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On BDSM, non-con and D/s in fan fiction. An essay on terms and practises. 
17 Feb 2006, 21:21
Nátt: SPN tattoo, SPN: Nátt-tattoo
Misconceptions in Fan Fiction

- on terms, warnings, BDSM, homosexual practise and non-con.

BDSM, dominance and submission, top/bottoming and non-con are often used sexual practises in fan fiction. I am not going to express any opinions on fan fiction outside Harry Potter-fandom though, since my experience in writing and reading fan fiction lies solely inside that particular fandom.



As we all know, many fics describe some level of sexual practise. Most fics are written by women, why it is not possible for them to have any practical experience – at least not when it comes to male homosexual practise. Many writers are very eager to search for, find, and use information on the subject, but sometimes misunderstandings occur anyhow.

So... Why am I writing this? I do not have any experience in male homosexual practise either. But this is mostly about another topic, a topic wherein the homosexual practise is a small part.

This is about dominance, people.

Do I have any experience on that? Yes. I've been chairman of the Danish political part of a NGO, dedicated to clear up misunderstandings and prejudices regarding BDSM and the persons who prefer their sex that way. I've worked as a councellor, giving advice to everybody needing it - from governmental authorities to people new to the BDSM-world – and amongst them male homosexual couples.

When I find BDSM and D/s (Bondage, Dominance, Sadism, Masochism and Dominance/submission) in a fic – or a fic labelled as such – I often find misconceptions. This is going to look like a check list and it might be seen as such.

Non-con vs. Masochism/Submission
First of all: BDSM and non-con is not the same.

BDSM is always a game, a sexual practise between people who are consenting adults. What and how is always agreed upon in some way or another.

Rape/non-con can be a part of a BDSM-game but is always agreed upon beforehand.

Rape/non-con without consent is exactly what it says it is, and no masochist/submissive would feel it like anything but rape.

BDSM plays with the exchange of power, submission, pain, bondage, to gain or receive the power over another – as long as it is agreed upon. If the mutual agreement of either taking or receiving power is not present it is not BDSM anymore.

Terms and Misused Terms
Then there is the question of terms used. This is where many problems occur. Understandable, because sometimes even people in the BDSM-scene are confused.

Dominant: The person in possession of power. A Dominant/Dom/Domina is a person who enjoys making another person submit to orders, some humiliating, others not.
Sadist: A sadist in BDSM-terms is a person who enjoys to inflict (agreed upon) pain on another.
The term sadist is frequently used as a diagnosis or to describe a person who is actually either violent and/or a rapist. Sometimes, but not always, the term Dom (male)/Domina (female) is to be preferred even if it does not fit what a sadist is.

Submissive: The person submitting to the Dominant. (always capital 'D') Often referred to as 'sub' ( without capital 's'). A submissive enjoys handing over the power to a Dom/Domina.
Masochist:A masochist in BDSM-terms is a person who enjoys pain being inflicted upon by a sadist. A masochist is not necessarily submitting to the sadist. (fighting can be such fun ;0)

A person doing something not pleasant is not a masochist (Example: I went willingly to the dentist, I must be a masochist.) Sometimes the term submissive is preferred to masochist, as masochism is used as a diagnosis as well in some countries.

Often the terms are mixed up. The problem here is the current use of the terms. If UN would be as kind as to tell the appr. 200 countries that still use/treat sadism/masochism as mental illnesses to stop doing it we could get back to the use of 'sadist/masochist' for the BDSM-minded and 'Dom/sub' for the ones that prefer the fun without too much pain and mostly likes the humiliation and/or handing over power.

But it is not politically incorrect to use the terms 'masochist' or 'sadist'. It is just preferred to use 'Dom/sub' in my little corner of the world because the connotations, at least in Danish, are as they are.


Now here's the thing about male hom... ahr, you know the drill:
The term 'top' used in a male homosexual relationship is not the same as a Dom.
To be topping is just a term that explains that a person prefers to be the one penetrating his lover. A top can be a Dom or a sub or not at all interested in BDSM in the first place. To be a top do not indicate any relation to need for Dominance or sadistic behaviour.

To be a top is solely a term that describes the preferred technique when having anal intercourse.

Well – it is fairly easy to figure out what bottom means, right?

Bottom: The one who prefers to be penetrated. Not a submissive. A technical term.


Top/bottoming is entirely independent of any BDSM-practise or need.


