I’m a lover of dark erotica… just in case my tagline didn’t tip you off 🙂 so I felt the need to ‘defend’ dark erotica authors. Not that they need defending but I felt it necessary to write… no rant about something I’ve seen; reviewers slamming dark erotica books for being too graphic, too explicit or… taboo. Why, I ask, would you consciously pick up a dark taboo read, only to hate it for being precisely what it was intended to be?!
Unlike Contemporary Romance or Erotic Romance, a romantic hearts-and-flowers connection between the characters is not a feature of Dark Erotica. It could eventually be, but more often that not, it isn’t. Luckily, most of the dark erotica books I see have warnings attached to them. Let’s for example look at my favorites in this genre;
The Erotic Dark by Nina Lane <– Read my review HERE.
WARNING: A full-length erotic novel with graphic scenes of dubious consent, enforced sexual submission, spanking, whipping, caning, and a great deal of hot, raunchy, explicit sex.
Read only if these themes will not offend you!
Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet) by C.J Roberts
WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language, and graphic violence.
Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas <– Read my review HERE.
WARNING: Comfort Food is a work of literary erotica that explores power dynamics and the psychology of ownership. This work is NOT romance.
So why, pray tell, would you buy these books only to complain that they were either too graphic, too violent or not romantic enough?!
It must be so annoying as an author to keep receiving bad reviews from people who don’t like dark erotica and therefore would not have loved the book in the first place. Prime example, Marata Eros, the author of the Druid Breeders Series. Her book Reapers (Book #1) initially came with this warning;
WARNING: Reapers is dark, paranormal erotica which may contain disturbing scenes, marginal/forced consent sex, and graphic violence. It is intended for a mature adult audience.
The author then added this;
**Note from the author: a qualifier has been in place from the beginning so readers may make an educated choice prior to the download of this erotic story. After receiving fourteen, one-star reviews in which the reader chose a story that did not suit their taste, I elected to bold the key wording in my initial warning. Further: TDB novella series is an erotic-driven romance. This means that the sexual context of the story is primary and the romance is secondary. In subsequent installments, romance is flavored a little more strongly but does not overtake the erotic element.
There you have it, you can’t say you weren’t warned!
And while this qualifies erotica, let’s not forget the taboo topics found in dark erotica. It really isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I personally absolutely love it! I know many people who’ve been apprehensive only to be completely surprised by how brilliant some of these books are. So I definitely urge everyone to try them, but again, forewarned is forearmed.
I asked C.J Roberts, what kind of ‘backlash’ she faced after releasing The Dark Duet…
Well, the majority of reviews are positive so I don’t worry overmuch about the negative ones. The biggest backlash I’ve gotten is from people who say I’m romanticizing human trafficking, or that I am romanticizing rape. Honestly, I think that’s bullshit. While I understand the hesitation and trepidation in ‘enjoying’ the work, I’d like to think my work can be compared to other controversial works such as, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. The work is written from the view point of the abuser and therefore entices the reader to sympathize.
I did not set to ‘romanticize’ the slave trade; I do not paint it in a flattering light. Instead, I present my readers with characters. What my readers ultimately come to feel for those characters is up to them…. That said, I love the fact my books inspire so much dialogue and debate.
To conclude, please heed the warning. Its there for a reason. Ignoring it then complaining about it is seriously annoying and says more about you than it does about the book.