Author Topic: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?  (Read 6421 times)  

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2017, 11:56:54 PM »
Oh, amen. Ive got good memories and bad, but I'm glad they're all memories.

Me three.

Offline Nic

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2017, 11:59:35 PM »
First things first, THIS



is absolutely not a sexual activity. Nor is this sexual activity:



Anyone blithely stating that "mouth-on-mouth kisses are a sexual activity" needs a shrink!

I'm of Alexa Kang's opinion there. A surprise kiss by a romantic partner within the frame of mutual interest is a lovely thing to happen. A short pause for consent should come in naturally, but otherwise I really also am reminded of the Demolition Man or certain neuroses and where they seem to flock together.

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2017, 12:08:06 AM »
I don't believe the article is talking about a romantic partner (people aleeady in a physical relationship). That may be a source of some of the difference of opinion.

To me, "surprise" of necessity means "grab and kiss. I don't ask, just kiss." Wait, why does that sound familiar? We may have a difference of perception of what it is we are discussing, though.

I'm also always looking at things in the context of writing--communicating with my reader. Selling the romance (figuratively and literally) is easier if my reader sees the romance, sees those stages, I've found.

I've got a passage in a book that's been highlighted a ton. It's two people who had sex in the past. The heroine has told the hero about her reservations about getting involved with him again. She's obviously nervous saying it. The hero is exasperated by her nervousness  and tells her how much he desires her, and what he'd do if she said the word. Then he says, "But I'm not doing it, am I? Because you haven't said the word." Oddly to me at the time, those two sentences got highlighted something like 50 times. So it works for my segment of the romance market, anyway.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 12:26:55 AM by Usedtoposthere »

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2017, 02:19:29 AM »
Re-reading the article, which covers the author's opinions on "why the surprise kiss should not feature in our stories," and the previous article that this article came from, which was basically what popular tropes he thinks are creepy, and the OP's question asking if we agree, I still have to say that I don't agree.

I don't think the surprise kiss shouldn't ever be in a romance cause I like the surprise kiss.

His opinion is basically- it's always creepy because "A couple's first kiss requires clear, unambiguous permission. By far the best way to get it is for one of them to outright ask the other, "May I kiss you?""

He thinks that is romantic. I do not. He thinks it's a requirement. I do not. Any time someone tries to tell someone else what they should require I get my hackles up. He can require it in his relationships and his fiction all he wants. What he can't do is require me to require his opinions in either my relationships or my choice in fiction.

A comment on the original article held this opinion, "The problem with showing those behaviours as romantic is that quite some people do not make a difference between the fairy-tale ...(and)... real-life..."

Sounds to me like yet another PC let's not  p*ss  anyone off or challenge anyone to work through the differences between fiction vs real life, or allow anyone of a different belief their own opinions on whether they think it's sexy or not, just force everyone to romanticize explicit consent because "we haven't romanticized it yet" and "Enough stories like those, and this question will have as much romantic significance as "Will you marry me?"" maybe forgetting, or not caring, that not everyone wants 100% pc reality in their escapism romantic fiction. Maybe some of us can tell the difference between fiction and reality and maybe some of us are getting tired of being told what we should like to read and what romance tropes are in our best interest not to be reading.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 03:12:55 AM by Going Incognito »

Offline dianapersaud

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2017, 02:33:48 AM »
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.

On our very first official date, there was a movie like moment when I thought we were going to share our first kiss. I was sitting there thinking is he going to kiss me? I was nervous and self conscious. And my husband-then-first-date looked at me square in the eye and asked if he could kiss me.

I was so shocked. I said you're not supposed to ask, just do it! Yea, I know. Sounds bad, doesn't it? But he said in college they told him it was important to get consent. And you know what, he was right. In retrospect, I was such a bundle of nerves that he probably wasn't sure whether I wanted to or not. But by asking, it released that nervous tension and I was actually able to enjoy our first kiss.

Usedtoposthere is right. Body language is very important and how a guy acts says a lot about his morals.

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2017, 02:51:07 AM »
On our very first official date, there was a movie like moment when I thought we were going to share our first kiss. I was sitting there thinking is he going to kiss me? I was nervous and self conscious. And my husband-then-first-date looked at me square in the eye and asked if he could kiss me.

I was so shocked. I said you're not supposed to ask, just do it! Yea, I know. Sounds bad, doesn't it? But he said in college they told him it was important to get consent. And you know what, he was right. In retrospect, I was such a bundle of nerves that he probably wasn't sure whether I wanted to or not. But by asking, it released that nervous tension and I was actually able to enjoy our first kiss.

