic: Why the dubious consent trope is different than the normalization of rape in romance and erotica

Recently, I was on Twitter (as I am most of the time), where I noticed a conversation between readers about a book. In this conversation, screenshots of said book’s text were presented as reasons not to read it, and I agreed; in the screenshots, the characters were discussing lack of consent in a problematic way, suggesting that one character consented because he didn’t explicitly say no to sex.

As a longtime reader of dubcon,

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