Editing Rant: Consent draws the line between Fetish and Rape

Photo by Deon Black on Unsplash

The line between Fetish and Rape seems hazy, since so many people have a problem presenting Rape as an aspect of Fetish … it isn’t.

Central to the difference is CONSENT. Both the instigator and the chosen partner must have the ability to say “Yes” or “No” throughout the process.

  1. Power imbalances silence the weaker. A noble with the ability to execute the commoner. A manager with the ability to fire someone who needs a roof over their head and food on the table. A very strong person (usually male but could be a female vampire for example) and a less strong individual fearing bodily harm.
  2. Drugs and alcohol interfering with decision-making processes, whether inflicted, pressured by the situation, or self-indulged, means CONSENT is not given. As a tax preparer, I have sent away people visibly drunk and/or drugged because they cannot sign legal paperwork in their altered state. Verbal contracts, such as CONSENT for sex, cannot be entered into while in an altered state.

Yes, rape-play is a fetish …. but before entering into the Scene, safe words and other protections need to be in place for all the partners involved.

Things that have driven me bonkers recently:

  1. Doctor with a mental patient who ties person down and pleasures her with gynecological equipment. The biggest problem: “mental patient”! The person was not in any healthy place to make a choice of any kind, let alone with the power dynamic of a Doctor in play.
  2. Another doctor, this time in a science fiction setting, using a robot to hold the person down and pleasure them to make sure they were “healthy sexually”. Doesn’t matter that the doctor is female, doesn’t matter that no male genitalia were involved. “No” was said. It was a rape.

When writing sex scenes, be aware if the participants are in a position to feel safe saying “No” and stopping the action.

Recently stories are going for CONSENT questions to start, CONSENT ongoing in the process, and CONSENT before penetration. By recent, I mean I’ve only started seeing this heavy level of CONSENT play a role in erotica in the past three years (2020-2023).

Rape is rape.

Fetish requires consent.