Usedtoposthere is right. Body language is very important and how a guy acts says a lot about his morals.


Lol, yeah, my husband asked as well. But I'll also add that one of the very last things he could be accused of is being romantic, then or now.

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2017, 03:07:36 AM »
Although I'm not personally a fan of dark romance this thread does generally remind me of a certain other recent thread and the slippery slope mentioned there. If the surprise kiss is ruled as sexual assault how long til this trope that I do like gets centered in someone's crosshairs beyond a mere fun debate such as this?
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 03:16:57 AM by Going Incognito »

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2017, 03:30:42 AM »
Although I'm not personally a fan of dark romance this thread does generally remind me of a certain other recent thread and the slippery slope mentioned there. If the surprise kiss is ruled as sexual assault how long til this trope that I do like gets centered in someone's crosshairs beyond a mere fun debate such as this?

I noted the similarities between the threads, too. It's a little concerning to me the extent of black-and-white absolutism applied to an area which (in my view) is all shades of grey.

Whether a surprise kiss is acceptable or not surely depends on so many variables that it would be impossible to say definitively. The ages and characters of the participants, the state of their current relationship, the setting and everything that's led up to the moment - all of these affect the outcome, and I'd hesitate to draw a line, myself. I've written both surprise kisses and heroes who ask, and in each case I felt that was appropriate for that specific situation. And I'm comfortable reading about both, too. It would be only if there were a power issue, or the threat of the surprise kiss leading to a worse surprise that I would get twitchy about it.
   

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2017, 04:15:05 AM »
I think if a bloke asked first, it would kill the mood stone dead. If a girl or woman doesn't want the kiss, she is perfectly capable of shoving him off. My first kiss was at a party at my parents' house, given by my brother (the party, not the kiss). It was from one of his friends who leaned forward and kissed me. I was amazed, shocked, shivery. He was eighteen so that's as far as it would have gone, but it meant a lot to me and now 56 years later, I still remember it clearly. If he'd asked first, I would have been scared off and missed something precious.

I know this sort of age gap seems creepy today, but we were in my parents' house, in a room with lots of other people.


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Offline Nic

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2017, 04:27:39 AM »
I think if a bloke asked first, it would kill the mood stone dead. If a girl or woman doesn't want the kiss, she is perfectly capable of shoving him off. My first kiss was at a party at my parents' house, given by my brother (the party, not the kiss). It was from one of his friends who leaned forward and kissed me. I was amazed, shocked, shivery. He was eighteen so that's as far as it would have gone, but it meant a lot to me and now 56 years later, I still remember it clearly. If he'd asked first, I would have been scared off and missed something precious.

I know this sort of age gap seems creepy today, but we were in my parents' house, in a room with lots of other people.

Age gap? How old were you?

Offline Nic

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2017, 04:29:45 AM »
Whether a surprise kiss is acceptable or not surely depends on so many variables that it would be impossible to say definitively. The ages and characters of the participants, the state of their current relationship, the setting and everything that's led up to the moment - all of these affect the outcome, and I'd hesitate to draw a line, myself. I've written both surprise kisses and heroes who ask, and in each case I felt that was appropriate for that specific situation. And I'm comfortable reading about both, too. It would be only if there were a power issue, or the threat of the surprise kiss leading to a worse surprise that I would get twitchy about it.

This sums it up perfectly. I've given and I received surprise kisses, and I never found this to be rocket science. In reality it is easy to tell or do in such circumstances. The good writer has no problem showing them. Or shouldn't, at least.

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #36 on: August 14, 2017, 04:48:02 AM »
Age gap? How old were you?
Sorry, I thought I said; I was thirteen. I was a well developed thirteen, I might add.


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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #37 on: August 14, 2017, 05:12:28 AM »
This discussion reminds me of the jokes people were making post-Twilight: It's only stalking if she doesn't like him; if he's handsome, it's romantic.

My impression of when and why it 'works' in fiction is that the guy (or girl, but I'll stick to the most common pattern) is taking a risk with the surprise kiss: he is revealing his hidden feelings, making himself vulnerable if they are not reciprocated, and he is also doing something a bit inappropriate that might get him into some trouble. Granted, the trouble is usually just getting slapped - which happens maybe 50 percent of the time in romantic fictional situations? But the recipient of the kiss either wanted it beforehand, realizes she wants it in the moment, or is forced to confront latent feelings and later comes to realize that she loves him. Often the boldness of the kiss, the risk borne by the guy, plays an important part in helping her to realize her feelings.

