emily's alpha and a forced seduction

In response to my post about non-consensual sex between hero and heroine in romance novels, a commentor wrote:

…I think in real life, people want to have what Emily is describing, but it’s such a difficult performance particularly for guys, because it involves constant consensual pushing of boundaries, performing overwhelming desire while still being in control and ready to control oneself at every point. Since that’s so hard to do – and it is – it’s not something easy to imagine for most people, so they end up writing and imaging a scenario involving the overwhelming emotional force that they can imagine – alas, it’s non-consensual.

So, I think there’s a circular problem here: the fact that this is so hard to do makes people reluctant to write about it, and the fact that people aren’t writing about it makes is even more dificult to perform.

… I would still find it very hard to logically match feminist concern for explicit and if possible constantly reaffirmed consent with the kind of desire and performance described. I understand the trust part, but, just like a safeword, it turns the feminsit affirmative consent ideal into a classic no-means-no scenario. Which is perfectly fine. I just don’t think it’s compatible with a lot of feminist arguments in this respect.

To which I responded I would write one: a scene with ongoing consent with ongoing boundary pushing, that is as empowered as a heroine can be and as respectful as a hero can be, while still edging along the borderline of consent.

I made it as difficult for myself as possible. The worst things happen when the hero is certain that sex is going to happen and the heroine has no such thought in mind. So that’s what I wrote, the worst-case-scenario that works out just fine. It’s not great literature, but for one day’s work, it does the job.

Set-up: it’s London, 1926, and this is the son of a Viscount and an artist who’s been commissioned to paint him. I constructed more emotional context for myself, outlined a whole story around the scene, but I don’t think you need all that to see the dynamic.

First from her point of view:

Marigold tossed herself on the couch and put a hand over her eyes. “I’ve had too much to drink.”

“You had two pints, you’re barely squiffy.”

“Well.” No, it wasn’t the alcohol that made her feel this way. “I feel far too relaxed. I should go to bed.”

She felt his weight sink into the couch, near her feet, and then suddenly he was beside her, laying along her entire length, tangling his hands in her hair. Her eyes flew open in surprise, searched his face. His eyes were glassy in the white glare of the streetlamp through the window.

“I want to kiss you. May I?” His breath was on her mouth, sweet, a little alcoholic, a little like roses.

She squirmed a little. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”

“Why not? You like me. You came and had a drink with me, you told me your life story; you wouldn’t do that if you didn’t like me. Don’t you like me?” Somehow in the process of saying all this, his mouth had traveled to the crest of her cheek, and then to her ear, and then her jaw. His clothes carried the smoke from the pub, but his skin smelled fresh, like bergamot.

“I do like you Mr. Marlow, I -”

James burst into laughter and pressed his face to her throat, “Christ, is that how you think of me?” He lifted head and grinned at her. “Call me Jamie. Think of me that way.”

“Jamie,” she said quietly, and her eyes went to his for a silent moment.

“I like the way your lips move when you say my name. Say it again,” he said with a smile. And as she set her mouth to the consonant, he kissed her.

This was all right, she thought. In fact, this was excellent. This was delicious. This was dizzying. She opened her mouth under his and let him in.

And then his hands were moving. Marigold felt the backs of his fingers brushing along her jaw, while the other hand stroked slowly over her hair. That was lovely. He was lovely. Her shoulder softened into the bolster beneath her and her hands began a tentative exploration of his arms and shoulders, his jaw and throat.

He made appreciative noises in his throat, as he kissed her mouth and then her throat.

“You’re glorious,” he breathed against her skin. “I’ve longed to touch you this way.”

His excitement mounted quickly, unmistakably; he ground his hip against hers – and Marigold remembered suddenly all the good reasons not to do exactly what she was now doing. The kissing was lovely, but his body was pushing for more and she was fairly certain that “more” was a bad idea. How would they work together after this? If she lost the commission because of this, how would she pay her rent? What if there were a baby? What if –

Then his hand moved lower – he was hitching her skirt above her knees.

And it was as if he had hit her, so stunned was she. She felt coldness flood inside her where she had so recently been warm.

“I -” she said. Her hands dropped away from him. He was still kissing her throat, and his hand moving up her thigh under her step-in, between her legs.

“No,” she thought, but her mouth was frozen. Her entire body was frozen. Her limbs seemed too heavy to lift. She was locked. No. This was happening and she didn’t want it and there was nothing she could do and it had all started so pleasantly, he had been so charming, and now he would –

His hand stopped abruptly, and Marigold felt him pull back, away from her.

“What is it?” Whatever he saw in her face made him blink. “Don’t you like it?” he said, his voice soft and serious. “Just say, darling, and I’ll stop.”

“Stop,” she said immediately, her voice faint though she wanted to yell and hit at him and push him away, so faint she feared he might not hear. But he heard. He took his hands away.

“All right.” And he kissed her again – or tried to. When Marigold turned her face from him, he said, “You like the kissing. It’s the other that made you panic, and I won’t do that unless you like it.”

