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A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

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Author Topic: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?  (Read 6690 times)  

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #75 on: August 14, 2017, 12:56:07 PM »
I don't know how old you are, but these statements frankly kinda boggle my mind. If you want to understand, I suggest you do some research into date rape and sexual assault. Google "Stanford rape case," or "date rape statistics" or "date rape case studies." (Although as one (male) rape researcher says, "date rape" is a minimizing term and a misnomer. "Rape is rape," he says, and giving it another name suggests that "convincing" a woman to have sex with you by preventing her from leaving, taking advantage of her having had too much to drink, holding her down in a "playful" way, etc., is another way rapists convince themselves that they're not "really" rapists. They're just guys looking for "20 minutes of action.")

Seriously?? I'm not talking about rape or date rape. We're talking about a surprised kiss.

Date rapes happen because there is some kind of mutual interest, but the woman did not consent to sex. I'm NOT in disagreement with you here. Where I was talking about was a date where the woman clearly is not interested in even kissing the guy. In a date rape scenario, the date starts off well, and there is interest on both parts, but at a point, the guy crosses the line.

If you don't like the guy, and I mean you have NO interest or desire to be alone with him. It's a bad/boring/annoying date. Please tell me why you end up in a romantic scenario on such a date? Hey, maybe you're being nice or whatever, but an ordinary person don't stay with a date they aren't attracted to. They leave.

This is not about taking advantage of someone drinking/drunk where the person is unable to consent. I'm talking about someone with sound mind on a date and clearly don't want to kiss by that person in any way.

And if the person is drunk, then one can argue she can't consent anyway even if she said yes, so even if he asked for permission, it means nothing.







Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #76 on: August 14, 2017, 01:00:00 PM »
Seriously?? I'm not talking about rape or date rape. We're talking about a surprised kiss.

Date rapes happen because there is some kind of mutual interest, but the woman did not consent to sex. I'm NOT in disagreement with you here. Where I was talking about was a date where the woman clearly is not interested in even kissing the guy. In a date rape scenario, the date starts off well, and there is interest on both parts, but at a point, the guy crosses the line.

If you don't like the guy, and I mean you have NO interest or desire to be alone with him. It's a bad/boring/annoying date. Please tell me why you end up in a romantic scenario on such a date? Hey, maybe you're being nice or whatever, but an ordinary person don't stay with a date they aren't attracted to. They leave.

This is not about taking advantage of someone drinking/drunk where the person is unable to consent. I'm talking about someone with sound mind on a date and clearly don't want to kiss by that person in any way.

And if the person is drunk, then one can argue she can't consent anyway even if she said yes, so even if he asked for permission, it means nothing.







You think lots of women walk out on the guy in the middle of the date if they're not interested? Uh ... no. Most of us wouldn't do that unless we got clear "rapey signals" or the guy was absolutely boorish and unacceptable. Getting up and walking out in the middle of the meal or something isn't something most young (or not young) women are going to be comfortable doing just because they're not that interested.

I can think of a million scenarios. Here's the sort of thing that would happen any day. He's going to say, "I'll walk you to your car," she's going to say, "No, really, I'm fine," but short of making a scene in the restaurant, how's she going to say, "Back off?" Pull out her pepper spray? Shout, "Back off, buddy!" What? So he walks her to her car, she's trying to give off "not interested here" signals, and he grabs her and kisses her goodbye anyway, because he figures, "Might as well get a kiss out of it" or "Might as well go for it. You never know." Or he actually misread her.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 01:03:43 PM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #77 on: August 14, 2017, 01:03:10 PM »
You think lots of women walk out on the guy in the middle of the date if they're not interested? Uh ... no. Most of us wouldn't do that unless we got clear "rapey signals" or the guy was absolutely boorish and unacceptable. Getting up and walking out in the middle of the meal or something isn't something most young (or not young) women are going to be comfortable doing just because they're not that interested.