Does it work in real life? Maybe not so well. Clearly, some people are very much not into the idea. Others are more open to it. Could depend on how handsome he is. Or, to be more serious, on the countless situational factors and facets of non-verbal communication that impact the complicated question of consent. I fully respect that some people want the verbal "May I kiss you?" For me... well, it doesn't sound particularly 'alpha,' does it? (I hear some people are into alpha.) Still, there's the fact that in real life there are legions of creepers who are convinced that they know she wants to be kissed, when she absolutely does not.

What are the implications of the real life considerations for fiction? I suppose that depends on the writer. Some writers care about setting good examples for real life behaviour in their writing, or at least not reinforcing bad behaviour. I'll admit... that's not really something I personally care about. For me, it's just a matter of what fits into the story and how readers are likely to feel about it. Clearly some readers do not like the surprise kiss, but its prevalence makes me suspect that many do if the writer sets it in the right context - which may very well differ from what the 'right' context would be in real life.

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2017, 05:20:18 AM »
I'm glad it worked out for a previous poster but I for one am sad to hear that schools are now teaching boys they have to ask for permission to kiss a girl. I won't judge what they next generation thinks is or isn't right. I'm just glad my dating days are over and I'm glad in my days boys didn't feel they are required to ask, or that they are bad people if they didn't, but instead, had learned to watch and understand what signals the girls were sending.

I don't remember Cho asking if Harry was ok with her kissing him, or Hermione or Ron asking each other either. So I guess now both the right and the left would want to ban Harry Potter. Well, good to see the two sides might finally want the same thing.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 05:36:47 AM by AlexaKang »

Offline Decon

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2017, 05:28:44 AM »
Some people need to get a life. Yes it can be assault, and it can get the instigator a slap, or a bad-mouthing, but it can also be a surprise and welcome, then end up consensual. It's all down to so many factors. How many people remember back to their dating days long after that first kiss, whoever instigated it, when a partner can't contain themselves and blurts out "I love you" and you didn't feel the same. Is that an assault of the mind. I remember it being a paniful experience. But I can also remember it being mutual and thinking, thank, God.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 06:12:25 AM by Decon »


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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2017, 05:35:50 AM »
I'm glad it worked out for a previous poster but I for one and sad to hear that schools are now teaching boys they have to ask for permission to kiss a girl. I won't judge what they next generation thinks is or isn't right. I'm just glad my dating days are over and I'm glad in my days boys didn't feel they are required to ask, or that thry are bad people if they didn't, but instead, had learned to watch and understand what signals the girls were sending.

I don't remember Cho asking if Harry was ok with her kissing him, or Hermione or Ron asking each other either. So I guess now both the right and the left would want to ban Harry Potter. Well, good to see the two side might finally want the same thing.


I wonder if they are also teaching girls that they should ask before kissing a boy? It seems that nowadays everything is sexist, racist, homophobic or somesuch, so why should it only be boys who would ask?


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Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2017, 05:39:05 AM »
I wonder if they are also teaching girls that they should ask before kissing a boy? It seems that nowadays everything is sexist, racist, homophobic or somesuch, so why should it only be boys who would ask?

Of course, once the girl starts asking, next it'll get into "she asked for it" if they boy reacts by going further than whatever kind of kiss she wanted, and there'll be all the same problems of he said/she said and the same bunch  of possible miscommunications. And now we'll end up with "Demonlition Man".
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 05:55:07 AM by AlexaKang »

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2017, 08:11:19 AM »
Know your audience. If you're flying to conferences first class on your romance earnings, clearly your way of selling the sexiness and romance is working for your audience, even if I or any other writer wouldn't love your hero's actions in the context of real life. If you go all the way to romanticizing sexual assault and readers love your books and buy them in huge numbers, you probably don't care about how others might judge that. We're all entitled to our opinion about this subject and about others' work and the relationship between fiction and reality in general. And as long as your work meets the vendor's TOS, you're entitled to sell it.

If you're not selling as well as you'd like, maybe take a look at that article I posted on the stages of intimacy. It's not about PC culture. It's about biology and social anthropology and verbal and nonverbal communication. There are lots of ways to get verbal agreement, if that's what you are going for, besides saying, "May I kiss you."  I use all sorts of things. I don't think, "What would make this PC." I think, "The heroine just told the hero about a terrible episode from her past because he can see that there was some history in that confrontation back there. But she still desires him like crazy. What does she say verbally to shift the focus, and how does he respond verbally and nonverbally?"

I get that not everybody wants total realism in their romance. (I do, and my readers do, but lots of tastes out there.) But any dialogue and action still has to "feel" real within the story. It has to feel emotionally genuine and appropriate to the characters, or you have wooden characters, puppets being moved around by the author.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 08:39:46 AM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline elizabethbarone

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2017, 08:41:45 AM »
As a survivor of rape, consent is super important to me. I never realized how important until I was reading a romance novel and there was a non-verbal consent moment and it was so swoony.