Dominance outside the bedroom
A very important aspect was pointed out to me by kamion: Because one is a Dominant in bed it doesn't mean that this is something that a couple takes outside the bedroom. Most couples who enjoy BDSM or D/s live perfectly normal lives, argue like all other couples, fight and kiss and make up and clean and make dinner together. Very few people live in what is called a 24-7 relationship where the Dom is always a Dom and the sub a sub, it is rare, but it happens.

People! This is a game and playtime is over when the game is. That doesn't mean that a game can't take days, but it certainly means that a masochist can be the one who decides everything when it comes to the everyday relationship - or not.


Pain.
Pain is two different things in the BDSM universe compared to the outside.

A masochist would never think that a plain whipping as revenge or punishment would be nice.
Example: Harry is caught by Death Eaters and flogged by Bella. Not fun, not BDSM, just non-con pain.

A masochist would love a plain whipping if agreed upon.
Example: Harry thinks Bellatrix is hot (veeeery likely) and and he agrees to let her flog him. Much better now, even if the actions seem alike. They might even play the above scene if they were deviant enough or if Harry was as kinky as we believe him to be.

Difference: Consent.

Definitions inside the BDSM-term
BDSM consists of many things: Bondage, various fetishes, humiliation, power games, pain coming in various levels, piercing, cross-dressing, spanking, training, golden shower, consented-upon-rape-scenarios (ravishment) and other elements.

D/s is just a part of the term, the part that plays mostly with games that centres around power (having a pet, ordering the sub to do various things. Humiliation.)

Bondage is the part where we tie people up. Chains, ropes, cages, restraints in any form. Most people connect the term bondage to the Japanese variety which is very pretty, but somewhat laborious.

BDSM is as mentioned a game between consenting adults. It cannot include children or animals or any person not able to express consent.

Any fic written describing non-consenting adults should therefore be labelled 'non-con/rape/violence'

As a last thing I would like to mention that Doms/Dominas are not always the powerful men (Lucius for example) or the bossy females (Bella). Submissives are not always the meek or whimpering neurotic young men or women (Draco, Neville).
Often it is actually quite the other way around, but there's no way to tell. And often a sub is actually the one who decides as he/she is the one setting the borders and limitations the Dom can act within. And more often than not people have both sides and switch between being submissive and dominant.

BDSM is not hardcore. It can be, but isn't always. BDSM can be anything from the line 'put your hands on the headboard/your back/whatever until I tell you to move them.' to heavy spankings, blood-play, branding, long term bondage... it is entirely up to the couple's common decisions.

BDSM and Love:
Of course people are able to play this game without love. But it is not so common, BDSM is often practised within a relationship. It is a game that starts with little things and evolves from there. It is highly unlikely that a couple would play with any hardcore practises without knowing each other well since the main focus in a game/ playing is trust.

BDSM in Fan Fiction
I am not demanding that fanfiction should look like real life. Fan fiction serves a purpose for us as an outlet for, for example, rape fantasies, something many women have, not as something they long for IRL but solely as a fantasy. I have seen several rants over that subject. We allow Malfoycest, chan, violence of different kinds, and of course those subjects are allowed in our fandom as well. But they should be properly labelled with the correct warnings and, I direct attention to the first part of my essay, the proper warning for such occurrences is non-con or rape.

BDSM or D/s is something entirely different.


Comments 
17 Feb 2006, 20:44 (UTC)
I'm glad to know that I'm still writing it right. :)

As a last thing I would like to mention that Doms are not always the powerful men (Lucius for example) or the bossy females (Bella). Submissives are not always the whimpering neurotic young men or women (Draco).

Amen. I may be a switcher, but I tend towards Domme, and I'm the most submissive person that you'd meet in real life. Just not in the bedroom. :) Thanks for helping to clear up these misconceptions.

L.
17 Feb 2006, 20:49 (UTC)
I don't think that you apply much to being a 'misconceptor'. Your fics are rather nice that way...

Thanks nevertheless!
17 Feb 2006, 21:12 (UTC)
I found this essay linked through hp_essays, and am extremely grateful to you for showing the nuances of a pretty complex thing :). That'll teach me to use BDSM as a warning in fics with somewhat ambiguous-consent situations just because it includes the 'B' and is easy :).

