Author Topic: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?  (Read 6389 times)  

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #175 on: August 16, 2017, 04:56:52 AM »

I'm guessing that you don't actually have any kids. Especially any of the boy variety?

So "boys will be boys?"

No. My sister-in-law has an autistic son who is six. HE DOESN'T PULL HAIR. Because even with his autism, she has taught him right from wrong. Mike and I have custody of our other nephew, who was horribly abused. Amazingly, since living with us, his outbursts and aggression have subsided, because we have taught him it is not appropriate.Most of my close friends are males. They have male children. They run and they get loud and they roughhouse, but they don't "hit" or pull hair out of affection.

Dismissing someone's opinion under the assumption that they don't have kids, particularly boys, is basically condoning bad behavior (particularly in boys.) And this acceptance of such behavior from boys, reinforced with the notion that it is somehow the victim's job to enlighten them, is fundamentally damaging.

Violence is learned behavior.

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Offline LadyG

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #176 on: August 16, 2017, 05:01:23 AM »
Sort of a tangent here .... I'm just starting to date again after a long long time, and I recently asked a friend how I'm supposed to tell if a man is expressing interest or just being polite. "If he chases you around the playground and punches you in the arm, he's interested," she teased me.  We both laughed about it, but another friend overheard her and launched into a tirade about abusive relationships and rape culture and what we teach our children to expect. By the time she was done, I was even more confused! Of course I wouldn't welcome being chased and punched in the arm by a man at my age, so why on earth would we make excuses for that behavior from a child?

Hell, I'm a 51 year-old divorcee who hasn't been on a date in 20+ years; if a man swooped in for a surprise kiss, I'd probably laugh in his face or faint dead away from sheer shock.  Either way, not a particularly romantic response.

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled discussion.

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Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #177 on: August 16, 2017, 06:14:33 AM »
Maybe you accept it better coming from someone of your own culture?

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/hurting-not-flirting

Yeah, that's better. It must've been the accent that was the problem, not that I was curious how a man talking about learning later as an adult that the abuse his father doled out may have been caused by a disorder, caused by war trauma, that no one knew much about back then, related to kids now in the classroom learning to use their words.

Violence is never affection. Not a single time. It always is violence. Whether it is done out of fatigue, or to get a reaction, it's never affection or love. Someone would have to be seriously mishandled and mismanaged to believe it is affection, and that would put that person in need of serious therapy to learn proper social behaviour.

What I would do? I'd certainly not tell someone who was hit out of the blue, that "this boy did it because he loves you". I'd say, and I said it several times in my life, that I'm sorry that he or she was hit and that this wasn't okay to happen. I would tell the violent person, be it a boy or a girl, that no one harms people on my watch just because. I'd ask them what their beef with that other child was and act according to the answer.

Fair enough. It did seem like it was that black and white for you, was just curious if I read that right.

No. It was the author of that article who stated that "all mouth-to-mouth kisses are sexual" and because they are, they are harmful as surprise kisses. The logical fallacy in this starts with the assumption that all kisses to the mouth are perforce sexual. They aren't. It is the first thing in his faulty chain of logic which should have been pointed out and acknowledged. Interestingly very few did.

Ah, gotcha. I didnt get 'all mouth to mouth kisses are sexual' from it so I never thought to challenge it. His very first line was "A while back, I made a list of creepy things we oughta stop romanticizing," so since we've got romanticizing right there up front I assumed he meant romantic kisses, cause why else would leaning in slowly make it ok? ("If they lean in slowly, its not a surprise kiss because the other person has the chance to pull away.") Guessing we just got different things out of the article's assumption. It happens.


What do you go on about "sexual hairpulling"? We were and are talking about a small girl whose hair was pulled by a small boy. And the girl was - idiotically - told that the boy pulled her hair because he likes/loves hair. No sex in any of this.

