I jotted this down while reading 50 Shades of Grey, because I went to a presentation my freshman year of university that really stuck with me. It was entitled ‘Can I kiss you?’ and was about consent being ‘yes’ and not just the absence of ‘no,’ and how we should always ask.

I sometimes see requests for consent from romance writers like Christina Dodd, which always make me happy. For the many who don’t have them, the people who have not explicitly given their consent are still enjoying themselves, and it is still all happily ever after at the end.

But this relates back to cultural narratives and my obsession with normalizing things that are healthy, like consent. The things we consider normal shape our brains.

Another contributing factor to this short story was reading this story (Merlin fanfiction, too sexy for work), and finding the idea of arguing literature as foreplay completely and unutterably adorable.

But, of course, having brought up literary criticism, and having already been toying with the idea of doing this before I started it, the comments about Derrida are not just nonsense filler. It’s only in learning about kishotenketsu and reading more about literary criticism and semiotics that I’ve started to understand that Derrida’s presentation of stories revolving around binary opposition has coloured almost everything I’ve ever thought about storytelling. I’ve yet to read anything he’s written.

So the dialogue here are snippets from an argument I’d love to arm myself well enough to have in a few years.

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