One think I wondered about, though - is 'masochist' and 'submissive' really the same? Because subjectively, I can easily relate to finding enjoyment in pain, but 'submissiveness' (as in, being ordered, humiliation) raises all of my hackles at once and isn't something I could find remotely erotic... Which both applies to RL and to reading fanfic...
17 Feb 2006, 21:27 (UTC)
No, masochist and submissive is not the same, and therefore the term masochist should not be used when one really means submissive.

Myself, I am a sadomasochist, meaning that I enjoy both giving and receiving pain, in a BDSM context of course, but otherwise I am Dominant. It would take a VERY special person for me to be interested in or able to submit. Not that I don't have it in me, but it often takes even more trust for a mostly Dominant person to submit, to be able to let go and be vulnerable.

So, I can totally understand your reaction, as I have a very similar one. :-)
17 Feb 2006, 21:26 (UTC)
I think there are a couple of things that complicate this; first, some people use "top" and "bottom" to talk about who's dominant/active versus submissive/receptive in a BDSM scene, as well as about what role people are taking or like to take in intercourse. I wouldn't say that usage is wrong, but I agree that a lot of the time people confuse topping/bottoming in the purely physical sense with taking a dominant or submissive role.

Also, it's a little hard sometimes to make it clear that you are talking about kinky noncon sex without using some of the language of BDSM, and that's a warning a lot of people want to have. I can see warning for "noncon bondage," for instance (on the grounds that people who might be fine with a rape scene are not necessarily fine with ropes and handcuffs), or "forced submission," or whatever. But I agree that "BDSM" itself is not the right label for noncon stories, especially if it's the only label.
17 Feb 2006, 21:34 (UTC)
I agree with you wholeheartedly on the top/bottom thing. I just wish that people were more careful how to use it. It is rather confusing sometimes (and personally it annoys me to no end).

If we are operating with two warnings solely - BDSM or D/s vs. non-con, then the only thing we can use to separate them from each other is to ask if there's consent or not. It might be hot and kinky - but if there's not consent it must be labelled non-con. There's no way around it.

What I oppose to is that BDSM is used as a label for something that is clearly rape. I can live with it if it describes something bordering the one or the other, but I just wish that authors/artists would think twice before they used the term.

We can't have warnings for everything or every squick, so we have to work with what's there.
17 Feb 2006, 21:27 (UTC)
I hope a lot of newer writers will benefit from the clear explanations in this essay. So many people just aren't getting the "game" aspect of BDSM interactions.
17 Feb 2006, 21:39 (UTC)
True. But how should they know otherwise? If one is not into the scene it is hard to know exactly the whys and wherefores. I just want to ask people think a little of what they write...

Thanks.
17 Feb 2006, 21:37 (UTC)
I like this essay so very much! But I think you already know that, since we've talked a bit about the subject before. *g*

It's a shame really when the label BDSM is used for things in a fic that has absolutely nothing to do with BDSM. Just because there is bondage, doesn't mean it is BDSM, and I wish people would get better at using that as a warning instead of using the blanket BDSM in vain. Like you say, consent is the difference!

It's really simple to determine if something is BDSM or not - if there's consent, it's BDSM, if there's no consent or it's dubious, manipulated in some way, then it's not BDSM and another label should be used instead. There's definitely nothing wrong with using more specific labels like bondage, humiliation, spanking, etc. along with the appropriate larger label (BDSM, dub-con, or non-con, as the case may be). That way people also know what kind of BDSM, for instance, it is, because it can be so very different from couple to couple.
17 Feb 2006, 21:45 (UTC)
Yes. As we both know how vast the BDSM-label is it would be nice with specific warnings. Often there are only the two BDSM or non-con - and worse is it when there's only one BDSM/non-con. EEEEK!!!!

It puts the responsibility for warnings on the author and is therefore limited to that particular author's knowledge on the subject.

So if only people would learn the difference between consent and non-consent I'd be somewhat happier. Then I could live with the rest.

Thanks for pointing out the sub/masochist thing. I know of course the difference, but maybe I should write that it varies from person to person what term is preferred to use?
17 Feb 2006, 21:59 (UTC)
YES
and GOOD
and I'm glad you've put it into wclear words.
--- I may be guilty of mislabelling sometimes, but I'm not guilty of mental misconceptions!
17 Feb 2006, 22:12 (UTC)
*smooches* Thanks. I am glad if you could use it, and if it can help you label correctly or more clearly I am very happy!