I 'go on about it' cause I asked if Alexa's character's angry kiss wasn't a 20-30 years later version of hair pulling on the playground and wondered if that scene wouldve taken place if that character had grown up now when that's viewed as assault, which is why I asked for clarification on if your statement that pulling on someone's hair is never friendly just pertained to the kid to kid issue or if it pertained to the whole arc, cause we have been mixing real life with fiction and kids with adults all throughout this thread.


If this kid was older than 2 years it documents a full failure of the parents. Anyone watching a child biting other children should teach that kid about how painful this is. That's what's called raising children and parenting.

You can 'teach' some kids til you're blue in the face but sometimes they've got to experience it for themselves to truly understand, apparently. Telling that kid 'that hurts' obviously had nowhere near the effect that experiencing that hurt for himself did. I know adults that this still applies to.


So "boys will be boys?"

No. My sister-in-law has an autistic son who is six. HE DOESN'T PULL HAIR. Because even with his autism, she has taught him right from wrong. Mike and I have custody of our other nephew, who was horribly abused. Amazingly, since living with us, his outbursts and aggression have subsided, because we have taught him it is not appropriate.Most of my close friends are males. They have male children. They run and they get loud and they roughhouse, but they don't "hit" or pull hair out of affection.

Dismissing someone's opinion under the assumption that they don't have kids, particularly boys, is basically condoning bad behavior (particularly in boys.) And this acceptance of such behavior from boys, reinforced with the notion that it is somehow the victim's job to enlighten them, is fundamentally damaging.

Violence is learned behavior.

No "boys will be boys." Just a question that I appear to have guessed correctly. And I didn't dismiss his opinion, I asked for clarification on his experience, which he gave. Not sure how it condones, accepts or reinforces anything to ask if he's often around kids when he's presenting an opinion on how they 'always' are when it comes to conflict. Coming from a daycare background and having 100+ foster kids of all ages pass through the house I'd have to contradict you and say that non-violence is learned behavior, as I've seen toddlers eyeball the same toy before. Nobody has to teach them to hit each other, it's the how not to hit each other that is taught, actually.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 06:37:04 AM by Going Incognito »

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #178 on: August 16, 2017, 06:42:10 AM »
This is going to be my last post because I feel like what I'm saying is continously being twisted so whoever is responding can make their point different from what I was talking about and the conversation is going nowhere.

I'm only speaking from my own experience. I have seen it where little boys tease girls because they like the girl. Do all boys act this way? No. Do all boys know better? No. Is it always the case? No. Yet, I won't be brainwashed into saying this is never the case when I have witnessed this to be the case. I think it's crazy to make a sweeping generalization that all little boys acting in one way to all be driven by the same intent. Like Incognito said, kids do things for a wide variety of reasons. In my last post, my point was merely that the way I would handle it would be to find out why the boy acted the way he did, and then respond accordingly. Treat each person on a case by case basis. Is it so bad to try to see what is happening with the boy? If it's truly a case of being too young to know how to properly channel affection, the boy can be taught to channel that affection the right way. Is it really that bad to do that? Must we always be in a situation where it's conflict instead of resolution.

I also said that if it's the case of a boy who's a jerk and a brat, he might need even more severe punishment than what the school gave. If his intent in fact is to hurt, then this boy needs to be disciplined differently as well. Maybe this boy is a future terrorist or rapist in the making, and in that case everyone involve will need different kind of help.

I didn't say pulling hair or hurting the girl is right. I didn't say I would teach my daughter to accept violence as affection. Wanting to understand why another person acted and behave a certain way does not equate condoning or accepting the behavior. If the boy is a jerk and a brat who intended to hurt her, then I would also explain that to her too, because there are violent bad people out there, and I would want her to be aware of that as well.

