Interplay Of Desire and Discomfort
Missing Super Trope for various types of weird, abusive, or squickish relationships.


(permanent link) added: 2012-08-01 10:08:30 sponsor: KingZeal (last reply: 2014-01-15 01:12:02)

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"Being on a first date in a scary environment is basically like dosing each other's drinks with an aphrodisiac."

No Examples, Please.

A Super Trope for situations where part of the fun is being both aroused and threatened at the same time.

In theory, the Interplay Of Desire And Discomfort creates a Vicious Cycle that ensures that love and lust are enhanced by distress. The cycle is maintained by physical, emotional, or psychological turmoil and discomfort which in some way also makes the relationship compelling. There are a variety of motivations and reasons for this desire, but they all have the same effect of enhancing sexual or romantic desire through discomforting circumstances.

Naturally, how well this succeeds depends entirely on how it adheres to the Rule of Sexy.

See also: Wanting Is Better Than Having.

No Examples, Please. This is merely an index of related tropes.

List of tropes which rely on the Interplay Of Desire And Discomfort are:

  • Accidental Pornomancer: This trope relieves the "victim" of any responsibility for their actions. They aren't at fault for what happens to them. The audience can still relate to them and enjoy the fantasy without any of the stigmatization of being considered a Slut or a Pervert. That goes a long way in making the fantasy even more potent.
  • Bastard Boyfriend/Bastard Girlfriend: In these types of relationships, the aggressor is typically the cause of discomfort and may even invoke this trope specifically to keep their lover dependent and addicted to the cycle.
  • Dating Catwoman: Dating the enemy brings both the uncertainty and thrill of going against the rules and the feeling that one is needed. After all, since Love Redeems, how else are they going to make a Heel-Face Turn?
  • Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex: Two characters have sex to cope with surviving a near-death experience.
  • Horny Devils: Works on two levels. The human is both endangered and lusted after by the demon, and the demon lusts after the human under the threat of death otherwise. In this scenario, neither party is truly, completely, "at fault".
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Directly corollary to this trope.
  • Kiss of the Vampire: Works similarly to the Horny Devils dynamic, but with the stimulation of being physically bitten and drained, bringing an added level of physical discomfort and danger.
  • Meet Cute: When this trope is played right from the moment the Love Interests meet.
  • Mind Game Ship: There's some real chemistry there, but one (or both parties) are equally concerned with breaking the other person's psyche.
  • Netorare Genre/Cuckold: In this genre of story, the cause of discomfort is a romantic rival. The more control the third party has over the victim's spouse, the greater the discomfort. However, this ensures that the spouse will never stop being the coveted property and the desire for him/her will remain. The titillation in the trope is the delicate balance between the jealousy and pain the victim feels and the feelings this reignites for their spouse.
  • Romanticized Abuse: Blatantly taking advantage of this trope for the titillation of the audience.
  • BDSM: A Safe, Sane and Consensual version is usually invoked. Part of the thrill for "bottoms" in a BDSM setting is the discomfort of never knowing exactly what the top is going to do and the powerlessness of not being able to stop it.
  • Yandere: When played for romance, the victim is discomforted by the unpredictability of the overenthusastic pursuer, but still feels intrigued.
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