By K. M. Szpara
In the not-too-distant future, economic inequality has continued apace and society has bifurcated into a class of trillionaires at the top and hardscrabble working poor who are millions of dollars in debt at the bottom. One way out of debt bondage is to sell oneself into slavery, which involves taking a drug called Dociline that, as the name suggests, makes you docile.
A young man named Elisha Wilder signs up for the slave program and is purchased by the trillionaire Dr. Alexander Bishop III, scion of the pharmaceutical family that makes Dociline. It’s love at first sight, and what follows is a dystopic version of Fifty Shades of Grey, or “slavefic” porn (yes, it has a name).
It’s easy to see the mass appeal of such tales, though their very popularity might be cause for some concern. Despite the seemingly progressive bent to the politics here – the tagline is “There is no consent under capitalism” – the message is complicated by passages of rape and casual racism. The bottom line seems to be that you should enjoy kinky sex but respect the rules, especially when you’re exploiting the poor. Otherwise you might end up in court, even if you’re a trillionaire.