And I would never suspect your mental abilities ;0) (Much - at least not in that regard.)
17 Feb 2006, 22:12 (UTC)
I'm glad you wrote this essay! I'm going to go pimp it vigorously on my journal, too. As a writer, I myself have taken flack for other people's misconceptions, and even when it's not too bad, I still get irritated with people who don't understand that Snape could like to bottom and at the same time not be a submissive. (heh) That's the one I most frequently come across - that people assume subs HAVE to be bottoms, that they are giving up all control to the Dom, that they are, in fact, the other person's complete SLAVE just because they like to take it up the arse. That bugs me so much.

And then you get into, well, this character MUST be a top, he would never ever be submissive to ANYONE (Lucius, for example, hee!). Which wouldn't be as annoying if you didn't have readers trying to tell you that you're dead wrong for the way you've written it.

Ranty?! Me?! Gosh, so sorry! *L* Anyway - thanks for this! I think this needs to go permanantly linked to my journal or something. And then I can just point people in its direction when they hassle me.

Excellent essay!
17 Feb 2006, 22:17 (UTC)
Thank you. I am so glad you agree!
And I agree so very much with you! To like anal is not making anyone subs or masochists - it just proves that the writer hasn't got a clue on what's going on.

And Lucius? A submissive if I ever saw one.

Rant away. If it makes someone understand what's going on it is useful!

How are you btw? Still ill?
17 Feb 2006, 22:41 (UTC)
Thanks for this. May it be widely read and heeded.

It irritates me that some writers fling these labels around carelessly. However, on some websites where warnings have to be selected, your only other option is to try to clarify in the summary. There's no excuse for inaccuracy on LJ, though, where it's all in our own hands.

It irritates me considerably more that some writers don't bother to research (or ask for people who have experience) when they decide to tackle a shiny topic they know little about, but never seem to suspect their ignorance might be showing - and misleading others who don't know much either.

As for mixing up being a sub/bottom, you wonder if they've ever heard of the expression 'pushy bottom' or thought through the implications. (Certainly no one using the associated sexual terms as insults has any idea of what complexities may be involved. But that may just be the cloud of testosterone. Or they've turned their brains off.)
17 Feb 2006, 22:57 (UTC)
It was my year-long irritation that made me write. When one has experience on the topic it is often easy to spot the clueless, but so many are not that lucky. They get all the crap and some might even learn (the wrong thing) from it.

With Google it is so very easy to check the facts. People are just too lazy to do so.

I don't know where the term 'bottom' became an insult but I've seen it numerable times. Topping from the bottom is obviously not possible to grasp for the ignorant.

On another note: I forgot because of all the hospital-things, but I meant to ask you to look at a new (kinky) community and poke you to join.
17 Feb 2006, 23:04 (UTC)
Thank you so much. I love to experiment in fiction with D/s, even though it's not something I've ever felt really drawn to in my personal life. Now, I have a point of reference to check up on if I'm writing it halfway correctly or not. Am reccing this essay to other authors. Do you mind?
17 Feb 2006, 23:12 (UTC)
Not the least. And thank you!

There are many ways to write it, and none is more right than the next, as long as it is reasonably plausible and without misconceptions. But the labelling? Important!!
17 Feb 2006, 23:25 (UTC)
This really was very interesting to read (as were the comments as well) And informative to say the very least.

I suppose I could claim to be one of those effected by what I've read through fic or whatnot over the years. I jumped into the HP-verse when I was rather young and likely impressionable, and perhaps that is why I had such a skewed view on some of these things previously. The game thing? Totally new to me, I will admit. Certainly not the only thing that I am learning but that is very obviously a big part.

Can't say I was ever one that spread the misconsceptions I've had around, since I don't actually write fic as a general rule. And while with my own personal curiosities on the subject, I suppose it was my own laziness to blame for never typing google in and looking for myself.

Still, it's great to have these things cleared up, and it is certainly good to know should I opt to write a fic as I do on rare occasions! And so many thanks for this!
17 Feb 2006, 23:31 (UTC)
You are so very welcome honey, and I think that I can say that Draco you are in the bestest of hands when it comes to broaden your mind :D

I am glad if you got something out of reading! *hugs*
17 Feb 2006, 23:26 (UTC)
Since we've discussed this at great lenght, you know you've just covered one of my pet peevee's as well. Thanks for doing it - this essay needed writing! Well done. I'll pimp it over at my journal.
17 Feb 2006, 23:30 (UTC)
Uhm, maybe I misread your intent, or perhaps I missed it in comments, but for some (and NOT the context to which you are specifically referring), sadism (or masochism) *IS* a mental illness. Witness Bellatrix Black Lestrange, for example. I am firmly of the opinion that she is QUITE mentally ill, and it is quite clear she is a sadist (though not necessarily in the sexual manner)...she just likes to inflict *as much pain as possible* on anyone who crosses her path, and the more non-consenting they are, apparently, the better. She may (or may not) be getting a sexual thrill out of it - this is not really discussed canonically for obvious reasons. In any case, *her* sadism and illness *are* related.

