I'm working on a prose that depicts a sexual act that I feel readers should be uncomfortable with. I'll spare you the details, but the short version is that the main character is turned on by a violent act they just committed. I'm afraid that due to various cultural influences (video games, action movies), the reader might need some extra hints that this is supposed to be a bad thing.

To give a bit more detail: this is a work of interactive fiction and if the reader gets to this part of the story, it means they've chosen to do something violent, which I hope to punish.

What's a good strategy for ensuring the reader is made uncomfortable by this?

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    what happens after this scene? The MC is aroused by this violent act, and then what? what are the player-reader's choices? Does the MC get punished for the violent act? Does the MC feel disgust and/or discomfort during or after the arousal? And why does the MC get aroused, from a story/character perspective? If you want to punish the player/reader for enjoying the violence, why are you making it arousing (a good thing)? Feb 2, 2017 at 19:56

2 Answers 2


People are different, and some people enjoy violent, sadistic, and non-consensual sex. Whatever you write, there will be someone who gets turned on by it.

A good way to make the average reader feel uncomfortable is to avoid explicit and gratuitous violence and instead show the anguish of the victim.

Violent pornography such as brutal BDSM is fun for non-sadists only as long as both parties are visibly turned on and enjoy the practice. Once the submissive obviously suffers from the violence – not just physically, but emotionally and mentally as well –, that takes the fun out of the kink for most people.


You assume that, video games, movies, and other media have desensitized people to the point that something horrendous would be "normal". The description would also have to be pretty well done. The more in-depth you describe the situation/event, the more the reader can "feel" the scene. Do you set the right tone? the right mood? do you describe the environment and the actions? How do yo describe the actions? Do you talk about the MC's thoughts as they are going through the scene?

In my opinion, if you need to provide "extra hints", you didn't describe the situation well enough. Take something as stupid as a doll. No one is scared of a doll. But with the right tone, the right description, the right actions applied to the doll and all of a sudden we have stories like chuckie and saw.

To make the reader uncomfortable would mean that you also need to make the MC uncomfortable with their emotions. Most people when they read a good story put themselves as part of the scene, as part of the MC. Make people FEEL that animalistic/predatory urge, that raw emotion deep down. Bring it out of the reader so that they feel just like the MC as their morality and self values will automatically create the feeling you are looking for.

People know that violent acts are intrinsically wrong when it is not out of the necessity to survive. Anyone who feels otherwise have chemical imbalances. You don't need to tell people that killing someone else is wrong. Everyone knows it is no matter how "desensitized" you may think society is. That is why murder is a crime globally and not based on social/cultural influence.

So you don't need to TELL the reader this is wrong nor do you need to drop hints. You just need to describe the scene with enough detail, tone, mannerisms, and MC thoughts/feelings that they will feel uncomfortable.

Having sex with a dead body is weird but simply stating he had sex with a body he just killed won't make anyone uncomfortable. Describe it, in detail. Describe the sounds the body makes, any excretion of body fluid as he does his things. Use your imagination to bring the scene to life.

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