Consent - both in relationships and in fiction - Liz BlackX
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Consent – both in relationships and in fiction
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

“Is it okay if I touch you?” he asked.

“Yes, please,” she moaned in response.

“And is it all right if I kiss you?” he inquired.

“Yes, please do.”

“You’re really okay with me kissing you?” he asked to be sure. It is so much better when things are consensual, he mused.

A scene like this was in a novel I once read. I couldn’t make out whether this was really what the author thought to be appropriate, or whether she was making fun of the whole consent debate.


The section bothered me a lot. It felt so over the top and almost absurd in a way. Especially in a romance novel, you want to be swept away. It should be a perfect dream.
Of course, you want to be swept away by the perfect knight, why else would he appear in your dream?
So, yes, at least in fiction I prefer dubious consent. I understand that in real life this soon becomes tricky, but there too may be circumstances where a somewhat shady level of consent can be acceptable. Let’s still be open to accepting other levels of approval also, instead of pushing the ‘only consensual everywhere’ idea.

From Non-con to Dub-con

When I first wrote erotic fiction, it was non-consensual all the way. Girls snatched from the streets and all that. Most of that genre I’ve left behind me. You grow up, you have some real-life experiences, and the most extreme stories lose its appeal. Nowadays, in my most extreme stories, it’s either a government-issued decree or there is some form of consent in how they ended up in the situation.
In my less extreme stories, often the consent is dubious. Either a little blackmail or unequal power relations, like a teacher-student or a rockstar-fan situation.
This is what makes me tick, it’s what turns me on. Strictly vanilla and consensual stories, do little for me.

How Can You?

But Liz, how can you fawn over something so evil? Don’t you know how many women are sexually harassed on a daily basis?
I don’t know the numbers, but yes, I can guess. And that’s terrible, and of course, I don’t condone of such violence. I myself have been sexually harassed in many ways. Even my first D/s relationship probably wasn’t as consensual as I thought it to be at the time. Perhaps dreaming about semi-consensual sex is my mind’s weird way of coping with the issue. I don’t know, and truthfully, I don’t want to know. These events happened roughly twenty years ago. I don’t want to delve into them and rehash old bruises. I am perfectly fine with my dubious consent fantasies.

My Real Life

So what about your relationship with your Dominant? Is that fully consensual?
Yes, it is, sometimes even too much so.
My Dominant, who is also my husband, loves me a lot, and he does not want to hurt me. And yet he’s a sadist, and I’m a masochist. So yes, he spanks me and sometimes doesn’t go as far as I would like. A part of me wants to be controlled and not have any influence whatsoever. But my Dominant is considerate, watches me, and asks me how I’m doing, and if he can continue. All this gives me the tools to slow him down, while actually, I want him to go ahead and hurt me more. What makes it extra tricky, is that submissive-me knows no boundaries and will quickly go over her own limits. My Dom knows this, and that makes him extra careful.

Happily Ever After

So, with our consent taken care of, do we live in perfect harmony?
No, of course not. We’re both human, and we both make mistakes. I’m not the best in saying what I want or don’t want, and sometimes my Dom oversteps the boundaries.
Do I mind?
At that moment, yes. I feel hurt, uncomfortable, and sometimes even angry, because he overstepped a limit.
But another part of me is relieved, maybe even satiated.

Consent is Boring

I’ve lived for years with a vanilla partner who never trod on any limits, and I was bored as hell. I was safe, but also unhappy.
Now when my Dominant breeches a limit, I’m even relieved in a way. It went too far, it was uncomfortable, but we’re okay now, and it won’t happen again. Or maybe it will, and that’s okay also. We’ll stop the unwanted behaviour, we’ll discuss it, and we go on with our lives.

Maybe a Little

While I’m not a big fan of the ‘absolute-consent’ rule as it’s portrayed in the media, the level of consent in my D/s relationship provides me with security and stability. I get to explore my limits, sometimes they may not go far enough, or they go too far, but I’m still unharmed and in a stable relationship. And in my dreams, you bet I still give full surrender to my Mystery Dom.




  1. This is a really interesting post and you have raised a lot of good questions about the portrayal of consent and about what we find exciting. I totally agree that a lot of the appeal of D/s play is not knowing what will happen, loss of control and having the flu dairies pushed so content within that has to be very different. Great post ?

  2. Fab post Liz – my fiction often has dubious consent – but it is fiction and I think it is important to write about stuff that occasionally makes people uncomfortable -and of course fantasies are important to explore – even if just in your head and books
    This would work well for Food 4 thought this week – if u wanted to link up 😉

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