KB Featured Book
Stone and Silt
by Harvey Chute

$2.99
Kindle Edition published 2013-08-14
Bestseller ranking: 713665

Product Description
Big Al's Books & Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards: Young Adult Nominee

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

Author Topic: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?  (Read 6678 times)  

Online Paranormal Kitty

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1019
  • Gender: Female
  • Texas
    • View Profile
Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« on: August 13, 2017, 06:23:09 PM »
https://mythcreants.com/blog/why-the-surprise-kiss-must-go/

Do you agree with the author of this blog post or do you think a surprise kiss is fine? Does it make a difference whether it's in romance or in some other genre where it's not being idealized?

Online Usedtoposthere

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5444
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 06:40:41 PM »
Agree. I'm all abouts the explicit consent. I don't necessarily agree that consent to the first kiss has to be verbal, although I do make it verbal sometimes, where there's a reason for it. I think it can't be a surprise. If the parties are holding hands, for example, touching, leaning into each other, and somebody is slowwwwly going for a kiss, watching the other person to make sure it's OK, I think that's fine. (In most cases, like I said. In any case where one partner is wary for any reason or there's been misunderstanding on some level before, I do the explicit verbal consent for everything.)

Consent can still be really, really hot and feed into all kinds of sexy stuff, including roleplaying-type stuff. In fact, the kinkier the sex, the more explicit and direct the communication and consent should be, IMHO, so that's how I write it. I don't like to get a squicky vibe from fiction, and I don't want to give anybody one. I remember how it felt to get that panicked feeling.

I noticed and loved the message of the explicit verbal consent in "Frozen," by the way. Perfect example--and great example to send the movie's audience, too.

Online Usedtoposthere

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5444
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 06:54:26 PM »
Here's a great article that was helpful to me when I was on book ... I can't remember. Five or so. It gave me some reassurance that I'd been intuitively doing it right, and helped me be more conscious about doing it better. "It" being building sexual tension, and doing it in a non-icky way, having the romance develop organically and naturally.

We sense that things are "off" because that (whatever the "off" thing is) is not how humans advance in physical/sexual intimacy. However quickly or slowly we go through the stages, we DO tend to go through them. When a stage is skipped, it feels forced--in all senses of the word.

https://jennyhansenauthor.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/using-the-12-stages-of-physical-intimacy-to-build-tension-in-your-novel/


Offline Tabitha Levin

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Sydney, Australia
  • More coffee please
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2017, 07:06:34 PM »
I like this article and agree.

I do have surprise kisses in some of my books, and have never really thought about it until now. Going forward I plan on being a lot more mindful of that.

My issue is that I tend to rush my characters into a sexual situation too quickly. I've been thinking a lot about pulling that back to a slow burn so the article posted by Usedtoposthere has been very helpful. Thanks!

Online Paranormal Kitty

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1019
  • Gender: Female
  • Texas
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 07:21:51 PM »
Do you guys think this only applies to romance, or to any portrayal of a romantic pairing? What if the "surprise kiss" is not portrayed as positive, or what if the character who instigated it later apologized?

Offline PermaStudent

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 454
  • Be so good they can't ignore you. --Steve Martin
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 07:32:23 PM »
Very interesting article!  I, too, had never really thought about this much.  Which is interesting because I was the real-life target of a surprise kiss.  It was creepy and friendship-ending. I couldn't be around the guy afterward.  (There's a longer story here, but that's the short of it.)

I think I've only used the surprise kiss in one of my books. It was deliberately used as a product of misinterpreted signals and it resulted in a lot of awkwardness. 
  I write urban fantasy.  There are girls in gowns and glowy hands on my covers.

Online Usedtoposthere

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5444
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 07:36:43 PM »
Do you guys think this only applies to romance, or to any portrayal of a romantic pairing? What if the "surprise kiss" is not portrayed as positive, or what if the character who instigated it later apologized?
If it's not presented as romantic and sexy, it's a completely different thing. It's like any other "wrong step" or "bad step" taken in a book.

I have date rape in books. Just not as part of the romance.

Very interesting article!  I, too, had never really thought about this much.  Which is interesting because I was the real-life target of a surprise kiss.  It was creepy and friendship-ending. I couldn't be around the guy afterward.
And yeah, I'll bet. Tells you something about the guy, and it ain't good.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 07:38:15 PM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline AlexaKang

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1908
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 08:36:24 PM »
Just seeing the question in the subject and that blog title gives me a headache.