Not walk out in the middle of the meal. But you extend common courtesy and end the meal/coffee sooner than if you had been interested, and say goodbye, you gotta go. And you don't invite him to go somewhere romantic to be alone with you. I'm NOT saying inviting someone somewhere entitles the guy to do anything. I'm saying if you aren't into him, you wouldn't want to invite him. It'd be, ugh.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 01:05:33 PM by AlexaKang »

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #78 on: August 14, 2017, 01:04:56 PM »
Not walk out in the middle of the meal. But you extend common courtesy and end the meal/coffee sooner than if you had been interested. And you don't invite him to go somewhere romantic to be alone with you. I'm NOT saying inviting someone somewhere entitles the guy to do anything. I'm saying if you aren't into him, you wouldn't want to invite him. It'd be, ugh.
You don't have to "invite him to go somewhere romantic." All you have to do is say "Goodbye" and not get your car door open fast enough, or not sprint away through the parking lot fast enough, or wherever it is you're saying, "Show's over."

Man. I didn't date that long--started dating my husband at age 22--but even *I* can remember these scenarios. Have lots of nieces and nephews, too. Comes in handy for writing romance. These are the experiences young women have. This is normal stuff.

I have a sister who's always been very beautiful. This stuff would happen to her ALL the time. For example, she was telling me one day about a time when she was married and had 4 kids. She went to look at a horse a guy was selling--a guy who knew her and her husband. They were walking over to the barn or whatever, talking, she was being beautiful and charming because she is, and he grabbed her and kissed her. When she pulled away and said "no," he sort of shrugged and kept on. He wasn't a rapist. He was a guy who had a thing for her, which lots of guys did, and when he was alone with her, he thought he'd check.

She was probably 40 at the time. But that's pretty much been the story of her life. What was she supposed to do? Dye her hair brown or cut it short? Not smile in social situations in case guys got the wrong idea? Gain 40 pounds?
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 01:13:42 PM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline Paranormal Kitty

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #79 on: August 14, 2017, 01:09:36 PM »
Depending on how skillfully everything is handled across the entire book, I could be okay with the above. The dragging her out of the bar thing is actually more questionable for me than the kiss, as described above. Maybe she's sending clear non-verbal messages to him during the staring before he kisses her, but pulling her out of a bar because she's flirting with another guy ... that's just a jealous, controlling [expletive] move, you know? Not much other way to spin it. I'd want that jealous possessiveness to be well established as a symptom of his new vampirism and would expect him to get past it as the book/series progresses.

One added wrinkle in fantasy is that characters may be on a much more level playing field, in terms of ability to defend themselves, than two real-life people would be. A tall, muscular man could, in most cases, easily physically control petite woman IRL, but in fantasy, she might have awesome psychic powers and be capable of killing him with a thought. Also, in a lot of fantasy, the characters are way more violent than the run of the mill people I know in real life. I mean, I haven't thrown a punch at someone since I was nine or so, but many UF heroines aren't so restrained. So all that context may come into play in how characters relate to one another.

Yeah, his behavior isn't meant to be seen in a positive light. Like I said, he's no hero and very morally grey. Sometimes he seems to be more of a villain than the MC's love interest. For example, the thing that came between them in the first place is that she learned he came to town for the purpose of killing one of her loved ones. It's not a black and white, good and evil type of story by any means. It is UF with lots of black magic, fights and gunfire. That's why I'm unsure about cross-listing in paranormal romance even though I'm being told that would get me more readers and more visibility.

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #80 on: August 14, 2017, 01:10:03 PM »
You don't have to "invite him to go somewhere romantic." All you have to do is say "Goodbye" and not get your car door open fast enough, or sprint away through the parking lot fast enough, or wherever it is you're saying, "Show's over."

You mean he's chasing you down to your car to try to grab and kiss you, even though you already said goodbye and left?

Then that guy is a stalker/rapist/attacker or something. Not a romantic interest who end up in a scenario where he has to get my verbal permission to kiss me. In that case what I need is pepper spray.

