This was Heidi MacDonald's question about the Crossed torture covers. You can see the article linked below. But this reaction interests me, because it’s pretty much the same reaction that many people have to two dudes kissing. Or buying a book about someone who likes to dominate other people, or be dominated by other people.
(You can start humming Sweet Dreams now)
But I suspect if someone were to publically say “WHAT KIND OF SICK FUCK BUYS THIS SHIT????” about, say, S and M, then you’d get a much different kind of response. But understand that whether you think enjoying S and M or gay porn is equivalent to enjoying gore, you are essentially judging someone by their taste in fiction in a way that demonizes and marginalizes them. It says that if you like this, you are a fucked up human being. Torture covers are apparently an acceptable target.
Now, I write an extremely violent and gore filled comic and I am writing Crossed which, as you might guess, is ALSO extremely violent and gore filled. So the full disclosure bit is out of the way.
What might surprise you is that I don’t actually like gore. I’ve never been a gorehound, and most of the time I don’t find it all that entertaining. Shit, some of the scariest and most disturbing movies are some of the least gore filled. Note that despite their reputation, the first Halloween and the orginal Texas Chainsaw Massacre are relatively tame affairs from a strictly blood and guts perspective.
But I am a fan of horror, and as mentioned, I do write a lot of extremely violent things, so I’ve had occasion to meet a lot of gorehounds. So I am at least in some position to offer an opinion on what kind of sick fucks they are.
Not sick fucks at all, usually. They are, as most people are, by and large nice and normal people with no particular urge to violently torture and murder people. People that know the difference between real and not real, which seems to be lacking in some people’s ability to imagine stuff.
I do not understand S&M. I don’t. I can’t understand why people would get off on domination or being dominated. I also know that Fifty Shades of Grey made the author just shy of 100 million dollars, which indicates that quite a lot of people enjoying reading about it or, at the very least, aren’t bothered by it.
I could ask “WHAT KIND OF SICK FUCK BUYS THIS SHIT????” because the ideas it supposes are unfathomable to me. But the fact that it is hugely popular leads to the apparent notion that, perhaps, they aren’t sick fucks and I should examine the inside of my own head a little better.
Or, if you want to get a little higher on the transgressive scale, I’ve known at least two woman who have rape fantasies. I say at least, because I suspect I know others who just kept that particular information to themselves.
Again, I do not understand this. I do not understand how something as horrifying as being the victim rape can be turned into a sexual fantasy. But I also know that these women do not want to be raped, and would just as hurt and damaged by the act as anyone else. Because, again, there is a line between fantasy and reality, and because you enjoy something in fantasy or fiction doesn’t mean you want to carry out the act in real life.
It doesn’t make you a sick fuck.
There was an article, which I am not going to link to, I saw last week, where the summary I wish I hadn’t read was this: a newlywed couple was in a car accident, and both of them died. The wife was killed on impact, but the husband survived long enough to receive aid. He begged them to save his wife, because she was pregnant. Their family only learned the couple was expecting when they found the sonogram pictures in the wife’s purse.
This is horror.
And what is worse, this is something has entertained thousands if not millions of people. They don’t think of themselves as being entertained, but these kinds of stories, presented as news? They aren’t news. They contain no information that you need to know, unless, perhaps, you knew the subject. This is real people’s tragedy, packaged as entertainment and used to make a profit.
And while you may have not read this particular story, it’s a near certainty that you have read or watched with rapt attention while someone else’s horror is presented to you as entertainment. I have. I try not to, and I mostly succeed.
So how, exactly, are we not all sick fucks?