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Boundaries and enthusiastic consent

I write about sex and sexuality, from a woman’s point of view. That’s what the first book The Love We Make is about, a married woman having an affair with a single man who allows her to express herself sexually and I am exploring a similar theme in the new work, but part of that is also using concepts and ideas that I think are important in sexual relationships, and more importantly, making them invisible and also enticing. 

Enthusiastic consent, for me, is equal parts negotiation and foreplay. It shows respect for everyone concerned, it creates trust and allows people to relax. Technically, I like using it because it creates the pacing that mimics the cycle of female arousal, a slow build, a long peak and a slow decline. Conversation, words are palpably sexy in the right mouth and as a writer, words are all I have to play with. The best seductions are ones where both parties are aware enough to know when they can let go without loss of reputation or integrity, which is something that gets forgotten or ignored for any number of reasons. 

Boundaries are important to establish too. Although there can be a fantastical element to sex writing, part of the appeal is the gratification, I still like to work with boundaries, again it’s negotiation and what you say no to is as powerful as what you say yes to. You can be swept away so long as you know where you are going and where it’s safe to land afterwards. Emotional components, fear of loss, societal and cultural expectations, self image all make sex and sexuality a powerful, taboo set of emotions which is why I find it so interesting to write about.