ETA: I'm not sure if the asking permission to kiss is relevant here really, because the answer is obviously going to be no. If the guy is chasing you down after you left to ask to kiss you, we really aren't talking about consent anymore. We're talking psycho. This isn't a guy who cares about you consenting or not.


« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 01:13:29 PM by AlexaKang »

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #81 on: August 14, 2017, 01:10:14 PM »
I think that's an area of personal choice. Readers differ in what they want to read about, and writers differ in what they want to write about.

People are entitled to judge what somebody writes and/or reads, not to be comfortable with it (or to find it boringly realistic and wonder what sort of staid women prefer that). We all judge, all the time. I find it strange to tell you the truth that so many romance readers don't want to get any sexy feelings from romance. They have an absolute right not to like that and to say so and to read what they like, of course, but am I going to wonder whether they simply don't like sexy feelings or are uncomfortable with anything but the most conventional sex? Yes, I probably am. I'm also judgy about people who want to read or write rape/abuse fiction. I'm also judgy about people who want to read inspirational romance where the hero doesn't have any sexy thoughts, because I think it's sex-negative, pleasure-negative, and unrealistic.  I'm judgy both ways. Due to my own history and my own exposure to abuse in real life, it's hard for me to separate enjoyment of abuse in fiction from reality.

I bought my new house from a lady who I'm sure would be absolutely horrified by what I write. She'd go way past judging. I'm sure she'd prohibit it if she could. That's my own personal line. To me, as long as somebody's work isn't breaking the law or a vendor's TOS, they have the right to write it and publish it. And I have the right to think it's disgusting, boring, or whatever adjective such a topic/book brings up for me.

Yep, yep, for sure. The whole variety is the spice of life thing, and we definitely all judge. Everyone has to find where on the spectrum they fit, and personal life experiences plays a big part since that's the lense we judge everything thru. Makes for a fun and interesting debate, as well. Tho I'm very glad there are enough readers on my little spread of the spectrum to keep me in those first class seats en route to those conferences, as I enjoy them too, lol.

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #82 on: August 14, 2017, 01:15:57 PM »
You mean he's chasing you down to your car to try to grab and kiss you, even though you already said goodbye and left?

Then that guy is a stalker/rapist/attacker or something. Not a romantic interest who end up in a scenario where he has to get my verbal permission to kiss me. In that case what I need is pepper spray.

ETA: I'm not sure if the asking permission to kiss is relevant here really, because the answer is obviously going to be no. If the guy is chasing you down after you left to ask to kiss you, we really aren't talking about consent anymore. We're talking psycho. This isn't a guy who cares about you consenting or not.



Oh for heaven's sake. That was hyperbole. I didn't mean you're literally sprinting to the car. I meant you're saying, "Goodbye. It was nice to meet you," and he kisses you. Which is something that happens a LOT. In fact, I'd say "usually," in my experience, unless you literally turn away as you're saying it and start striding toward the car.

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #83 on: August 14, 2017, 01:19:41 PM »
Not walk out in the middle of the meal. But you extend common courtesy and end the meal/coffee sooner than if you had been interested, and say goodbye, you gotta go. And you don't invite him to go somewhere romantic to be alone with you. I'm NOT saying inviting someone somewhere entitles the guy to do anything. I'm saying if you aren't into him, you wouldn't want to invite him. It'd be, ugh.

I think part of the problem is that you are equating all male/female social interactions as "dates" and that they can't be platonic. There are plenty of situations where a woman might go somewhere with a man or invite a man to an activity that doesn't involve being into him.

Most of my friends are male. And there have been plenty of times that a male friend and I have gone off on a totally non-romantic activity. Go to lunch with a male co-worker. Go to a movie with a male friend. Because of this, however, I sometimes "forget" that there are men who assume that if a woman asked them to do something...anything...they take it as a "signal." I had a very awkward situation at a convention one year where a guy I was discussing game mechanics with. It was an interesting discussion (as I am a game publisher) but I was getting hungry and I only had so much time before an event. I asked him if he wanted to grab something to eat at the food court because I wanted to discuss the topic more but was on a schedule (me multitasking). What in my mind was an interesting business discussion apparently was a "come on" to him and the next thing I know he got very...clingy. Meanwhile, my male colleagues invite each other to meals all the time and nobody gets groped. But because I am a female, there was this notion of  "implied interest" because I invited a guy to eat at the food court.

