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What is dub-con

Dubcon is short for "dubious consent": sex scenarios that lack clear consent and often involve themes such as intoxication, coercion, manipulation, abuse of authority, etc. The characters might be enjoying themselves, but the circumstances are shady. Do you believe the dubcon category is necessary to distinguish a specific kink, or do you find it to be symptomatic of a larger societal issue regarding how we define and validate rape?


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How the treatment of sexual consent in erotic fanfiction functions as a form of cultural activism.

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name: Password OpenID? Forgot it? Remember Me. The difference between dub con and non con.

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I know dub con doesn't exist in real life. It's a fic-only term that exists only because I can get into a character's head and not only know what they're thinking, but also make them think whatever I want. Dub con in the real world is a separate issue. Dub con in the real world translates to abusive relationships and rape.

Words near dubcon in the dictionary

It translates to non con. The assumption is that my insistence on labelling dub con separately is because I think it actually, in the real world, is a separate thing. That it's 'not really rape' and therefore shouldn't come under the label non con.

This isn't true. The argument for separating dub con and non con is not because I'm trying to argue it's not really rape.

Of course it's rape. I am able to separate what happens in fic from what happens in the real world. The reason is because they are actually separate kinks. As in, non con leaves me cold. Rape fics make me uncomfortable. I can read them, I can maybe even enjoy them for plot or character elements. But they're not going to turn me on. They're not my kink.

Dub con is my kink. That's why I want labelling separation, because one is what I want, and the other is similar but not the same.

Non con is straightforward, lack of consent is basically easy to recognise. Dubious consent tre the line of consent, it dips in and out from both sides, it attempts at consent but can't because of intoxication it doesn't consent, but then slips and slides into consenting because it 'feels so good'.

It's not consent until brainwashing resulting in impaired consent. It's Stiles fantasising about Peter controlling him in the car park, it's Loki telling Clint to suck him off. It's a vampire putting you under its thrall. It's Maria sleeping with Schiller because she's in his power and only in part because she's attracted to him.

It's Snape taking advantage of abused! Harry's confusion and youth, and forcing him into his first orgasm etc. Dub con can cover a large variety of consent issues, whereas non con covers only one. Just like enthusiastic consent covers only one. Dub con is all manner of coercion in between.

In the real world there is no dub con, only non con, i.

It's ALL non con. And that's because in the what world our definitions are there to protect people and you know, be moral and do the right thing. In fic our rules are there to help you find your kink, to enable sexual fantasies. I really hate this idea that dub con writers would rather be writing non con but don't have dub-con guts. I can't speak for every writer, but certainly I don't read romance novels for healthy romance, no matter how much they might tell me that's what it is. I am reading it for the dub con, I am reading it for the men who take advantage of the heroines, and the heroines who enjoy it when it happens.

I guess in a way you could say that my dub con fantasy isn't just a rape fantasy, it's an 'enjoying your rape' fantasy. You think I don't realise that's problematic? It's massively problematic. But just because it's problematic doesn't mean it's bad. Dub con is not a mislabelling, just like it's not a deviant sexual desire. It's a valid kink and it's a separate kink to non con, that's why it needs to be labelled as such.

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Dubcon is unproblematic: why the dubious consent trope is different than the normalization of rape in romance and erotica

Fantastic essay. To me the dub-con vs. It's a subset of the larger whole. Consent obtained through manipulation and coercion is not freely given consent, but neither is it thwacking somebody over the head. And yes, since this is storytelling and not real life, the grey-areas of dub-con are where some great moments of character exploration occur. Link Reply Thread Hide 1 comment Show 1 comment.

Re: here via metanews Date: pm UTC. Thank you! I definitely agree, the grey areas are where the most enjoyable bits are. I feel non con can be more instant? Whereas with dub con, you often need to take the time to establish what's going on, and exactly how that's dirtybadwrong, in order to hit the right kink spot. In general, I'm a big fan of content labels dub-con precisely the reasons you lay out here: because I want to find stories that are what to do my kinks the way I like them.

I was thinking, reading about what you get out of dubcon, how different it is from what I get out of it. Because I would also say that dubcon is one of my favorite things, but I like the variety that isn't so much about badwrong as it is about the externalized expression of suppressed desire, i.

I've always wanted you but never dared and now we have to fuck or die. One of the things I like about fannish differentiation of terms is that it's likely to be pretty obvious from a fic's metadata if it's doing unsexy serious realistic rape or eroticized badwrong rape or eroticized grey is-it-really? I'd read any of those things, depending on my mood and the fandom, but in each case I would want to know what I was getting into, because the ificance of nonconsent is different in each.

Re: also here via metanews Date: pm UTC. I do find labelling difficult from a writer standpoint, sometimes you're so in the fic, you can't see the forest for the trees. But yes, summaries are also pretty important, because, yes, dubcon does cover a really wide spectrum. I guess the more specific you can be in the AN the more you help the reader? But then I guess you don't want to give to much away?

Then again we're probably talking PWPs here, so there's not all that much too give away! It's cool to hear what different people get out of dubcon, I love how it works in what ways for different people despite being technically this one kink.

I agree on the dubcon vs noncon labelling but do you really think all romance novels ever are depicting unhealthy relationships? If that's just a little hyperbole, that's fine, but I would strongly disagree unless we quite possibly the case as there are a lot of definitions of the term have a different definition of romance novels. No you're right. I was being flippant, it's not all romance. It's probably the majority romance I've read. But then again, dub-con my preferences, it's highly likely my reading choices are biased!

I accidentally marked the notif as read in my inbox, and forgot I hadn't replied! Expand Cut Tags No cut tags. Top of .