Consent doesn't have to be a long, show-stopping conversation. It can be as simple as a look in the eyes communicating that yes, we both want this. I've been with my partner for 11 years this month and he asks my permission every time within milliseconds. There's no conversation, just eye contact, a slight lean-in, lips puckered. And vice versa. We have this flirty kiss game going on, and to this day I still find him sexy. Consent has never ruined any moments between us. It just proves to me time and again that I found someone who respects me.

Wanting consent isn't a "millennial" or "PC" thing. It's about respect. How is respect not sexy in a romance? In real life?

Quote
...where you let someone you don't want to kiss you give you a kiss...

I don't think some of you understand what consent is and isn't. You aren't letting someone kiss you when you don't want them to. *sigh* They're kissing you without your permission. That's not okay!

I applaud writers becoming more mindful of this. I know I have, and my readers appreciate it. And I applaud schools teaching kids about consent (though I definitely agree that boys and girls should be taught, not just one or the other). These are small steps toward dismantling rape culture, and I am all for that.

If anyone's interested, I wrote a thread about this on Twitter earlier this summer: https://twitter.com/i/moments/875428508046168064

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Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2017, 08:57:05 AM »
As a survivor of rape, consent is super important to me. I never realized how important until I was reading a romance novel and there was a non-verbal consent moment and it was so swoony.

Consent doesn't have to be a long, show-stopping conversation. It can be as simple as a look in the eyes communicating that yes, we both want this. I've been with my partner for 11 years this month and he asks my permission every time within milliseconds. There's no conversation, just eye contact, a slight lean-in, lips puckered. And vice versa. We have this flirty kiss game going on, and to this day I still find him sexy. Consent has never ruined any moments between us. It just proves to me time and again that I found someone who respects me.

Wanting consent isn't a "millennial" or "PC" thing. It's about respect. How is respect not sexy in a romance? In real life?

I don't think some of you understand what consent is and isn't. You aren't letting someone kiss you when you don't want them to. *sigh* They're kissing you without your permission. That's not okay!

I applaud writers becoming more mindful of this. I know I have, and my readers appreciate it. And I applaud schools teaching kids about consent (though I definitely agree that boys and girls should be taught, not just one or the other). These are small steps toward dismantling rape culture, and I am all for that.

If anyone's interested, I wrote a thread about this on Twitter earlier this summer: https://twitter.com/i/moments/875428508046168064
I loved your Twitter thread. Love the way you explain the subtleties. People are attributing some kind of heavy handed one size fits all attribute to the concept of consent. That isn't it.

If my husband of three-plus decades puts his hand on me and I jump, he might ask, "Hey. You OK?" And I might say something to indicate that I'm feeling jumpy, and he might touch me gently or hug me. More likely, he'd have sensed that and put a hand on my back in the first place to help me. And we read each others' signals every night when we go to bed. He's never pushed me when I didn't want to have sex, and I've never pushed him. We're married, but we each have the right to our own bodies. Nobody's entitled to have sex with me or to kiss me just because he wants it, and vice versa. To say, "She can always shove him away or slap him if she didn't want him to grab and kiss her" is mind-bogglingly Not OK to me.

I'd say, "clearly things have changed," but I'm probably as old as anybody here. So again, I'll just say, write to your audience. If you like the "grab, kiss, own" type of romance, make sure you're writing for the audience that likes that. Don't write in a genre or niche where the bestsellers feature more current attitudes toward consent. Because there are very real preferences on this topic, and readers divide themselves along these lines, not necessarily consciously.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 08:59:48 AM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline Lorri Moulton

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #45 on: August 14, 2017, 09:50:20 AM »
A surprise kiss would seem to have a lot of different levels.  I think a major/tongue involved kiss is not acceptable.  I think a sweet kiss that the other character responds to would be entirely different. 

The mandatory "asking for permission" sounds about as romantic as filling out a form.  Sometimes, spontaneous works and sometimes the character asks and sometimes the request is very non-verbal and happening in slow motion, where the other MC has plenty of time to respond.  "They held each other's gaze as he brushed a lock of hair behind her ear...etc."