Men are dense.

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Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #84 on: August 14, 2017, 01:21:04 PM »
Quote
I can think of a million scenarios. Here's the sort of thing that would happen any day. He's going to say, "I'll walk you to your car," she's going to say, "No, really, I'm fine," but short of making a scene in the restaurant, how's she going to say, "Back off?" Pull out her pepper spray? Shout, "Back off, buddy!" What? So he walks her to her car, she's trying to give off "not interested here" signals, and he grabs her and kisses her goodbye anyway, because he figures, "Might as well get a kiss out of it" or "Might as well go for it. You never know." Or he actually misread her.

Wait. This is a guy who won't respect your wish when you said you don't want him to walk you to the car, and yet somehow you expect him to ask your permission to kiss you and you think he'll respect that?

Look, I absolutely agree with you that date rape happens and it's a whole different level there. Issues are different in those cases. Consent is required, no room for discussion. But if it's a normal date where we're not talking about violence and force, and it's a matter of a love interest vs. psycho weirdo, I'm still not seeing the asking for permission to kiss to have any bearing. If a love interest, I'm in the camp that he doesn't have to ask and there'll be many things in the entirety that led to the kiss being ok without asking. If it's that psycho/weirdo, it's kind of besides the point to expect him to ask for consent, isn't it? In that case a simple no won't do. You'll need a restraining order.

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #85 on: August 14, 2017, 01:26:59 PM »
I'm still not of the mindset tho that because real life situations sometimes happen that the surprise kiss should be done away with in fiction.

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #86 on: August 14, 2017, 01:27:24 PM »
Many men are somewhere between "love interest" and "psycho weirdo." I'd try to count the number of times I've been kissed when it wasn't a date to me or I wasn't interested, but I'm pretty sure I can't remember. Men are taught to be aggressive, to go for it, that women want a man to take the initiative. There's lots of room for misinterpretation and overstepping boundaries in there. That's why the idea of consent, whether verbal or otherwise clearly given, has become a thing.

I've got to get something done today, though, as interesting as it is to procrastinate. For one thing, I'd better write a book, because I actually do have first-class seats in a few days, LOL. And I need to start paying for them. No surprise kisses will happen.

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #87 on: August 14, 2017, 01:29:40 PM »
I think part of the problem is that you are equating all male/female social interactions as "dates" and that they can't be platonic. There are plenty of situations where a woman might go somewhere with a man or invite a man to an activity that doesn't involve being into him.

I'm not equating that. I was talking about the scenario of a real date. But if you are talking about something beyond that, such as platonic interaction, then we're actually changing the subject but that's ok. It's a different discusssion but

Quote
Most of my friends are male. And there have been plenty of times that a male friend and I have gone off on a totally non-romantic activity. Go to lunch with a male co-worker. Go to a movie with a male friend. Because of this, however, I sometimes "forget" that there are men who assume that if a woman asked them to do something...anything...they take it as a "signal." I had a very awkward situation at a convention one year where a guy I was discussing game mechanics with. It was an interesting discussion (as I am a game publisher) but I was getting hungry and I only had so much time before an event. I asked him if he wanted to grab something to eat at the food court because I wanted to discuss the topic more but was on a schedule (me multitasking). What in my mind was an interesting business discussion apparently was a "come on" to him and the next thing I know he got very...clingy. Meanwhile, my male colleagues invite each other to meals all the time and nobody gets groped. But because I am a female, there was this notion of  "implied interest" because I invited a guy to eat at the food court.

Men are dense.

