For those of you not in the know, "Dubcon" refers to "dubious consent" while "Noncon" refers to "non-consent", and both are styles of writing in the erotica genre. Before I get into this post, though, I have two things. First, this may warrant a TRIGGER WARNING, just in case, because I do talk about rape and coercion and other things which may trigger bad memories for those of us who have had some very not-good experiences. Second, in NO way am I EVER EVER EVER condoning rape in any way, shape, or form. This includes by coercion or trickery, or because someone was unable to consent (ie, on drugs or drunk for example). Any reference from here on out pretty much refers to fantasies... as in people often have rape fantasies, but in no way want to actually be raped.
IRL... both dubcon and noncon are rape. We're not talking about in real life here though. We're talking about fantasies. If for any reason this isn't clear to you yet as you read, I'ma make it clear: If your partner at any time says no, withdraws consent, or can't give consent and you keep on having sex with them? You're a rapist. If you have enthusiastic consent, then you're not! It's that simple!
Gonna repeat: anything here on out applies to writing and fantasies. I am absolutely NOT condoning any of this in real life. Am I sensitive on this issue? Why yes, yes I am.
Anyway, I won't write noncon stuff. Generally, from what I've seen of it, it's pretty brutal and describes graphic rape. I'm really not into that... it's not sexy to me. For some people, it is, and bully for them. It's just not my thing. It tends to be a lot more violent too, and while I like BDSM, I'm not really into beating the shit out of people to get off. Like, ew.
However, almost all of my stuff could be considered dubcon, which as I pointed out above, IRL would be a very not nice thing. However, in fantasies, it often comes down to, "Oh! This person/creature/whatever is ravaging me! I don't want to like it, but I do! Give me more, person/creature/whatever!" The question is, what exactly does dubcon cover?
It could be the use of force, at least a little. Think of the bodice rippers where the handsome pirate throws down the maiden and has his wicked way with her, but she loves it. Little bit of force, but if she truly struggled, he'd either stop, or it'd go full blown into noncon. A little ways into the ravaging, she gets into it, and becomes a full fledged participant. This goes back to the fantasy of being ravished that women in particular have, because it gives us awesome mind-blowing sex without the fear of being called a slut. We're not sluts, he totally ravished us!
The second use of dubcon could be coercion or blackmail. So far, my "Dominating" series (of which there will be another... should I label them together? Hm. I am planning three books, so I might as well) concerns the woman blackmailing the man into becoming her bitch. He can choose to walk away and suffer whatever consequences there are, but chooses to stay. It's still dubious, because even as he's making a choice, it's blackmail... there's no real right choice to be had there. In this case, he turns out to love it (of course). Or in the Janus Key Chronicles... Dirk & Debbie are basically coerced into having sex in order to get the Key to activate, which may or may not bring them home. Of course, they love the sex, but the point is... they're coerced into having sex whether or not they want to.
The last use, that I can think of anyway, is using mind-altering drugs or other forms of mind alteration (such as hypnosis or mind control) to increase desire or lust. This is the worst form of dubcon in my opinion, as it actually changes a person's being. There are varying degrees of course. In the JK Chronicles, Debbie eats some elderberries which increases her sex drive... but not quite to the point where she can't choose not to indulge. It's really hard not to choose, but she could have if she wished to remain that strong. Hypnosis, if people operate by the "real" rules of hypnosis, can't make people do what they don't want to do already. It's the mind control which is the real kicker... it's not just using the person for their body, but altering their minds, changing them in even more intimate ways... in some ways, it's like the ultimate rape. That's why I won't ever use mind control initiate sexual encounters either... that one is just too icktastic for me, even though the MC in the Villainess book is actually a mind controller. And a sociopath. But she views it as being too easy to do that... yet she keeps it as a back up, just in case.
Now, even though dubcon is shady, it can still be hot. It's sort of like... animal instinct winning over the rational mind. Civilization versus savagery. It's no surprise to me that bikers and vikings are hot right now... they are "savage" and yet can be tender at the same time. Savagery tamed by civilization... and come on, girls, let's face it. Who doesn't want to tame the bad boy and make him fall totally in love with her? It's a dream of just about every girl in the world. It's why bad boys are so fucking popular and why so many girls think, "Oh, I can change him!" Well, as I discussed above, reality and fantasy are definitely not the same thing.