Any first kiss that involves someone sticking their tongue down your throat in the first few seconds is not my cup of tea.   A kiss is something to be treasured and you only get one first kiss with someone.  I'd want it to be memorable in a good way. :)

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Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #46 on: August 14, 2017, 09:51:36 AM »
I think if a bloke asked first, it would kill the mood stone dead. If a girl or woman doesn't want the kiss, she is perfectly capable of shoving him off. My first kiss was at a party at my parents' house, given by my brother (the party, not the kiss). It was from one of his friends who leaned forward and kissed me. I was amazed, shocked, shivery. He was eighteen so that's as far as it would have gone, but it meant a lot to me and now 56 years later, I still remember it clearly. If he'd asked first, I would have been scared off and missed something precious.

I know this sort of age gap seems creepy today, but we were in my parents' house, in a room with lots of other people.
If my nephews had been in the room and had seen one of their 18-year-old friends suddenly kissing their 13-year-old sister on the lips, I guarantee that guy would have been carried out of the house minus a couple teeth.

Sure a young teenage girl thinks it's exciting and romantic when a grown man pays her romantic attention. That's why we have laws and mores around it. I thought it was romantic too at age 16 when a 30-year-old got close to me, gave me alcohol, told me I was pretty, and kissed me. Didn't work out so well for me. Glad your experience stayed at the "so exciting and romantic" stage. But a lot of child sexual assault occurs or begins in the child's home with a trusted adult or older teenager. That's why another adult would normally step in there and make it clear to the child (and especially to the person grabbing her) that it was unacceptable--so she didn't get the feeling it was supposed to be fine and everybody else thought it was romantic also.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 10:01:01 AM by Usedtoposthere »

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #47 on: August 14, 2017, 10:18:31 AM »
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.

Some men are dense. They think you are "playing hard to get." Some men simply can't fathom that A woman they want doesn't want them, and all the signals in the world don't compute. Some men just assume that if you allow one man to do or say certain things, that means he can do and say the same things. Because as a woman you don't have the "right" to deny any man of something you allowed a different man to do.

I met my husband in a gaming group. I was the only woman in the group. When Mike and I started to flirt because there was a mutual attraction, another guy in the group took that as me "being into" certain conversations. I never sent any signals or acted in any way to invite the behavior. When one day I told him a comment was inappropriate, he got offended because I "let" Mike say certain things but not him. He genuinely felt entitled to the same treatment that Mike got from me, despite me having no interest in anyone other than Mike.

So it is highly possible for a woman to send all the "correct" signals and still get an unwanted kiss or unwanted advances. And that is way depictions of what real consent looks like are so important.

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Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #48 on: August 14, 2017, 10:28:44 AM »
Some men are dense. They think you are "playing hard to get." Some men simply can't fathom that A woman they want doesn't want them, and all the signals in the world don't compute. Some men just assume that if you allow one man to do or say certain things, that means he can do and say the same things. Because as a woman you don't have the "right" to deny any man of something you allowed a different man to do.

I met my husband in a gaming group. I was the only woman in the group. When Mike and I started to flirt because there was a mutual attraction, another guy in the group took that as me "being into" certain conversations. I never sent any signals or acted in any way to invite the behavior. When one day I told him a comment was inappropriate, he got offended because I "let" Mike say certain things but not him. He genuinely felt entitled to the same treatment that Mike got from me, despite me having no interest in anyone other than Mike.

So it is highly possible for a woman to send all the "correct" signals and still get an unwanted kiss or unwanted advances. And that is way depictions of what real consent looks like are so important.
This. If you think that sexual assault (which definition can and does include a kiss or a grope) can't happen unless a woman signals interest, I'm not sure what planet you would have been living on. Not this one. The obvious next step is to say that if assault does happen, the woman must have signaled interest.

It's clearly time for the "Tea Consent" video! Can't really say it any more clearly than this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQbei5JGiT8

Online paranormal_kitty

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #49 on: August 14, 2017, 10:41:07 AM »
Do readers/writers of romance generally feel like books in that genre should depict relationships in an idealized way, and is it assumed that any depiction of bad behavior is idealizing that behavior? I'm back and forth on whether to categorize my book in paranormal romance as well as urban fantasy (since Amazon gives you two categories). The relationship between the MC and her love interest isn't an "ideal" relationship, and I wouldn't want to be accused of idealizing some of the things that happen between them. However, a healthy, functional relationship wouldn't even make sense given their back stories and the situation they are in. There is a surprise kiss (which is why I started this thread after reading the article I posted). It's depicted as sort of violent because he gets jealous of her flirting with another guy and grabs her out of her chair. She shoves him away and yells at him, then he pins her against the wall and kisses her. She's conflicted in how she feels about it, and he apologizes later. The build-up to this scene is them trying to fight their feelings for each other while under the stress of working together on a high-stakes mission. I know some people will make "relationship goals" out of anything (like Joker and Harley Quinn), but the intent is to say "this is how it is" not "this is how it should be."