Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rape Culture in Romance, good or bad?

I asked my husband to read the first 5 chapters of my work-in-progress. It's an Interracial Romance set in Tokyo

This is what he said, "Wow. You're writing improves with each book. It's like I'm in Tokyo. However, you should make the hero less Rapey."

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I was blown away. "What the fuck? Rapey? Please explain this."

So he did. "You have this guy, invading the heroine's space upon meeting her, running his fingers through her hair, saying things that no rational male would say to any female he doesn't know, and. . .the guy is just creepy."

"No." I laughed. "That's romance."

"Hell no! That's rapey."

"Look. I've read tons of books where the Alpha Hero is a bit more than the typical guy."

"Then you've read a lot of romance novels with Rapey guys."

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I'm a hard headed person so I made my darling husband act out the whole scene right there in our living room.

I was the heroine. He was the hero


We're in a Tokyo soapland (a brothel that bathes and provides sexual services to rich men). My hubby is a suspected yakuza gang leader. I'm a fast-talking fiction writer. 

We say the lines and do the actions.

The Results?


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I'm totally creeped out.

What did I learn?

1- I need to re-write the freaking novel.

2- I should act out all scenes with my husband! 

What do I need to learn?

Dear god why did I find the hero so attractive. He was perfect when he lived in black and white on my laptop screen? Out in the real world, not acceptable.

but why was this jerk off acceptable in the story?

I have no idea. . .maybe I'm a sicko. . .maybe Rapey is in now. . .maybe I should change that. . .maybe I should not. . .
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However, I'm not alone.

If you do a google search of the words "Rape. Hero. Novel" what you will get are TONS of goodreads lists and blog posts on many romance novels with rape in it.

Here's some of the lists with a link for all you naughty readers out there:

Romances with Forced Seduction or Rape by the Hero

Popular Rape by Hero Novels

...and we can't just let the guys have all the fun, can we? No way. Check out this great blog post by HeroesandHeartbreakers.com.

Waistcoat Rippers: Heroines that Rape the Heroes

So where am I going with discussion? 
I have no idea. 

I was just forced to realize that somewhere deep within my creative soul, I enjoy writing Rapey Heroes. I'm vowing to change this.


I'm supposed to be a freaking feminist! Can feminists love Rapey Heroes? I doubt it.

but before I beat myself up, I need to understand why these novels are so popular and why have they captivated even me

I mean there are a whole bunch of women and men out there who enjoy a Rapey hero from time to time.

So now I'm asking you all to help me understand this fascination with Rapey Heroes. . 

Are you one of those readers that love a guy to go too far? 
Why or why not?  
How far is too far for a Rapey Hero?  
Would it be better if the Heroine raped the Hero?
Is Rape culture in romance, good or bad?


  1. You can ask anyone of my friends back in my wild days (because it was more so then, than now) I was a woman you didn't push around. I spoke my mind even when it got me in trouble, and my boyfriend had me in the same category as Xena and Sarge from Cleopatra 2525. However; secretly I like a guy that pushes things a little too far. Doesn't matter how feminist you are, inwardly we all love to be pushed. Just touching the boarder of rape to get that thrill from the flight or fight response we naturally have. It is a fine line, but touching that line I think makes for an exciting romance novel. Amps up the old adrenaline to a whole new level. Oh the flip side, nearly all guys like a girl doing the same thing to them. People just love partners that do things typical/civil people would not do normally. Gets that blood flowing just a little more then just common arousal. Hope that helps you. LOL