When I was a little kid, my family bought me a little chick to play with. They thought it was very cute that for days, the little chick followed me around. You know what I did? I picked it up and bit its head off. I have no memory of this either if my family hadn't told me. I asked what happened afterward and my grandmother told me I had blood dripping down my mouth and feather all over my face. Beautiful image, isn't it? I was horrified that I did something like this but this was something I did do when I was a kid. Thank God I wasn't born decades later or else I might have been classified as violent something or another. Did I intend to hurt an animal? I have no idea. I don't think I did. I believe I was a kid who didn't know better and maybe just mistook it was something edible, or maybe I was curious to see what would happen. I have no idea why I did that.

Today, entirely unrelated to that incident, I'm a vegetarian. But if I'd been a child in today's climate, maybe I would've been locked up in some facility or another. I don't know.

Honestly, I find moral absolutism very disturbing. I'm sure it's supposedly "wrong" for me to say this but I find it disturbing when a surprised kiss by a love interest is equated with rape and sexual assualt, or when a little boy pulling a girl's hair is labeled as violence against women. Even in a real criminal court of law, there are levels and degrees. There is murder in first degree, seond degree murder, 1st & 2nd degree manslaughter, and negligent homicide. But it seems that in the matter of relationship between the opposite sexes, there's no sense of scale anymore.

I'm a big fan of Sir Patrick too. So I'll just wrap this up with my own offering of a clip. This is a Star Trek TNG episode titled "Justice."

https://youtu.be/sfqa596xxbc

The episode summary: http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Justice_(episode)

Quote
When the Edo are vindicated, Picard then shouts to the ceiling that such laws as these without degrees of punishment, and with such severe consequences cannot be just. He argues that rules should also have exceptions, and that rules with no exceptions can never be just. The transporter works.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 06:47:44 AM by AlexaKang »

Offline Fictionista

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #179 on: August 16, 2017, 07:12:48 AM »
That's not nice.

Imagine if someone had said, "women are dense"...just imagine.


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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #180 on: August 16, 2017, 07:39:54 AM »
I've read this entire discussion with interest, and had no intention of piping in again, but I do have to come out of the shadows to say that yes, young children often tease, pull hair, chase each other, etc., when they have a crush. I'm not saying that's the appropriate way to behave, but it most certainly does happen. And not just little boys. My younger son was the recipient of a "group" crush when he was in third grade. They chased him, pulled his hair, shoved him, smacked him, etc. (all to a chorus of giggles), to the point that I had to get the teacher involved. Did they think they were being mean? No - I knew them all, as well as their parents. They were good kids who wanted to make him interact with them, and with limited experience at that age, this was their way of doing it.

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #181 on: August 16, 2017, 07:52:22 AM »
Weird question I was thinking about while reading this thread: Is it bad/rapey to turn someone into a vampire without their consent? Does it matter if the person in question is already dead and the vampire biting them is just trying to save their life by making them undead? This whole thing is making me question my identity as a liberal feminist. :(
There should probably be a heated discussion about it even if her life was saved, it may not be the life she wanted to live. Can be a good point of contention before the forgiveness happens.

I hear you about the feminist thing. After reading this thread, I think I need to have my card revoked because I had a secret desire: in the Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice, when Darcy is dripping wet (looking sexy as sin) and arguing with Elizabeth and at the end of their heated argument he leans forward and my mind instantly screamed, "KISS!!". That would have been so steamy hot for me and I would have written it in if I wrote a story with a scene like that in it.

But guess what? I write about murder which is far worse than a surprise kiss, yet I don't condone it in real life. So I'd say you can keep your feminist identity as long as you keep your reality separate from fantasy, which most adults should be capable of doing. Learning about consent should be done at a young age, taught by the parents and teachers, not by me as a writer of adult fiction.

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #182 on: August 16, 2017, 07:52:48 AM »
Imagine if someone had said, "women are dense"...just imagine.

When a woman is dense, men tend not to get raped or murdered or attacked or verbally abused or expected to "educate" the woman on why she is wrong to treat him that way. In addition, the entire point of this topic is that societal norms have evolved to create an environment where many men have certain expectations of women that are, in fact, completely unreasonable. Men are dense because they have been allowed to be without any real, significant societal pushback. There is rarely ever any downside to their behavior, and so they often don't have to learn any better.