He got clingy and misinterpreted, but certainly when a platonic relationship becomes ones-sided, the uninterested party can have a heart to hear talk and clarify things. Or to let the guy down easy, make it be known that she is interested in someone else. Someone is interested one-side doesn't result in the two people being in a romantic atmostphere where it might be kissing time and he has to debate whether to ask permission to kiss. You guys are bringing up examples that have diverted way far off from what I was originally talking about, which is whether a LOVE INTEREST needs to ask permission to kiss. Someone who you're not interested in, does not qualify as LOVE INTEREST.

Offline ShaneJeffery

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #88 on: August 14, 2017, 01:49:50 PM »
Typically, unless a woman is throwing herself at you, you shouldn't even want to kiss her.

I just wrote in a surprise kiss into my latest book. It was like watching one character stab another with a knife (but much worse).

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #89 on: August 14, 2017, 01:56:33 PM »
I'm not equating that. I was talking about the scenario of a real date. But if you are talking about something beyond that, such as platonic interaction, then we're actually changing the subject but that's ok. It's a different discusssion

Not necessarily. How many romantic comedies, in books, TV, and film, actually have the "friend zone" as a plot device? It is practically a sub-genre: woman who just wants to be friends but guy wants more, so the entire plot is "convincing" her and wearing her down until the "happy ending" where they are a couple? Surprise kiss and lo and behold she was in love with him and didn't even know it! The entire trope teaches women to doubt their own thoughts while encouraging guys to not take no for an answer.

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Offline ShaneJeffery

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #90 on: August 14, 2017, 01:58:35 PM »
Not necessarily. How many romantic comedies, in books, TV, and film, actually have the "friend zone" as a plot device? It is practically a sub-genre: woman who just wants to be friends but guy wants more, so the entire plot is "convincing" her and wearing her down until the "happy ending" where they are a couple? Surprise kiss and lo and behold she was in love with him and didn't even know it! The entire trope teaches women to doubt their own thoughts while encouraging guys to not take no for an answer.

Yeah that sounds like a bad movie.

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #91 on: August 14, 2017, 01:59:16 PM »
Quote
I have a sister who's always been very beautiful. This stuff would happen to her ALL the time. For example, she was telling me one day about a time when she was married and had 4 kids. She went to look at a horse a guy was selling--a guy who knew her and her husband. They were walking over to the barn or whatever, talking, she was being beautiful and charming because she is, and he grabbed her and kissed her. When she pulled away and said "no," he sort of shrugged and kept on. He wasn't a rapist. He was a guy who had a thing for her, which lots of guys did, and when he was alone with her, he thought he'd check.

I know you're offline now and really I should be writing too instead of procrastinating here but I can't not respond to this as if I condone this.

This guy was way over the line. If I were your sister I would have slapped him and told him to get the f**k off my property and he is to never come within 50 feet of me again. I'd have told my husband and let him take a frying pan to the jerk. I'm sorry to this happens to your sister and it's horrible that it happened to her too often. I don't personally know guys who behave this way and I don't know why so many guys she knows feel they could do this to any woman. I can't believe he didn't even apologize but an apology would not be enough.

But this is still not the scenario of our original discussion. These guys are NOT Love Interests. There's nothing romantic about a surprised kiss or any kiss by anyone NOT a love interest. Plus, these guys wouldn't have respected consent anyhow. They sound like the kind who, if they'd asked and you said no, they'll say no means yes.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 02:17:53 PM by AlexaKang »

Offline Going Incognito

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #92 on: August 14, 2017, 01:59:40 PM »
Typically, unless a woman is throwing herself at you, you shouldn't even want to kiss her.

Nope, I'm not even touching that as Ive also got work to do today. But...

I just wrote in a surprise kiss into my latest book. It was like watching one character stab another with a knife (but much worse).

Reading that while your book cover glared at me made me literally lol.

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #93 on: August 14, 2017, 02:07:01 PM »
Not necessarily. How many romantic comedies, in books, TV, and film, actually have the "friend zone" as a plot device? It is practically a sub-genre: woman who just wants to be friends but guy wants more, so the entire plot is "convincing" her and wearing her down until the "happy ending" where they are a couple? Surprise kiss and lo and behold she was in love with him and didn't even know it! The entire trope teaches women to doubt their own thoughts while encouraging guys to not take no for an answer.