You guys must be Millennials, right?

I guess this is where generation gap comes in. Ok so things weren't perfect in my days. In fact, we definitely had a lot of problems in my days and a lot had changed for the better. But still, all I can say is, I'm glad I was young and single at a time when I was young and single, when spontaneity from someone CLEARLY a romantic interest simply makes you smile.

I'll just go back to my cave and continue my fossilization. The world is yours now. Carry on.

Online Usedtoposthere

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5444
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 08:44:00 PM »
Just seeing the question in the subject and that blog title gives me a headache.

You guys must be Millennials, right?

I guess this is where generation gap comes in. Ok so things weren't perfect in my days. In fact, we definitely had a lot of problems in my days and a lot had changed for the better. But still, all I can say is, I'm glad I was young and single at a time when I was young and single, when spontaneity from someone CLEARLY a romantic interest simply makes you smile.

I'll just go back to my cave and continue my fossilization. The world is yours now. Carry on.
I'm 58 and married 33 years, but thanks? I guess?

Online Going Incognito

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1677
  • Gender: Female
  • It's always the quiet ones...
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 09:17:55 PM »
Just seeing the question in the subject and that blog title gives me a headache.

You guys must be Millennials, right?

I guess this is where generation gap comes in. Ok so things weren't perfect in my days. In fact, we definitely had a lot of problems in my days and a lot had changed for the better. But still, all I can say is, I'm glad I was young and single at a time when I was young and single, when spontaneity from someone CLEARLY a romantic interest simply makes you smile.

I'll just go back to my cave and continue my fossilization. The world is yours now. Carry on.

Yeah, I feel ya. (If you don't mind, of course.)
These discussions always remind me of the "sex" scene in Demolition Man, lol.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=67DN3uvwXkE

Online Usedtoposthere

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5444
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2017, 09:32:03 PM »
Many readers, younger and older, like the newfangled consent thing. They like respect along with their steamy sex. So there's that. Of course, there's the opposite, too. Authors can choose to aim for whatever group of readers they want, and to find this sort of idea meaningful or not. Clearly, there are markets for all sorts of things.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 09:43:21 PM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline KathyWren

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 30
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2017, 09:47:29 PM »
Huh.  I think past experience may be skewing me on this one, because I don't think I've ever had a relationship that *didn't* start with a surprise kiss.  I'm nature's dullest animal-- my husband still likes to remind me that I didn't know he was into me even after he asked me if there was even room for a bra under my tiny top. I just said 'yes!' and pulled down the top to show the lace. (Why, past me? Why?)

That said, I rarely read one that occurs with absolutely no mutual buildup. The variant I see most often is where the author has his eyes lingering on her lips, her dazed and distracted by the feel of his hand on her face, the surprise she feels in the moment the kiss lands being 'I can't believe he feels that way too' rather than 'why is this man suddenly attached to my face', and so on.  The character may not know that it's coming or that it's mutual, but the readers certainly do. Does that make a difference? I'm not sure.

Either way, I suspect this thread is going to make me think twice the next time I read or write one, which is probably a good thing.

Offline David VanDyke

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1368
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2017, 10:01:12 PM »
Yea. Or nay.


Futuristic Thrillers, Mysteries and Science Fiction
David VanDyke | Blog | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Contact

Online Going Incognito

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1677
  • Gender: Female
  • It's always the quiet ones...
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2017, 10:21:00 PM »
After further consideration, I think there's a distinction missing. I think people are taking one of two sides on a three option discussion.
A forced, unwelcomed 'surprise' kiss is an entirely different animal than a wanted, welcomed 'surprise' kiss.
I'd hate a forced, unwelcomed kiss. But I'm not a fan of 'can I kiss you?' either. Ruins the moment for me. My thinking there is- if you really feel that you have to ask, we've got signals crossing somewhere, big time. But a welcome kiss you just know/hope is coming at some point, if things keep going well, that finally  comes at a surprising moment, is sublime.

Offline AlexaKang

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1908
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2017, 10:32:35 PM »
Yeah, I feel ya. (If you don't mind, of course.)
These discussions always remind me of the "sex" scene in Demolition Man, lol.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=67DN3uvwXkE

We're talking about a surprise kiss from a romantic interest, right? Not a stranger, or a boss, platonic co-worker, the cashier at the local shop, or a rapist, or a serial killer, right?

