Friday, October 12, 2012

Twenty-Five Acts

Houston, we have a problem. 

Okay. So I'm watching Law & Order SVU, which is one of my favorite shows. I've watched all the episodes.


And I'm enjoying the new actors this season. Got nothing against the show.

This week's episode - Twenty-Five Acts - was about the rape of an author of a 50-Shades-of-Grey-style BDSM romance.

Now here's my problem - the show went with the premise that the below are truths:

1) Because the author wrote about certain sexual acts, the jury would think she wanted those acts done to her.

2) Because what you write is your personal fantasy.

3) And she couldn't have just researched it. Those sexual acts had to have been inspired by a real man/relationship.


Now, I've written a BDSM romance.

On an alien planet.

I've never done any of the BDSM sexual acts in the story.

Neither have I been to an alien planet.

Nor are either of those things my personal fantasy. I'm really not interested in interstellar travel until we get to the space-cruise-ship level. Until then, there's plenty of places on Earth for me to explore.

And the inspired by a real person thing? Oh sure, I'm quite positive I was inspired by real men - who do not know I exist. 

It's called imagination.

Coupled with research.

As with the fictitious book in the Law & Order episode (based on 50 Shades of Grey - itself originally a fan-fiction Twilight tale), this isn't a kiss-and-tell memoir, it's fiction, for pity's sake!


Other types of fiction don't get treated like this.

Nobody asks Stephen King how many hotel ghosts have driven him insane. Or James Patterson how many people he's murdered. Or Tess Gerritsen if she's secretly a serial killer.

Nobody assumes these three have bloody fantasies. Or that they're asking to be possessed/murdered/crime victims.

And certainly nobody believes they've actually done any of the things they've written.

So why do people take for granted that it's imagination and research when it's violence, and lifestyle when it's sex?

Why is writing about consensual sex between two adults shameful and writing about body horror and physical atrocities perfectly acceptable?

I don't know the answer. So I'm asking you.


  1. It probably stems from the same source as the assumption that girls dressing like tarts like sex, or believing it's okay to force oneself on a prostitute because it's assumed that she won't mind. Murder and possession - these are still concepts that shock the average person and they actually have to stop and think about it before they can get a mental grasp of it. Sex is a tangible thought however - somehow everyone thinks they have a handle on it, but all it really is is a bunch of ignorant opinions.

    Hence why I disagree with a jury system (and for the record, I studied law under a system that has no jury).

    The average person (aka juror) is coming into the courtroom uneducated in terms of the law and with all of their preconceptions, just waiting to be played upon by a sharp attorney. And as I said, the average person thinks they understand "sex". But honestly, they will go in seeing an author who writes about it and automatically resort to the most (il?)logical opinion - they write about it, this must be their basest fantasy. *Beep* - wrong! Further, in any rape trial, no matter what the circumstance, the first thought in most people's minds is, what did she do to entice him?

    Granted, even in a system without a jury, the judge will probably also have those thoughts, but he is law-bound to put them aside, not take prior conduct (writing/sexual history) into account. Sure, a jury is probably TOLD not to, but that ignorant thought will still influence their decision. Human ignorance, that's all it is.

    Btw sorry for the ramble, it is way too early and I can't switch on the coffee machine without waking up the hubby :)

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughts!! I really appreciate your input - and it wasn't a ramble. :)

      Also - calling all inventors out there - clearly there is a market for silent coffee makers!