So I would imagine if someone made that comment, it would be in an attempt to ignore centuries of societal programming in an effort to deflect from the real root issue. Much like when guys jump in to argue "all men aren't rapists" or "all men aren't like that" as a means of shutting down the real world experiences of women.

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #183 on: August 16, 2017, 07:54:26 AM »
I think the whole argument of what is or isn't abuse is getting way out of hand, especially when it comes to children. I read a couple of years ago in the newspaper about a little boy, about 5 years old, who wet his bed so climbed into his mum's bed with her. He went to school the next day and told how he had slept with his mum and the next thing he is being taken into care and the mother charged with abuse.

I spent many a night in between my mum and dad and so did my kids, who were all bed wetters. I just think some people should stop seeing abuse where there is none and realise that a child sharing a bed with a parent, or two people of the same sex sharing a bed, is not always sexual.


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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #184 on: August 16, 2017, 08:28:13 AM »
Weird question I was thinking about while reading this thread: Is it bad/rapey to turn someone into a vampire without their consent? Does it matter if the person in question is already dead and the vampire biting them is just trying to save their life by making them undead? This whole thing is making me question my identity as a liberal feminist. :(

In my book, the main character is turned into a vampire because she's attacked, but manages to get away.  While some see this as a gift, she feels it is a curse.  She would never have chosen this life and she had no say in what happened to her.  Personally, I don't think there's anything romantic about being turned into a vampire.  Not that you said anything like this, but it seems to be a theme in some stories.  In the second/next book, her friends will be faced with watching her die or giving her a blood transfusion (she's never taken human blood) and what that could do to her.

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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #185 on: August 16, 2017, 09:20:03 AM »
I think the whole argument of what is or isn't abuse is getting way out of hand, especially when it comes to children. I read a couple of years ago in the newspaper about a little boy, about 5 years old, who wet his bed so climbed into his mum's bed with her. He went to school the next day and told how he had slept with his mum and the next thing he is being taken into care and the mother charged with abuse.

Having gone through the foster care system and subsequent family court system, I can say there is more to the story. While child services does screw up epically on far too many occasions, the problem is rarely from overreaction, but not enough. Too many children die because child services is often too slow to remove children.

At least in NJ and PA, which is most of my familiarity, when an initial complaint comes in, the first course of action is a home visit. They don't remove the child without a home visit unless there is an imminent threat. In the majority of cases, if the worker finds no evidence of neglect to support the complaint, the case is closed. If they do find evidence and remove the child, they have to go to court and convince a judge that they had just cause. Judges tend to err on the side of parents, so child services needs to be able to show something other than "the teacher said the kid said..."

Child services are not privatized (yet...gods save us). They have no financial incentive to remove children. In most states, they are actually terribly underfunded and understaffed. Child services tend to be one of the first things that suffer cuts in budgets. Our case worker told me that her division gets 100 new complaints A WEEK that they have to act on. They legitimately have no reason to remove kids without a real concern.

I only say this because there are a lot of hearsay stories like yours, but when you actually dig into the real facts you find there is a lot more going on. We need to be mindful of allowing hearsay, unsubstantiated stories create a false narrative.

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #186 on: August 16, 2017, 09:24:39 AM »
Doglover was likely speaking of the childrens services in the UK, a wholly different beast to those of the US. They have removed children for the smallest reason before and they have also left children in abusive situations where a child ends up dying. One tends to follow the other as an overreaction and when all is said and done, they are only human and can overreact as well as anyone else.

I do work in a semi-adjacent role to the social services, I do have friends and colleagues in the social services and I do deal with families who are in contact with social services here in the UK. These things do happen based on suspicion (usually quickly rectified but shouldn't have happened in the first place.)

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #187 on: August 16, 2017, 09:32:21 AM »
There should probably be a heated discussion about it even if her life was saved, it may not be the life she wanted to live. Can be a good point of contention before the forgiveness happens.