There's no way to agree or disagree since this all depends on the individual person. I can only speak for me and if I'm on a date, I do hope the guy I'm interested in would feel me enough to know when it's ok to go for a spontaneous kiss. If I like him I won't find it disrespectful. I'd be flattered. And I know one thing for sure. If he actually asks me, I will say no. I will end the date right there and then, and never see him again. I'm sure he means well but I can't deal with a guy like that. It's no fun and I can't imagine having a relationship where two people are walking around on eggshells.

I apologize if this isn't acceptable or kosher in today's PC world. I'm not taking a stand for or against anything. It's just how I'd feel if I were in the situation. Anyhow, I'm sure my kind is dying out so the world won't have to put up with people who think like me much longer.

As for the blogger calling for this trope to die? If it does, I guess they'll lose me as a reader. But I don't think the market cares what I like. I really miss old fashion rom-com movies and they don't make those anymore either. Now in what they call rom-com it's just cynical people too cool or too jaded with issues or something.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 10:34:41 PM by AlexaKang »

Offline AlexaKang

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1908
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2017, 10:37:44 PM »
After further consideration, I think there's a distinction missing. I think people are taking one of two sides on a three option discussion.
A forced, unwelcomed 'surprise' kiss is an entirely different animal than a wanted, welcomed 'surprise' kiss.
I'd hate a forced, unwelcomed kiss. But I'm not a fan of 'can I kiss you?' either. Ruins the moment for me. My thinking there is- if you really feel that you have to ask, we've got signals crossing somewhere, big time. But a welcome kiss you just know/hope is coming at some point, if things keep going well, that finally  comes at a surprising moment, is sublime.

Thank you. My sentiment exactly.

Offline taliwrites

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 242
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2017, 10:47:37 PM »
A complete stranger tried to kiss me once at a party. He came at me out of nowhere, and I was lucky I lifted my arm in time to block his attempt. I didn't even get to see his face properly, and it was just creepy. :( I don't find that kind of behavior attractive or acceptable. I think that in most cases the kisses in fiction aren't true surprise kisses because everyone can see them coming, even the characters. I like a lot of things in fiction, even a surprise kiss, but in real life, not so much. I'd expect any guy to either ask for permission first or go slowly to give me a chance to say no. Otherwise, he's likely to get an elbow in the face or I'd be really mad that he was so disrespectful. In fiction, I'm fine with not asking and even with forced kisses, but asking can be really sexy too, just like slowly leaning in, with a lot of tension and looks between the characters right before the kiss.

Online Usedtoposthere

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5444
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2017, 10:58:02 PM »
We're talking about a surprise kiss from a romantic interest, right? Not a stranger, or a boss, platonic co-worker, the cashier at the local shop, or a rapist, or a serial killer, right?

There's no way to agree or disagree since this all depends on the individual person. I can only speak for me and if I'm on a date, I do hope the guy I'm interested in would feel me enough to know when it's ok to go for a spontaneous kiss. If I like him I won't find it disrespectful. I'd be flattered. And I know one thing for sure. If he actually asks me, I will say no. I will end the date right there and then, and never see him again. I'm sure he means well but I can't deal with a guy like that. It's no fun and I can't imagine having a relationship where two people are walking around on eggshells.

I apologize if this isn't acceptable or kosher in today's PC world. I'm not taking a stand for or against anything. It's just how I'd feel if I were in the situation. Anyhow, I'm sure my kind is dying out so the world won't have to put up with people who think like me much longer.

As for the blogger calling for this trope to die? If it does, I guess they'll lose me as a reader. But I don't think the market cares what I like. I really miss old fashion rom-com movies and they don't make those anymore either. Now in what they call rom-com it's just cynical people too cool or too jaded with issues or something.


That's why I posted the article about the stages. If you go through the normal stages of physical intimacy, whether that happens over an evening or a year, a kiss won't be a "surprise" in the sense that you're talking, thinking about something else, when all of a sudden this person who hasn't kissed you before, with whom you aren't in a romantic relationship yet, grabs you and kisses you. Or when you're 17 and you're walking home with a guy and he grabs you and sticks his tongue down your throat. Those things aren't romantic. They feel like an invasion, because they are. It's not a case of two people reading each others' signals, making eye contact, touching an arm, lowering a voice, giving all of the information we give in the 90% or whatever it is of our information we give OUTSIDE of words.

