The idea is that writers should show a scene where their characters clearly consent before they become involved in sex. That this doesn't have to kill the mood--an attitude that shows up often when we start talking about consent. So consent is sexy.
For me? Hyperverbal as I am? I love characters who talk about sex, who make sure they're on the same page. I don't think it detracts from the mood at all; often, it enhances.
I don't write a whole lot of sex scenes. But I was pleased to realized I had one that fit the bill here.
Have a snippet from the first Sylvie book: Sins & Shadows. Paranoid, occult detective Sylvie and and a government agent named Michael Demalion.
Sylvie jerked awake as Demalion said, "Up you go," and his hands came down on her shoulders like brands. She spun to face him, hand sliding behind her back, but her gun was--
"Easy," he said. "Sorry, I didn't realize you were sleeping."
"Wasn't," she said, looking around. Where in hell had she put the gun--
Careless, her dark internal voice said. Insanely so, she agreed. She should know where her gun was. At all times.
"Okay," he said agreeably. It made her edgy--but suddenly everything was making her edgy--the shadows undulating along the walls, the laptop's hissing drone, her discarded meal.
"Gun's on the couch," he said. "If that's what you're looking for."
"Isn't," she said. Knowing where it was eased some of the dread from her stomach.
"Contrary," he said.
"Am not," she said, and found a small smile for him.
"Remind me not to wake you suddenly again," he said. "Slow and easy, some coffee, maybe croissants. . . ."
Her smile wavered. He took a step closer. "If I give you my bed, are you going to make me sleep on the couch? It's not as comfortable as it looks."
"We're adults," Sylvie said, thinking this could work. Something to keep the anxiety at bay, something to warm that chill from her belly. "Surely we can behave like adults."
He took another step, reached out, and tugged the button placket of his dress shirt, hers now. His fingers were dark against the pale fabric, and it drew her attention like a magnet. "But what kind of adults?"
"I don't follow," she said. Who could blame her, with that single fingertip leaving the top of the shirt and trading cotton for skin. He snaked his fingers down to where the buttons fastened, popped the first one open, and chased the new path.
"Civilized adults," he said. "Professional: how're you, nice weather we're having, job well done or--"
"Or," she echoed, prolonging the tease. Enjoying it.
"Consenting adults," he said, "Friendly, post-work drinks, a little dancing, low lights, a lot less clothing."
"Hmm," she murmured. She closed her eyes, the better to feel that single, moving point of contact. "Oh, consenting all the way," she said, and was gratified by the wash of heat in his eyes. She kissed him, and when his lips parted against hers, she licked into him, tasting coffee, tasting spice.
Anyone else want to move this meme along?