I hear you about the feminist thing. After reading this thread, I think I need to have my card revoked because I had a secret desire: in the Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice, when Darcy is dripping wet (looking sexy as sin) and arguing with Elizabeth and at the end of their heated argument he leans forward and my mind instantly screamed, "KISS!!". That would have been so steamy hot for me and I would have written it in if I wrote a story with a scene like that in it.

But guess what? I write about murder which is far worse than a surprise kiss, yet I don't condone it in real life. So I'd say you can keep your feminist identity as long as you keep your reality separate from fantasy, which most adults should be capable of doing. Learning about consent should be done at a young age, taught by the parents and teachers, not by me as a writer of adult fiction.

It's funny because mentally screaming, "KISS!!" while watching a movie is the spark of inspiration that led to this series I'm working on. I don't want to give away the ending of the first one (which is going out to the world next month), but I'll say if the character who gets turned was a real person, and you knew her, then you'd reasonably conclude that she'd be ok with being a vampire. This thread has just had me questioning everything, but I think if we always tried to make characters that modeled perfect, moral behavior, fiction would be a really boring place. Like you said - murder and killing is all over the place.

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #188 on: August 16, 2017, 09:41:07 AM »
It's funny because mentally screaming, "KISS!!" while watching a movie is the spark of inspiration that led to this series I'm working on. I don't want to give away the ending of the first one (which is going out to the world next month), but I'll say if the character who gets turned was a real person, and you knew her, then you'd reasonably conclude that she'd be ok with being a vampire. This thread has just had me questioning everything, but I think if we always tried to make characters that modeled perfect, moral behavior, fiction would be a really boring place. Like you said - murder and killing is all over the place.
I think I wanna read your book when it comes out!

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #189 on: August 16, 2017, 09:50:27 AM »
Does anybody but me think it's kinda amusing that the two people in this thread I KNOW are making really great money writing super-sexy and sometimes-kinky romance are the ones saying they always write explicit consent, whether verbal or nonverbal? I would wager a guess that we also both write strong alpha male heroes. I know I do, anyway.

Maybe the difference is what we see as an alpha. What I learned from my father (a WWII veteran and the strongest man I've ever known, mentally and emotionally) and my husband is that a strong man doesn't need to push anybody around. Joe Nobody was talking in a thread here years ago about "alpha males." He said, from the perspective of a longtime special forces (not sure exactly what branch) member, that in his experience, true leaders, the alpha males whom others turned to instinctively, spoke less and listened more, solicited input from others, and led by example. First into fire.

My heroes don't push anybody around, male or female (unless somebody is pushing others around, of course). They're strong enough to wait, strong enough to listen. That doesn't mean they don't have kinky sex (and not in the submissive role). It means they make sure the woman wants everything they do, and that she's completely clear that they might be driving, but she's drawing the line. (In fact, I used that phrase in a book.) And who you are in bed is not necessarily who you are out of bed. Plenty of strong women enjoy a more dominant man sexually. That doesn't mean they want to be pushed around in ANY other area of their life.

There's a market for nonconsensual romance. We all know that. (I'm not going to say "dubious consent" because it's a term that makes me ragey. It's not "yes unless she says no." It's "no unless she says yes." "Dubious consent" is assault. And yes, I get that it's fiction, but THAT is the term/trend I personally wish would die.) But there's a nice big market for fully and explicitly consensual dirty-sex romance, too. If you're aiming for a younger market, there's a big market for it, sure--but I write for an older demographic, and lots of readers explicitly tell me how much they love my sexy, strong, respectful heroes.