That's how I interpreted this article. When I think "surprise kiss," I think the "grabbing and kissing" thing that still happens in some movies and novels, and that used to be prevalent. That's not sexy. I've been on the receiving end of that.

When I put explicit verbal consent into a book (for a kiss--I ALWAYS put it into a book for sex), it's because a heroine is inexperienced, traumatized . . . whatever it is where a decent guy, a regular guy, in real life would know he had to go slowly, because he didn't just want to get laid, possibly by "overcoming her objections." (Also not real sexy, personally, being as how it's not really consensual and all.) Instead, he's not just in lust, he's also falling in love, and he sees her and cares about her.

To me, that's romance. It's love, it's trust, and it's sexy as hell. (Not sure if I can say hell, but I just said it again.) I do tend to write the slow burn even in my most erotic romance, though, because I personally need the romance to feel the eroticism in any satisfying way.

I hope that explains it better. As I said, I'm squarely a Baby Boomer, and a long-married one. But one way of writing romance successfully (money-wise) is to think about WHAT feelings it is that you're trying to elicit--in yourself with your daydreams, perhaps, and in your writing. What gives ME that romantic glow as well as the sexual rush? What makes me sigh in all ways when I read a book or see a movie? Sure, there are times when you want the throwdown, when you love and trust your partner deeply and he knows you do. Which means that you know that if if you say "stop," he'll stop. If a woman thinks she knows some random guy she's out with to that extent--well, hopefully she's right. I'm too much of a logical brain, perhaps. I can't find something sexy and romantic that in real life I'd find scary and awful. Others differ.

Go for the audience that's like you, that you understand, is my advice. But think about what you're trying to evoke and how to signal it. Think about all the nonverbal ways we signal to each other, and make sure your reader sees that too. Make sure she sees, if you're in your hero's point of view, the heroine's pupils dilating, her body swaying toward him, her mouth softening. Make sure your reader knows your hero knows it's a "yes" for sure.

Unless, you know, you're writing a different kind of book. Then I got nothing. 
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 11:05:20 PM by Usedtoposthere »

Online Going Incognito

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1677
  • Gender: Female
  • It's always the quiet ones...
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2017, 11:13:36 PM »
Thank you. My sentiment exactly.

(Apparently we were all typing at the same time, cause it's been said, lol, but I'm leaving it anyway:)

I still don't think I said it right tho, cause I think we're gonna get nudged into the 'nonverbal permission isn't a surprise' camp. And maybe we should be. Put more precisely for myself- I don't enjoy being asked for verbal consent for a first kiss. I don't need the long slow lean in, I'm great with the quick tug til we're an inch apart, two heartbeat pause for consent surprise kiss, but that's your nonverbal consent right there. So I think, to clarify, yes consent is best as I don't want to be pinned down with an extra tongue in my mouth by some stranger on an elevator, but I also don't want to sign a contract with mediators first either. Maybe I'm a consent person but not a discussion person. And as far as the 'mid talking shut up' surprise kiss? I like those too, from the right person, not so much from say my car insurance agent while I'm explaining my front end damage.
Right person, right context, hell yeah.
But do I want the surprise kisses to be done away with in books/tv/movies? Please no. Cause in fiction, whether they go really right or really wrong, either way is your drama/twist/entertainment. Do I want them to stop happening cause 'that's not how it should be in real life, cause reasons?' No! I love a lot of fictional things I wouldn't want to happen in real life.


So, for the tldr version- in real life it's a grey area. But darn it, I love it as a fiction trope. Leave it alone! Not everything needs to be analyzed under the public service announcement microscope.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 11:30:52 PM by Going Incognito »

Offline AlexaKang

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1908
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2017, 11:32:13 PM »
Quote
That's why I posted the article about the stages. If you go through the normal stages of physical intimacy, whether that happens over an evening or a year, a kiss won't be a "surprise" in the sense that you're talking, thinking about something else, when all of a sudden this person who hasn't kissed you before, with whom you aren't in a romantic relationship yet, grabs you and kisses you. Or when you're 17 and you're walking home with a guy and he grabs you and sticks his tongue down your throat. Those things aren't romantic. They feel like an invasion, because they are. It's not a case of two people reading each others' signals, making eye contact, touching an arm, lowering a voice, giving all of the information we give in the 90% or whatever it is of our information we give OUTSIDE of words.

We'll have to agree to disagree because in my world, real or fiction, relationships aren't that clear cut.

Of course it's offensive if the kiss comes from a total stranger or someone to whom the person feels no attraction to.