That trope only works if the story is set up where the audience is prepped to know that the guy IS a love interest.

I don't believe in real life women doubt themselves because of some rom-com. Come on, Julie! Give women more credit than that. This is where I feel like the whole protecting women's rights/respect, however well-intended, starts to fall into women are so weak they can't protect themselves or think for themselves, where it all defeats the purpose of self-determination and empowerment.

Preference for a sexual partner/romantic interest is very personal and specific. When you don't desire someone, people don't generally start thinking it's ok for that other person to come on to me because I saw it done on TV/movie/book.

And yeah, it's insulting to the guys too. As if they can't have the good senses to tell what's right and wrong just because they saw something in a fictional rom com.

ETA: Yeah, sounds like a bad movie.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 02:10:13 PM by AlexaKang »

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #94 on: August 14, 2017, 03:11:08 PM »
Whether you want to believe it or not, people look to entertainment for their ideas of romance. Not everyone grows up in a family with healthy relationships, for example, so yeah -- they'd look to romance novels and rom coms. You can certainly include surprise kisses in your romance; the takeaway here is being more mindful of consent in your writing. Are you portraying healthy, swoon-worthy relationships? Or are your characters lacking respect of each other?

And men do awful things all the time because they see other men getting away with it in entertainment and in real life. It goes both ways, too -- women are also capable of rape and sexual assault, though statistically it's far more often men committing these vile acts. Sadly our society can't fathom marital rape, nor can they acknowledge rape when there are multiple witnesses and DNA evidence.

I will always include consent in my romance novels because as a survivor, it's important to me. I believe that even small actions can help dismantle rape culture. If that's not important to other romance authors, well, you do you. But it's definitely hurtful when I see authors dismissing consent as something that wayward twenty-somethings made up just to make noise. It's my hope that one day there will be no hot debate, that consent will just be another element of romance -- just like the first view, first kiss, etc, that moment when the heroine realizes "He respects me" will also give readers that warm, fuzzy feeling.

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Offline PermaStudent

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #95 on: August 14, 2017, 03:38:11 PM »
Sigh.  I finally return to this thread and... yeah.  There's all levels of gray and assumption going on here, so I'm going to go ahead and post my story.

Not necessarily. How many romantic comedies, in books, TV, and film, actually have the "friend zone" as a plot device? It is practically a sub-genre: woman who just wants to be friends but guy wants more, so the entire plot is "convincing" her and wearing her down until the "happy ending" where they are a couple? Surprise kiss and lo and behold she was in love with him and didn't even know it! The entire trope teaches women to doubt their own thoughts while encouraging guys to not take no for an answer.

My experiences are eerily similar to what Julie has posted.  Pre-children, I was a gamer, and a lot of my friends were male, and a lot of them were dense.  I ended up on some dates without intending to.  (Caveat, I may be just as dense as some of my friends.)

One time, I was complaining to a friend (a guy friend) about how planning my wedding was stressing me out.  Social events aren't my thing, and social events where I'm in the spotlight are *really* not my thing.  So I was complaining.  We were walking back from a grad school lecture and he needed a ride to his car (I was parked closer).  So we got in the car, continued to chat, I'm venting on the stupid wedding and how much I wanted to call it off.  We get to his car, and he suggests that maybe we should get coffee sometime and he'd love to talk about it more.  Okay, that sounds great. He full-on kisses me and then gets out of the car and leaves.  And I'm sitting there like, WTF?  What?  What just happened here?

In the movies, this is the part where I realize I've been an idiot, and all the stress surrounding the wedding is actually because I'm with The Wrong Guy.  And now that The Right Guy had kissed me, I can see it's him I should be with, and after several angsty scenes, I finally leave my fiance.  At the altar.  Wearing some crazy enormous dress that gets shut in a cab door as I make a grand escape with Mr. Surprise Kiss guy.