So do what you want. But if you march in a parade where people can see you, literally or figuratively, of course you'll be judged. As "boring," perhaps (that's the one I get). Or as "furthering rape culture." That could be too. We all get to judge for ourselves. Doesn't mean we're censoring you. It just means we're seeing what you do and thinking our own thoughts about it. As do we all, throughout life. Everybody has their own standards. This, in my own work, is a hill I'll die on. I'm proud of that. You do you.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 11:58:57 AM by Usedtoposthere »

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #190 on: August 16, 2017, 09:54:13 AM »
My work is full of murder and death. The MC is a serial killer (surprisingly popular with fans) and I go into a fair bit of depth about how much he enjoys it and how he feels while doing it. I share that experience with the reader. Does this mean I advocate murder out in the real world? Of course not.
A surprise kiss between two characters in a romance novel that the reader should be rooting to get together, is not a bad thing. They don't need to stop and say, "can I kiss you?" It pulls you out of the story in much the same way it would if my serial killer asked permission first.

It's fiction. It's fine and it's what a lot of people want. That spontaneous, impulsive act that you have been screaming at the character to do for that last three chapters. That moment where they put it all on the line and hope that the cues they have been reading in the other character are right. There's nothing wrong with that.

Some of the examples people have been throwing up are ridiculous. No one is saying they are okay with date rape, a random guy jumping on you and grabbing you or even an acquaintance who got it wrong and read interest where there wasn't any. It's not real life and so long as the non-verbal cues are there, you shouldn't need the verbal.

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #191 on: August 16, 2017, 09:58:07 AM »
Nobody here is saying (except in the original article) that the consent has to be verbal. We're saying that a "surprise kiss" that the heroine doesn't see coming and can't consent to isn't romantic. Leaning in, stroking a hand down her cheek, and her leaning into you? That's a consensual kiss. Having an argument with somebody, being angry, and then having him "take your mouth in a punishing kiss" (language courtesy of Harlequin) isn't a consensual kiss. Or talking to somebody and having him kiss you, taking you by surprise. Which is the trope I believe the article author was referring to.

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #192 on: August 16, 2017, 10:32:48 AM »
I think I wanna read your book when it comes out!

Aw, I might actually get a reader :)

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #193 on: August 16, 2017, 10:36:00 AM »
When a woman is dense, men tend not to get raped or murdered or attacked or verbally abused or expected to "educate" the woman on why she is wrong to treat him that way. In addition, the entire point of this topic is that societal norms have evolved to create an environment where many men have certain expectations of women that are, in fact, completely unreasonable. Men are dense because they have been allowed to be without any real, significant societal pushback. There is rarely ever any downside to their behavior, and so they often don't have to learn any better.

So I would imagine if someone made that comment, it would be in an attempt to ignore centuries of societal programming in an effort to deflect from the real root issue. Much like when guys jump in to argue "all men aren't rapists" or "all men aren't like that" as a means of shutting down the real world experiences of women.

If I'm reading this post correctly, you're saying "Men are stupid. And if someone pushes back and claims that not all men are stupid, that person is just 'shutting down the real world experiences of women.'"






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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #194 on: August 16, 2017, 10:51:13 AM »
Women tend to be better overall than men at reading body language. (According to studies.) I think that's where "men are dense" comes from.

Here's an interesting study showing that college-age women are, yes, better at reading the sexual responsiveness of a woman than men are. The really interesting thing is that the, for lack of a better word, "rape-ier" a man is, the more likely he is to change his assessment of a woman's interest BASED ON HER ATTRACTIVENESS. In other words, if she's hot, he thinks she wants it DESPITE her cues to the contrary.

The less "rape-y" a man is, the less that influences his judgment.

Makes sense, and pretty interesting to me.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161026135126.htm

ETA: The reason rape and assault are being brought up here, in a conversation about kissing, is because the article and the conversation are about romance novels. In a romance novel, the kiss we're talking about isn't an affectionate one between a parent and child, two friends, whatever. (I won't get into whether parents should be teaching kids that they are required to submit to adults' physical attentions.) We're talking specifically about a first kiss that would be expected to lead to sex. Even if you're writing inspirational romance, it's about moving toward marriage and presumably sex. So it makes sense to discuss a sexual kiss in the context of sexual consent.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 10:58:22 AM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline Fictionista

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #195 on: August 16, 2017, 11:43:56 AM »
When a woman is dense, men tend not to get raped or murdered or attacked or verbally abused or expected to "educate" the woman on why she is wrong to treat him that way. In addition, the entire point of this topic is that societal norms have evolved to create an environment where many men have certain expectations of women that are, in fact, completely unreasonable. Men are dense because they have been allowed to be without any real, significant societal pushback. There is rarely ever any downside to their behavior, and so they often don't have to learn any better.

