I'm working on a story right now and I'm having conflicts with my hero. You see, he's into rough sex. Really rough sex.
I want the heroine to be into it too. Let me put it this way...he's persuading her to see things his way, and his way is very very...rough.
I'm not going to be glib and say, "Oh, my muse is making me do this." If I wanted to, I could round out this guy's edges a bit, make him a little gentler and a little more likeable. But that would feel fake to me. This guy likes it rough and he likes it edgy. In his favor, he wants the heroine to find pleasure in this too.
So, for me, that makes it okay. As long as she likes it, he can be as rough and ragged as he pleases. Comfort Object was that way, and Deep in the Woods. Those heroines liked their BDSM hard--and in Nell's case, humiliating--and their dominants' actions pleased them. These acts were consensual.
So how do you feel about consensual rough sex? Is there a point where you'll say, "um, nope. Whether she likes it or not, this is not for me." I'm guessing there probably is. I mean, I have that line myself, where anything beyond it is squicky to me, whether the participants are having mind-blowing orgasms or not.
This book is still in the very very earliest stages of development so I'm not sure where the rough sex is going, and whether it will soften over the course of the relationship, or get harder. But this is kind of new territory for me. It will be interesting to see where the rough sex fits into romance and happily ever after. Because we, of all people, understand about hurting the ones you love.