Yes To Real Romance, No To Abuse

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Kidnapped by my Vampire Mate... Sex Slave to the Mafia Boss... Owned by the CEO...

You've seen these titles all over wattpad. Words like "possesed"... "kidnapped"... "bound" litter the blurbs and tags. Violent connotations are used to portray kinky sex stories. Possessive romance is a big trend, women of all ages are reading and writing these sexual fantasies.

I'm not totally sure what's so sexy about being kidnapped, or forced into slavery. Except that if you're a good looking guy you can seemingly get away with whatever you want, the woman will allow you anything because of how hot you are.

My sexual tastes might run more towards soft and romantic rather than kinky BDSM, but that's got nothing to do with my interpretation of these so called "provocative" romances. What's being flaunted as sexy is often actually abusive. No matter what your sexual orientation or tastes, abuse is abuse. It's toxic, and the fact that thousands of women and girls are reading and writing abusive content really matters.

Men are complicit in this too. There might be less of them reading this stuff, but it's all over the pornography they might be watching, and the music videos they perform in. Porn sites are littered with words like "pounded"... "drilled"... "forced"... with undeniably violent connotations. There are some seriously extreme hardcore videos that unwantedly crop up on a Google search or social media when you're browsing for something completely unrelated. Or if you're interested in finding harmless information about BDSM or a healthy sex life, you're bombarded with extreme porn.

Young people are viewing porn on their phones, sometimes as young as 8 years old. This seriously affects how they regard sex, how girls think they have to behave to please their boyfriends or themselves, how boys and men think they must treat their partners. They don't know the truth about sex before they view this explicit material. They might find themselves copying what they see, either in porn or music videos where female dancers jiggle their booty with wads of cash being thrown at them, or the rape culture implications of Robin Thicke's (detestable) Blurred Lines.

This stuff matters.

Did you know that women who have read all three 50 Shades books are more likely to have been in an abusive relationship? Yep, it's true, a recent study looked into the lifestyle of 50 Shades readers and discovered that there are more women who have been in an abusive relationship than those who haven't read the books. Which shows the very real effect that romanticised abuse has on people.

I've seen readers defend 50 Shades by saying that it's all consensual so it can't be abuse. This completely fails to understand what abuse really is.

You can say "yes" if you're drunk or under the influence of drugs, but that doesn't make it healthy consent. You can say "yes" out of fear that your partner might hurt or even kill you if you refuse, that's still not consent. You can say "yes" out of sheer naivety, as Anastasia does in 50 Shades, but that doesn't mean that Christian isn't abusing her.

Christian dominates her life outside of sex as well as during it. He gives her rules to follow on a contract that she signs. Rules on how to dress, what to eat, how to behave at all times. Yes, Anastasia willingly signs the contract, but only after Christian has pressured her for weeks. She's too naive to understand what she's agreed to. This doesn't mean it's not abuse.

There's even a scene where she says no, where she tries to kick him away from her when he tries to instigate sex. He penetrates her regardless and she goes on to physically enjoy the sexual activity. That doesn't mean it's not abuse! Just because she enjoyed it after all, doesn't mean it's not rape. She said no.

Yet this is portrayed as an erotic novel. It's romantic and kinky. The innocenct young girl is captivated by the possessive billionaire who "teaches" her about sex, and she has a sexual awakening which leads to fulfillment in all areas of her life. This fantasy is BS.

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