Now, this is wholly different from someone who is otherwise sane, who realises that physiologically, the pain and pleasure receptors in the brain process sensation in much the same way, and that once you are past a certain level of arousal, damned near anything can feel good, and/or recognises that the *sensation* of pain can be very intense in a good way in a sexual context

I am of the opinion that consenting adults should do whatever the hell they damned well please behind closed doors; I certainly don't agree with making consensual BDSM practices illegal.

However, sadism and masochism *can* be mental illnesses.
17 Feb 2006, 23:41 (UTC)
Here is where the clashing of terms comes in.

Sadism and masochism is unfortunately used as definitions for something that has nothing to do with BDSM. - Or you can say that the terms are used in the wrong way describing sexual sadists.

And I must correct you. Sexual sadism is not considered a mental disease any longer. The Danish society for BDSM were the ones that made UN remove it from their official list of mental diseases.

A sexual sadist is not a sadist as described in psychology. A violent sadist does not care the least about his or her victim.

Mental illnesses do not make a violent sadist and because some people are cruel and - as violent sadists - enjoys inflicting pain on others, not willing, it does not make sexual sadists mentally ill.


18 Feb 2006, 0:00 (UTC)
WOW. Here from DS and definitely linking this.

I don't think I've ever read an essay to which I nodded at every single point. This essay would do Jay Wiseman proud. I know that it does me, and my personal efforts at this genre, very proud.

Yep. One for the memories, for sure.

And?

often a sub is actually the one who decides as he/she is the one deciding the borders that the Dom can act within
*sigh* This is the fact that most often gets ignored. ‘Tis sad. Because there is no black and white here.

Bravissima.
18 Feb 2006, 0:13 (UTC)
Thank you.

I am glad you liked, and I am very flattered that you think my view on this so agreeable.

Sometimes it sucks big time being Domme! I never get to decide anything. But I suppose it is hard to understand if one has only a brief knowledge of what is going on.
18 Feb 2006, 1:19 (UTC)
Here from hp_essays. This makes my little sub heart happy. Awesome, awesome essay. I love the uber-Dom!Snape fics waaaaaaay too much. Detention in the dungeons? Yes please!
18 Feb 2006, 1:22 (UTC)
Thank you so much!

Don't we all have a hidden sub that dreams about detention with the brooding Potions master? I know I have. (And she can come out and play as soon as I've finished punishing Lucius ;0)
18 Feb 2006, 1:20 (UTC)
Thank you for this. I admit to being terrified to click on it for a moment, thinking that my conceptions of all these terms would be totally wrong. I'm glad it seems I'm relatively on the same page, despite not having any experience with BDSM personally.

(I also had the great fortune to beta what I considered to be a wonderful D/s fic last fall, and would hate to now find out both the author and I had it all wrong! We didn't. *wipes brow*) :)
18 Feb 2006, 1:28 (UTC)
Just googling for about 10 minutes could actually remove a lot of the misunderstandings. Luckily (God! I'm a mess - I spelled luckily 'luciusly'! I'm doomed!) many writers get it right and there's rarely any doubt that a particular writer has done her/his homework.

I do not demand I am the keeper of the truth when it comes to this subject though.

I am happy to see that you've gotten your fics right ;0) I doubt that you and many other decent writers are the ones that made me write this, though.

Thank you for reading and commenting.
18 Feb 2006, 1:26 (UTC)
I was linked here from tamlane. Thank you for writing this; I'm putting it in my Memories to refer to the next time I write BDSM. ♥
18 Feb 2006, 1:29 (UTC)
Thank you for reading. I am glad you find it useful.
18 Feb 2006, 4:45 (UTC)
Wordy McWordy Word. Thank you.
18 Feb 2006, 8:04 (UTC)
You're welcome - and thanks :)
(Deleted comment)
18 Feb 2006, 8:05 (UTC)
THank you. And amen indeed. Just hope it helps.
18 Feb 2006, 6:03 (UTC)
Well, you know why I needed to read this. *kiss* Definately helpful, it cleared up quite a few things for me, actually.

