beth_bernobich has a post here: Consent is Sexy More than once, I've come across the complaint that the need to ask for consent isn't sexy. I disagree, and in my current story-in-progress, I wrote a scene that is all about consent:
I loved her scene, and thought I'd post one too. This is from The Cloud Roads:
Jade has wanted Moon for a long time by this point in the book, and they've just fought a Fell ruler, and Moon has confessed about his past to her, and he's in a very vulnerable state. Even though the Raksura aren't human, and their reactions and behavior aren't the same as ours, I still felt she would take a moment to make sure Moon knew what he was doing:
He looked up to see Jade watching him with a frown. She said, "You're still shaking."
"I can't get warm." The ice was inside his skin, in his thoughts. He supposed if Jade was going to kill him, she would have done it by now. If he was going to be alive in the morning, he needed to be able to fly. "I'll go downstairs." He started to push to his feet.
Jade caught his arm and pulled him back down beside her. He twitched in a half-hearted attempt to escape, but she wrapped a strong arm around his waist, pulling him back against her chest.
"No, just stay," she said, but her voice was gentle. He was so cold and tense that his body felt brittle, and her hands, even through his damp clothes, were pure heat. Then he realized the cloud of warmth enfolding him was from her half-furled wings, that she had just shifted out of her Arbora form. "No, if anybody sees -- "
"Everyone's asleep," she said into his ear. She waited patiently until he subsided, then gave him a reassuring squeeze. Moon gave in, sinking back against her.
She held him close, and ran her palm over his arms, his chest, soothing his shivers away. Her scales caught against his groundling skin, and the effect was hypnotic. Then she nuzzled his ear, soft and warm, and her teeth grazed the back of his neck. The gentle bite sent a shock right down his spine. Moon made a noise embarrassingly close to a squeak.
Jade pulled back, startled. "Sorry."
After everything that had happened tonight, he hadn't thought he could feel anything. Suddenly he could feel everything, everywhere. Something had broken free inside him. He said, "No, don't...don't stop."
She gripped his shoulders and turned him around to face her, moving him as if he didn't weigh anything. He had never been more vulnerable. He was in groundling form, and she could keep him from shifting. It should have been frightening, but it just made him want to wrap himself around her and bite her neck. "Moon, do you know what you're saying?"
"Yes. What?" His senses had been stifled by the cold but her scent was suddenly overwhelming. He tried to lean in toward her.
Jade held him back, her frills twitching in frustration. She tried again, "Why now?"
It took an effort, but he made himself articulate his racing thoughts. "Because you know everything, and you still want me."
Jade growled, in a deep tone he hadn't heard before. She pushed him down, flattening him to the pallet.
Before this, Moon had always had to hold back, to be careful. It wasn't just that most groundlings were weaker and more fragile than he was. He had always been afraid that something would happen at a vulnerable moment, that if he let himself relax completely, he might just shift. This time he didn't hold back at all, and it felt so right it left him dazed.
ETA: And N.K. Jemisin continues the meme on her blog here and J. Kathleen Cheney here and Lane Robins here.
* Publication Process: Edit Letters and Stuff J. Kathleen Cheney talks about the editorial process that her book went through on the way to publication.
* Another post from Beth Bernobich on suppressing women's writing: My answer was that our biggest obstacles are silence and obscurity. Women's works get ignored all the time. Our work is seen as less valuable. Less important. Invisible. It might not be conscious, but it happens. A lot.
The Siren Depths is finally available at Kobo. It's available at a bunch of other places, too, and the list of links is here on the book page on my web site. (The ebook is cheapest and DRM-free at Baen.)
Consent Meme, and Links
December 16th, 2012