In real life, I went, WTF?  That was creeptastic.  Then I went home, told my fiance he was never going to believe what happened to me today.  He asked if I punched the guy.  It still weirds me out today, because that kiss was an incredible betrayal of the friendship.  For a while, it made me question everything, from how I was presenting myself and my relationship with my fiance to whether or not I should be alone with male friends and colleagues.

To clarify, I'd known the surprise kisser for four years.  He knew me.  He knew that I'd been with my fiance for six years at that point.  We'd been living together for two years.  We'd just bought a house.  What was he thinking? Don't know, don't care.  Certain movies haven't been the same for me since.  I'm not saying surprise kisses are inherently evil and can never be done anywhere ever, but (for me) there are parameters.

« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 03:41:36 PM by PermaStudent »
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Offline ShaneJeffery

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #96 on: August 14, 2017, 04:03:16 PM »
Sigh.  I finally return to this thread and... yeah.  There's all levels of gray and assumption going on here, so I'm going to go ahead and post my story.

My experiences are eerily similar to what Julie has posted.  Pre-children, I was a gamer, and a lot of my friends were male, and a lot of them were dense.  I ended up on some dates without intending to.  (Caveat, I may be just as dense as some of my friends.)

One time, I was complaining to a friend (a guy friend) about how planning my wedding was stressing me out.  Social events aren't my thing, and social events where I'm in the spotlight are *really* not my thing.  So I was complaining.  We were walking back from a grad school lecture and he needed a ride to his car (I was parked closer).  So we got in the car, continued to chat, I'm venting on the stupid wedding and how much I wanted to call it off.  We get to his car, and he suggests that maybe we should get coffee sometime and he'd love to talk about it more.  Okay, that sounds great. He full-on kisses me and then gets out of the car and leaves.  And I'm sitting there like, WTF?  What?  What just happened here?

In the movies, this is the part where I realize I've been an idiot, and all the stress surrounding the wedding is actually because I'm with The Wrong Guy.  And now that The Right Guy had kissed me, I can see it's him I should be with, and after several angsty scenes, I finally leave my fiance.  At the altar.  Wearing some crazy enormous dress that gets shut in a cab door as I make a grand escape with Mr. Surprise Kiss guy.

In real life, I went, WTF?  That was creeptastic.  Then I went home, told my fiance he was never going to believe what happened to me today.  He asked if I punched the guy.  It still weirds me out today, because that kiss was an incredible betrayal of the friendship.  For a while, it made me question everything, from how I was presenting myself and my relationship with my fiance to whether or not I should be alone with male friends and colleagues.

To clarify, I'd known the surprise kisser for four years.  He knew me.  He knew that I'd been with my fiance for six years at that point.  We'd been living together for two years.  We'd just bought a house.  What was he thinking? Don't know, don't care.  Certain movies haven't been the same for me since.  I'm not saying surprise kisses are inherently evil and can never be done anywhere ever, but (for me) there are parameters.




Wow, thanks for sharing that story. Amazing example of how you can be friends with someone yet neither of you have any clue how the other one is perceiving your relationship. That guy sounds super yucky.

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #97 on: August 14, 2017, 04:03:45 PM »
Ah, but that's the whole point to the article, isn't it? 'Should' you be writing things that diverge from how you'd talk to your daughters?

I think everyone has a different answer to this one. Personally, there are certain areas where I ... let's say, model the world I want rather than the one we have. But in most areas, I tend to err toward showing the world we have. That might be because I'm not a strong enough writer to pull off a whole lot of modelling without sounding like a PSA. Modeling a better world only works for me as a reader if it's absolutely seamless and natural as part of the narrative, and it takes a very deft touch on the author's part to pull it off.

Offline AlexaKang

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #98 on: August 14, 2017, 04:08:38 PM »
Quote
I will always include consent in my romance novels because as a survivor, it's important to me. I believe that even small actions can help dismantle rape culture. If that's not important to other romance authors, well, you do you. But it's definitely hurtful when I see authors dismissing consent as something that wayward twenty-somethings made up just to make noise. It's my hope that one day there will be no hot debate, that consent will just be another element of romance -- just like the first view, first kiss, etc, that moment when the heroine realizes "He respects me" will also give readers that warm, fuzzy feeling.