So I would imagine if someone made that comment, it would be in an attempt to ignore centuries of societal programming in an effort to deflect from the real root issue. Much like when guys jump in to argue "all men aren't rapists" or "all men aren't like that" as a means of shutting down the real world experiences of women.


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Online Matt.Banks

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #196 on: August 16, 2017, 12:02:27 PM »
Within the narrative itself, it's sometimes required that we ignore or otherwise overlook the real world implications of actions taken by fictional characters. I was originally very disturbed by the actions of Edward in Twilight. Breaking into a girl's room to watch her sleep? Creepy! Of course, that's creepy in real life. But in the context of the book, where we know that Edward is good and safe, it can take on more of a romantic quality because there's an unspoken (unwritten) assumption that his intentions are genuine and he's pure of heart.

It really clicked for me when someone explained it to me that way and I've looked at depictions of romantic gestures differently ever sense.

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #197 on: August 16, 2017, 12:51:13 PM »
On the one hand, I very much don't care what other people think of me, but on the other, I do deal with the aftereffects of a religious upbringing that makes me question on a regular basis whether or not there's something wrong with me for liking what I like. So topics like these, where people take such a hard-line stance and start knocking bodice rippers and Harlequin novels and other things I happen to really like in romance, sometimes hit all the wrong buttons with me.

In the real world, most people would handle these kinds of conversations with a lot more finesse. I certainly don't have to meet up with people who are so bold as to flat out tell me I will be judged for my thoughts. Not even my ex-mother-in-law did that and my god that woman judges!

But you're right. I'm judging you, you're judging me, and there's no reason to pretend otherwise. Because I am judging people over this topic. Pretty harshly to be honest.

I don't really care about "furthering rape culture" in the context of fiction. I'm not even going to say maybe I should, because I don't think I should and that'd be a lie. I just don't care. I'd rather read what I want and write what I want and let you and others like you worry about what you want to worry about.

So, yes, I'll do me.

Explicit consent is ONE option in a romance. There are tons of others and they have lots of readers.
Which I've said in almost every post in the thread. Lots of choices, lots of readers for all different things and all different flavors.

I mentioned the judging thing because it came up with the child abuse book recently. People were saying, "I don't judge," and lots of people thought, well, yeah, I'm going to judge somebody writing child abuse and incest as sexy and romantic. We're all judging. Of course we are. We all have an idea about what crosses the line, including how much of a pass fiction gets. That's pretty much the point of this conversation. Probably anybody who reads it can find people they agree and disagree with, as one does. Most people won't have their mind changed, because people usually don't change their mind, but they'll be more aware of the options.

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #198 on: August 16, 2017, 12:54:54 PM »
...same way it would if my serial killer asked permission first.

Oh! Plot bunny! And I don't even write serial killers, lol.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 12:57:32 PM by Going Incognito »

Offline taliwrites

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #199 on: August 16, 2017, 01:31:45 PM »
Maybe the difference is what we see as an alpha.

My heroes don't push anybody around, male or female (unless somebody is pushing others around, of course). They're strong enough to wait, strong enough to listen. That doesn't mean they don't have kinky sex (and not in the submissive role).

I think everyone has a different and subjective opinion of what an alpha is. Some people would say that if he listens to a woman or waits, he's not an alpha. I prefer my men to be submissive sexually. A weak and insecure man isn't going to submit to a woman. It takes strength to do that and indulge in one's desires, especially when the society still has so many misconceptions about it.