I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard that liking dark eroge, particularly titles containing rape scenes, is similar to committing a crime. It’s been said that it indicates, among other things, an unstable or unhealthy mind, or even signs of a budding sexual predator. It is fetishizing a crime, and while I won’t argue against that, to say the audience of these titles cannot distinguish the barrier between fiction and reality is pure nonsense.
But how could one possibly find enjoyment, even arousal, in such material? It’s claimed that one would have to be a sadist to take visceral pleasure from the intense suffering that characters are subjected to, but there are many reasons one could like this particular genre.
It could be considered a fascinating character study, to see how well the consequences of such unspeakable acts, and the emotional and mental devastation of the victim, is portrayed. How thinly can a person’s sanity hypothetically be stretched, what are the repercussions of such trauma, and what would happen if it were repeated? There are a number of psychological phenomena like Stockholm’s Syndrome or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to be explored for the victim, and a whole variety of egotistical complexes which may serve as motives for the aggressor, which make an interesting, although very morbid, read.
For those particularly masochistic, it could be an indulgence similar to a rape fantasy. Which is, it must be noted, only a fantasy. One who indulges in such a scenario desires to be truly victimized no more than a reader of dark eroge wishes to actually violate someone, and to think so is not only blindingly ignorant, but grossly presumptuous.
The most common explanation, however, is that the audience could pursue such titles for their own titillation. While it has been said that portraying such a horrific crime as arousing is cause for concern in itself, it cannot be stressed enough that it is only fiction. It goes without saying that the illustrated victim of such violence is non-existent; them being hurt has no impact on reality whatsoever, and it by no means extends to someone’s personal preferences in reality. Ego is something that everyone wishes to feed every one in a while, and if someone derives a sense of power or control from a fantasy sexual scene, even if non-consensual, it is ultimately harmless as a whole.
If one does choose to support companies and eroge which depict the harm of imaginary others, as bizarre as it may seem, it is all a matter of personal taste. That being said, the genre can be considered more than distressing, and no one is obligated to like dark eroge if they wish not to. However, to lay blame upon those who do prefer the more deviant kind of reading material, and to consider them as potential criminals has no logical basis whatsoever.