Erotic Trope?


So I have a question for all of you erotica readers out there:

Why does it seem like all of the recent erotica and BDSM novels and series center around damaged individuals? It’s become as much a trope as the lonely, stoic billionaire.

Have you read any current erotica with characters who have not suffered some sort of sexual abuse or trauma? Who are not running from a haunting childhood event? If so, let me know.



10 thoughts on “Erotic Trope?

    • But then why did the trend even begin? It seems more than that, but you’re right – readers must like the idea of an incredibly wealthy man who is also incredibly damaged and incredibly controlling in bed.

  1. Great point! It suggests that only emotionally traumatized people are drawn to that lifestyle, which is is not correct. I don’t know if that’s intended by writers, though. I guess it’s for dramatic effect–a quick and easy tool to deepen the characters before they hop into bed (or into restraints).

    The thing that bugs me is why do all the men have to be these cocky (forgive the pun) alpha-male types? I swear, it’s the same self-absorbed jerk in every book! A definite turn-off. I’m sorry, but I would prefer to be dominated by a man with a keen wit and an intellectual mind than some muscle-bound meathead with a big package. This is a matter of taste, of course 😉

    • It really does, Christa, and I simply refuse to believe that is the reality of the situation. I’m curious why so many women are drawn in by such a suffering and despair-riddled man. Personally, I want the opposite, more along the lines of the kind of man you described: intelligent, witty, funny, charming, warm. Why can’t that man slam a woman up against a wall, have his way with her, and make her come multiple times?

      I’m not buying what they’re selling. Just saying.

  2. I just picked up a book with a threesome that has gone through hell and back, which suggests to me that someone feels like the only way one could possibly enjoy the kinky sex they engage in is to be kind of sick yourself…again, so not buying what they’re selling. Or is this the trope because people are also into the sickness aspect? The cruel and vile? The abuse?


  3. Perhaps it’s some sort of over-compensating? There’s a view of people who really enjoy sex outside of the “sex is an expression of love” box that says they’re shallow or don’t contain deep emotions and only seek sex out as pleasure. Society paints these people as deviants and irrational.
    Many women fantasize about being overpowered by a man who loses control because he must have HER, but then they feel guilty about the fantasy afterwards. These books may be trying to put those fantasies in a context that rationalizes it and demonstrates that women can desire to be overpowered, but still hold the power (usually in these narratives, it’s the man who must change, as he realizes he’s in love–“see! these people are capable of the FEELS!”). These stories attempt to counter the people-who-enjoy-BDMS-have-no-deep-romantic-feels image society likes to paint for us by saying, “No! Look! The deep, dark, damaged feels!”

    Not so much a problem in itself until it becomes the ONLY narrative surrounding BDSM. Sort of like how Buffy the Vampire Slayer was an awesome empowerment thing, but then we got bombarded with narratives of “empowered/strong woman=physically strong/kicks ass” when what we really need is a variety of narratives where a variety of women are empowered in a variety of ways. I suspect this is due to, “IT MAKES MONEY! PUMP OUT MORE!” attitude publishers take until the market is flooded with the same types of stories. Then it peeks, everyone gets sick of the same story being shoved in their faces, and lo and behold! Something else starts making the monies and the whole cycle begins again.

    • You totally hit it on the head…I just want something different. It’s all about the money, but good sex, written well, can make money without the “sickness” element. Hmmmm…maybe I need to get writing…

  4. Pingback: Book Review: IN HER CLOSET by Tasha L. Harrison | Madhuri Blaylock Writes

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