Looking forward to playing tomorrow. :D
18 Feb 2006, 8:06 (UTC)
I could say something about inspiration, but you know... Just needed to say something about the basics... :D - Thanks, sweetie!

Me too. Going to be eh- fun? ;0)
18 Feb 2006, 8:52 (UTC)
Very very illuminating!
Thank you VERY much for posting this. I never realised I had so many doubts and misconceptions in my head till I read this essay.

I wish the Drarry fandom realises that top!Harry does not mean sub!Draco *pet peeve*.

Thanks again! ^_^
18 Feb 2006, 8:57 (UTC)
You are welcome. I love H/D - but top!harry = sub!draco annoys me to no end. It is fair to say that that fact and their discussions on the subject (Why must they discuss who is on the top??? all the time, I mean how often do heterosexual couple discuss how-to? They just do it.) is one of the main reasons for writing this.

I am glad if the above cleared things up for you, then I've fulfilled my mission.

Thanks for reading and commenting!
18 Feb 2006, 10:22 (UTC)
Very useful. Probably not what I should have read before going to work but useful all the same! Some of it wasn't really new information but it certainly cleared up all the information I've gathered on my way along the fandom.

As a last thing I would like to mention that Doms/Dominas are not always the powerful men (Lucius for example) or the bossy females (Bella). Submissives are not always the meek or whimpering neurotic young men or women (Draco, Neville).

You realise, of course, that you have caused a Dom!Draco/Sub!Lucius fic to clamber around my brain?
18 Feb 2006, 12:17 (UTC)
I did? Well, then the essay certainly has been useful! Work? You can't go to work now! You have a fic to write!

*sits patiently and waits for sub!Lucius and Dom!Draco to show up*

I am actually even happier when someboy reads it and thinks, 'I knew that'.
I'd rather have written this in vani, knowing that the above was common knowledge to ff-writers.
18 Feb 2006, 12:23 (UTC)
I enjoy both giving and receiving (mild)pain, in a BDSM context of course, but I am also not able to submit to someone. Haven't met the right person who could pull that off. Who I'd trust enough. Because it makes me feel way too vulnerable. I don't *feel* like a Dominant but apparently I am. I am also simply too proud to submit to 'just anyone'. Can you image my surprise the first time I saw Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy (and before that as Colonel Tavington)and I definitely discovered the urge to submit to him? Lol! Oh, the restless feelings I had! For days!
I also regret that in a lot of fics (not all!) you only read about the physical part of it all. The power of mind games are never to be underestimated!
18 Feb 2006, 12:32 (UTC)
Without the mind BDSM would have no meaning... A few fics describe that part so wonderfully. I wonder if one should have tried it to know...

Heh... Jason I: IRL? He's soooo meek and no..... EEEEK! Cute like nothing else, but... no.

On the other hand: I do not submit to anyone, so there...

18 Feb 2006, 12:25 (UTC)
Oh, I forgot... it is really the *submissive* who has the power, most of the time.
18 Feb 2006, 12:33 (UTC)
Yeah. Leaves us Ds with nothing. Bugger.
18 Feb 2006, 13:17 (UTC)
Thank you very much for this insightful essay. I've read original stories with BDSM themes from authors who also practise BDSM in real life for some years, so I am quite familiar with the terms. But since last summer, when I entered the HP fandom, I realised that some authors do get their classification mixed up. Sometimes I wonder if there are not enough categories in the archives as well, so that you cannot chose the appropriate label, even if you want to.
18 Feb 2006, 13:26 (UTC)
Thank you.

The problem with labels is that one should know what they mean so they can be used correctly.

If some authors are not able to tell the difference between BDSM and rape... well - then the rest of the labels are without meaning.

But as soon as that is determined and we're talking about an author that has an understanding at least, then it would be nice to at least have BDSM, Bondage, D/s, Humiliation and ravishing as labels - and of course dub-con, non-con and rape.

But I can live with few labels if they are used correctly.
18 Feb 2006, 17:41 (UTC)
Thanks, Lysa, it's a very informative post.
18 Feb 2006, 17:43 (UTC)
You're welcome. I just hope I can make a minor difference by writing this.
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