But people often feel mutual attraction but they aren't yet dating. It could be two people started out as friends. Or two people not too sure if the other person feels the same way, or until one of them finally takes the plunge and makes the first move and then they both realize how they really feel about each other. For me, a rule book or official permission isn't necessary. Sometimes, it's just the right, magical moment. You just feel the moment and you just know it's right.

And if the protagonists are young, sometimes they might also not know their own true feelings or able to have the nerves to admit it or able to express it or articulate even to themselves that they in fact very much are attracted to the other person until the kiss. Growing up is about experimenting. There are lot of gray and most things are not clear cut. Also, not everyone is so sure of themselves to want to have to answer yes or no. Each person needs to find out what's comfortable for him/her.

And while I agree in most cases being kissed uninvited by a stranger is not right, even that has exceptions. Who can forget that iconic photo on VE Day during WWIi when the sailor grabbed a nurse and spontaneously kissed her ar Times Square? It was a moment of elation for both of them as they had admitted in interviews, and an image of hope and victory for the world. When the Allies liberated towns in Europe, a lot of girls and women spontaneously ran up to soldiers and kissed them on the mouths. Everyone were happy. It's not always about rules and respect or disrespect. The human experience is much wider in scope than that.

ETA: Adrien Brody spontaneouly kissed Halle Berry when he accepted the Oscar. Not that I'm gorgeous like Halle Berry but in that moment I too would've understood the moment of joy and I doubt I'd feel invaded or assaulted if I were in her place. She talked about it afterward and wasn't offended in the least.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 11:44:28 PM by AlexaKang »

Online Anarchist

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2135
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2017, 11:42:10 PM »
I'm so glad my dating days are over. 
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

Offline JRTomlin

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 16453
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • J. R. Tomlin on Writing and More
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2017, 11:43:10 PM »
If consent isn't present, it's sexual assault and that is a problem. It is simply a big problem. The second in a 'romance' that consent isn't there, as a reader, I'm gone whether it's kissing or other sexual activity. I prefer verbal consent or at least some verbal communication if not in question form with a pause for a 'no'. "I really want to kiss you..." Pause. That works for me. But someone just slamming his mouth down even on a date? Have you never been on a date where you decided you SURE didn't want this person kissing you? I sure have. Just ugh.

Consent isn't something that is just 'nice'. It is essential.

Saor Alba
J. R. Tomlin | J. R. Tomlin | Writing and More

Online Going Incognito

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1677
  • Gender: Female
  • It's always the quiet ones...
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2017, 11:48:46 PM »
I'm so glad my dating days are over.

Oh, amen. Ive got good memories and bad, but I'm glad they're all memories.

Offline ktomsovic

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Gender: Female
  • Washington, USA
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2017, 11:51:57 PM »
Here's a great article that was helpful to me when I was on book ... I can't remember. Five or so. It gave me some reassurance that I'd been intuitively doing it right, and helped me be more conscious about doing it better. "It" being building sexual tension, and doing it in a non-icky way, having the romance develop organically and naturally.

https://jennyhansenauthor.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/using-the-12-stages-of-physical-intimacy-to-build-tension-in-your-novel/

Thanks for the link. Very helpful article. I got most of them -- skipped a few of the early ones in my current WIP, but I think I'll go back and put them in. Details, details!

Smart comedy, feel-good romance
Karen Tomsovic | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Offline AlexaKang

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1908
    • View Profile
Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2017, 11:53:23 PM »
If consent isn't present, it's sexual assault and that is a problem. It is simply a big problem. The second in a 'romance' that consent isn't there, as a reader, I'm gone whether it's kissing or other sexual activity. I prefer verbal consent or at least some verbal communication if not in question form with a pause for a 'no'. "I really want to kiss you..." Pause. That works for me. But someone just slamming his mouth down even on a date? Have you never been on a date where you decided you SURE didn't want this person kissing you? I sure have. Just ugh.

Consent isn't something that is just 'nice'. It is essential.

How do you even get to the point when you are on a date where you let someone you don't want to kiss you give you a kiss? Assuming it's a normal date and not date rape we're talking about here, I would've ended the date long before it gets to the "will there be a kiss" moment. I'd also be acting and conversing as someone not interested so, yes, if the date then slams his mouth down, it would be assault. My point is though I would've done enough to make it clear I'm not interested so this would never happen in the first place, so consent is irrelevant.