Elizabeth, just so you know, nobody here is dismissing consent.

The debate here is whether consent to a kiss needs to conform the PC dictated way of asking for specific verbal permission. Some of us disagree with that. I can see that for you, asking for permission is important, but it is also true that for many people, a stolen kiss by someone who is a love interest, whose kiss is wanted and desired, does not rise to the level of sexual assault.

That is not to undermine what you went through. But we're being told by the blogger to stop liking what we like because he and some people don't like it or agree with it, and that we're wrong to like it. I disagree with that. And fundamentally, I still disagree with the proposal that all kisses must be preceded by a verbal permission. Every person is different. Every relationship is different. Given your experience, someone you enter a relationship with will need to be more sensitive than someone who enters into a relationship with me. One size does not fit all. If someone has specific sensitivity in a relationship, then perhaps the person has to take precaution to let that be known.

I don't doubt your reason why you feel it's important to write kiss scenes one way. But there are in fact a lot of people today who are looking for reasons to be offended. These days no matter what we say or do, someone out there will be offended by something. When I was growing up, if someone say something offensive, we grow thicker skin and learn to overcome and not let it bother us, and we become stronger because of it. Today, everyone is sensitive about everything and wants the system to protect against every possible perceived slight. But that's a whole different can of worm altogether and I won't go into that. (To be clear, I'm not talking about your reaction. However, your legitimate reason for what you believe does not negate the reality that there are people who do just want to make noise.)

Offline Crystal_

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Re: Surprise Kiss: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #99 on: August 14, 2017, 04:24:57 PM »
Elizabeth, just so you know, nobody here is dismissing consent.

The debate here is whether consent to a kiss needs to conform the PC dictated way of asking for specific verbal permission. Some of us disagree with that. I can see that for you, asking for permission is important, but it is also true that for many people, a stolen kiss by someone who is a love interest, whose kiss is wanted and desired, does not rise to the level of sexual assault.

Actually, I don't think anyone is saying the consent needs to be verbal. Most communication is non-verbal. This is a silly strawman that always comes up with issues of consent. No one is saying it has to be verbal. It *can* be verbal and that can be sweet, cute, or even really hot (dirty talk is basically verbal consent). It can also be awkward or weird, but kissing and sex can be really awkward or weird.

Wonderful! One more politically correct writing rule to suck the joy out of writing (nevermind the fact that 50 shades of Grey is basically one non-stop celebration of sexual violence) This is how we can do it from now on:

Jane looked at John and whispered, "I've been thinking about you everyday and I have so many conflicting emotions...it's as if I don't know what I'm feeling any more...one moment I want you and the next..."

John knew that their relationship was going nowhere and that it was time for him to act. "Jane," he said, "I'm about to surprise kiss you but I need to do this in such a way that some old drip doesn't describe my actions as sexual assault in a blog somewhere, so:
1. Do you find me attractive?
2. If yes, does your attraction extend to a level which might reasonably be interpreted as sexual attraction?
3. Do you consider a kiss to be a form of sexual intimacy?
4. If your answer is yes (or no) or 'what the hell' to any of these questions: Would you mind if I surprise kissed you?

Jane looked at John with an expression of slight bewilderment. "Sure you can kiss me...although it won't exactly be a surprise any more..."

*eyeroll* I have a strict explicit consent rule in my books and it doesn't remotely limit me. It's really, really easy to make sure every sex scene includes explicit verbal or non-verbal consent (again, dirty talk). If you ask my readers what comes to mind when they think of my books, 99% of them will include "super hot" in the first few attributes.

I do make an exception for BDSM flavored relationships where the couple already has a safe word (or uses red/yellow/green), but I make sure it's clear the submissive partner is comfortable using the safeword in some low stakes situation before the dominant partner really pushes her.