Tuesday, June 27, 2006


"I want to make love," Jack said, his voice quiet and thoughtful. He rested his hands on Diane's shoulders. "Okay?"

Diane nodded and rested her cheek against his chest. Or tried to, but Jack removed his hands and took a step back, breaking all physical contact with her. "What's wrong, darling?"

"I'm not sure about the nod," he admitted. "I need backup." He went to the phone and dialed 1-800-CONSENT. "Hi, Crisis Line? Yeah, sorry to call so late, but I'm in trouble. I told her I wanted to make love, asked her if that was okay, and she nodded." He listened for a moment. "Yes, we're married and in our bedroom. Lights are still on. She's not restrained, intoxicated, drugged, on the rebound from a bad previous marriage or screaming for her mother. Neither am I." He listened again. "I saw her head move. Immediately after I asked. Clearly a nod, not a shake."

Diane hugged herself with her arms as she admired the manly way Jack held the phone and listened so attentively to the crisis counselor. Just when she thought she knew her husband, he surprised her with another demonstration of his sensitivity to her feminine delicacy.

He glanced at her and covered the mouthpiece of the receiver with his hand. "Honey, the counselor wants to know if by nodding that you meant a) that you agree to make love with me, or b) that you know that I want to make love to you but are not consenting to any such intimacy, or c) that you want some Haagen-Dazs and I should sleep on the couch?"

Confused by the choices, she thought for a moment. "I meant A."

"A," Jack said into the phone. "Thanks, appreciate it. Yes, I plan to use a condom. Terrific. You, too." He hung up the phone and gave Diane a brilliant smile. "Sorry. I just had to be sure."

Overcome by his tenderness and concern, Diane rushed into his open arms and snuggled against him. "God, Jack, you're so wonderful."

"So are you." He hugged her close. "I'm going to kiss you and unbutton your blouse now. Okay?"

"Mmmmmm." Diane found herself at arm's length again. "What?"

"Hold on." Jack picked up the phone and dialed quickly. "Hi, it's me again, guy with the nodding wife. What's your stand on Mmmmmmm as a response? Does that mean Yes? No? Maybe?" He listened. "No, I'm not rubbing her feet or feeding her chocolate, and there aren't any Russell Crowe movies playing on the TV."

"I meant yes," Diane said, but Jack only gave her a be-quiet wave of his hand.

"Got it. How many times again?" He frowned. "Sure, if that's the way to do it. You're a doll. Thanks again. Bye." He hung up the phone and looked at Diane. "Honey, the crisis counselor says that you need to lay off the body language and making the sexy sounds and give me some definite verbal cues here. I also have to ask you at least ten more times if you want to make love before we get, you know, consensual. In case you change your mind and want to go fold laundry instead. Okay?"

Diane could not believe how lucky she was to have married Jack. He had to be the kindest, gentlest, sweetest, most considerate man on earth. "Of course."

"That's not definite enough," he told her. "I need a yes or no."


"Great. Let's try this again." Jack took her into his arms. "I'm gonna kiss you, and unbutton your blouse. Okay?"

Diane smiled up at him. "Yes."

Jack bent his head to hers, but then jerked it back. "Yes to both, or only one?"

[This community service post is brought to you by 1-800-CONSENT, the non-profit romantic crisis intervention service. 1-800-CONSENT is dedicated to supporting the right of all women to say yes, no, maybe, okay, later, I dunno, now? can we talk about this later for Heaven's sake and Mmmmm while meaning something completely different. Remember our motto, gentlemen: If you're not sure, that's what we're here for.]


  1. S! How many times do we have to ask for a DNDLWRT (Do Not Drink Liquid While Reading This) alert?

    Gadzooks woman, this is hysterical, but what on earth started it?

    *off to dry the keyboard out and to try and stop snickering* (feminine delicacy, indeed... bwahahaha!)

  2. ROTFL!!!!

    I just died on this one.

  3. Anonymous1:29 AM

    Yeah, I'm dying to know what sparked this one, too!

  4. OMG! This has made my day. Off to work with a smile, for once!

  5. I'm with the crowd that wants to know what sparked this??? Brilliant stuff!

  6. Anonymous7:43 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Anonymous7:46 AM

    (Previous comment deleted because the Dragon is getting twitchy this morning.)

    Let's just say that if I read one more novel with a love scene during which the hero asks the heroine for her consent more than five times before he lays a finger on her, my head is going to explode.

    Maybe it's the age gap; I'm really beginning to wonder about the sexual politics of the younger generation. Men of mine never quadruple-checked consent, ever. If there is a doubt (which there generally isn't because we like to get down to business) guy asks, girl say yes, he jumps on her/she jumps on him and a wonderful time is had by all. This is not offensive. It's NATURE.

    Next thing you know the poor slob hero will have to have to get it in writing.

  8. Anonymous8:14 AM

    In writing and notarized.

    *still laughing*

    Thank you! It's brilliant.

  9. Anonymous8:46 AM

    c) that you want some Haagen-Dazs and I should sleep on the couch?

    The answer is always C when that's the option! *-* (Well, if we change it Ben & Jerry's) If men would just learn that, we'd never have this consent problem, would we? ^-*

    Maybe it's just me, but you'd think the fictional world MIGHT take a cue from the real world. Do people actually ask for consent five hundred times? Uh, no. If they did...well, the human population would probably be a lot smaller.

  10. *High-pitched snorting laughter* The shut-up-while-I'm-on-the-phone wave... ;)

    What happened to the books where the man ripped of her clothes without her even blinking? Yeah, it's impossible but it was SEXY. ;) Clark Gable... where are you?

  11. This made my day! Thanx...

  12. ~smiling contentedly~
    Thank you.

  13. You slay me, PBW. The DH is looking at me like I'm nutso because I can't stop giggling.

  14. *tea spew*

    Yikes. The best part is that I am guilty, but I have a one time ask. Only once. And I had to do the condom dance too.

    *scratching head* But she was asking HIM, does that make it better?

    I hate having to write PC erotica.*g*

  15. Roflol

    I'd so have voted for C with a whimp like Jim. :)

    A man who thinks a No actually means a Yes, and you just say no because you're a nice girl and it would look bad if you said yes the first time, won't call the Consent Line anyway. Well, maybe after I was finished with him. ;)

    never drink anything when reading PBW's blog. Or Miss Snark's.

  16. I'm cracking up. I just went through this VERY SAME SCENARIO last night.

    But everytime I called, the line was busy.

  17. okay, i'm 29 and i'd KILL my husband if he acted like that when we're getting ready to go at it.

    and sadly... i know exactly what PBW means about the love scenes and consent.


  18. But everytime I called, the line was busy.

    Must have been all those writers of The Immaculate Love Scene.

  19. Anonymous8:30 PM


    Men that are even a 10th of that guy, make me want to squish them beneath my shoe. And women that want that from their man...*rolls eyes*

  20. Ben & Jerry's ... Jack? .... Ben & Jerry's .... Jack? With this guy, before the first phone call, Ben & Jerry's would have won out. (Substituted B&Js for Haagen Daz) Jack's gonna have to practice his name if he wants to get any at this point. He lost me at, "'I want to make love,' Jack said, his voice quiet and thoughtful." At this point I'm thinking, "With who?" and looking around for whomever he's interested in, 'cause it sure as heck couldn't have been me with that approach.

    So much for a little ditty about Jack and Diane. :)

  21. Anonymous12:09 AM

    Well I was going to go with the S.O.T.I.L.S. (lazy typer today) but someone beat me to it.

    That was hilarious!

  22. PBW said:
    Let's just say that if I read one more novel with a love scene during which the hero asks the heroine for her consent more than five times before he lays a finger on her, my head is going to explode.

    Hmm, sounds like they've taken the Antioch sexual consent policy to heart. ("3. Obtaining consent is an on-going process in any sexual interaction. Verbal consent should be obtained with each new level of physical and/or sexual contact/conduct in any given interaction, regardless of who initiates it. Asking "Do you want to have sex with me?" is not enough. The request for consent must be specific to each act." Link.)

    It's crazy. "Yes" means YES, unless at some point somebody says NO. God, if any guy asked me more than five times if I was really, truly, totally, absolutely, positively certain I wanted to have sex with him, he'd be hightailing it out of the bedroom with a pair of bruised balls.

  23. Hmm. OK, that was funny.


    There are a lot of people who don't understand what NO means, and what consent means. This is just the flip side of it - a guy who doesn't understand what YES means. I'd much rather deal with a guy who's confused about YES than a guy confused about NO.

    I recently read an excerpt of an erotic romance in which the woman says NO, and the guys keeps at it because "he knows she doesn't mean it". Yuck. Thank you, not buying that book or the author's other books.

    Very topical given the current brouhaha over the Rescue Me episode where the main character sexually assaults his estranged wife.


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