“You want – “

“I’m a man with eyes and you’re gorgeous woman. Yes, I’ve wanted inside you since the moment you walked into my library. But it’s no fun unless you want it as much as I do.”

She did like the kissing. So she let him kiss her, because she liked him close and warm and tender. Because she didn’t want to be alone.

Still, it took time for her muscles to unlock, to open again to the pleasure he offered, to trust that he would stop when she asked. He stroked her hair, petted her, murmured into her ear that she was beautiful, that he wanted to give her pleasure.

Gradually her tension ebbed in trembling discharges, and with it, in fragments, her body relinquished a layer of protection. To her mortification, she felt burning behind her eyes, and she tightened her jaw to fight the flood.

She returned his kisses, and she liked it, wanted it. She gripped him all the closer, and liked it.

She liked it when his fingers tangled in her hair and he used it to pull her head to one side, getting access to her throat and the delicate place behind her ear, liked it when he pulled her close to him, rolling her to her side so that her leg slung across his hip, with her arms wrapped around his neck. She pressed her hips against his, felt heat and weight in her pelvis, a persistent dissatisfaction, half familiar, half utterly, utterly new.

When her hips aligned with his so that her heat, beneath the layers of her dress, slid along the swollen shaft trapped in his trousers, he sighed, “Oh Goldie. Take what you want.”

From the moment she had said stop, his hands had stayed above her waist; he allowed her to come to him. Now, with her mouth locked over his, one arm taut around his neck and other hand fisted in his hair, she let herself want, let herself take. She pressed and rubbed and he held her close as her breath came in panting gusts within their kiss.

Unexpectedly, she breached some intangible threshold and her body crashed in a pounding current, pushed and pulled at once, and she cried out against Jamie’s mouth, bit his lips, her body rocking involuntarily against his. “Oh god I’m so sorry,” she breathed, confused, embarrassed, burning in ways she couldn’t name. Her body pulsed and sank and floated and throbbed.

“Christ Jesus, sorry?” He bit at her lips and rolled under her to his back pulling her over him. “More. Do it again. Oh god do it again.” He pressed his hands into her buttocks and ground her pelvis against his. She could feel his erection through her dress and his trousers, strainingly hard. His hands ran all over her, over her dress, softly across her eyebrows, gripping into her hair, and all at once she felt she might do it again, might do it over and over, as long as he never stopped touching her.

“Wait, hang on,” he said, and Marigold felt his hand move between their bodies. When she tensed he said, “It’s all right, I’m just going to ease some pressure, darling. I can’t concentrate on you when I’ve got a seam digging into my cock. There.”

She felt his hands tugging up her dress then, untucking it from under her knees. She began to protest, but he whispered, “Just see how it feels. It’ll feel good, sweetness. You know I’ll stop if you don’t want it. You know I will.”

With only her lawn step-in between her skin and his, she could feel much more of him – hot and damp and tender against her.

He inhaled and shuddered. “Oh god. Oh, you sweet woman.” And he made of noise of unholy, rabid pleasure while he scraped his teeth against her cheek and then bit into the meat of her jaw.

And she liked it too. She liked his body. She liked the way he liked her body, liked the way he enjoyed her.

Taking full advantage of her superior position, she rubbed herself along the length of his shaft, playing, experimenting with what felt good to her and what made him twitch and grunt and thrust and grip at her. When his hands reached between them to undo the snap, (“Just a little more, darling”), she only hesitated a moment, and when he fingers spread the folds of cotton apart and brushed almost incidentally against her body, she arched her spine and threw back her head.

She pressed and rubbed and played and explored, feeling him with every part of her body. In her exploration, the tip of him accidentally aligned itself against her entrance, and instantly he was ready to enter her – she felt him gather himself to thrust in, but she said, “No” and lifted her hips away.

He responded by clutching his hands to her hips and grinding her against him with a growl. “You mean to torture me,” he said. “And I’ll let you. Kill me this way and I’ll count it a life well lived.”

The second time she found him aligned with her, he made little “Ha… ah…” noises, like a man dipping his fingers into too hot water.

The third time was less of an accident. Their eyes meet, and he started to push in.

“Do you want me, Goldie?” When she didn’t answer, he pulled her face to his and kissed her, pulled her shoulders down against him and held her, running his hands over her. “Aren’t you sure? Doesn’t it feel good? Does it feel good Goldie?”

“Yes.”

“Let it,” he whispered into her ear, and then bit her earlobe. “You feel good to me. You’re hot and tight, and anyway it’s just a little, I’m not even all the way in. Just let me stay.”

Marigold let him stay. It did feel good. She pressed herself ever so slightly back against him, and when her muscles tensed around him involuntarily, he made a visceral sound and pushed against her, his arms clutching her whole body closed to him.

“Oh I want to move,” he sighed, “Let me move.” And when he moved, she let him, her breath held, all her muscles tense. Her mouth sought his, and he drank her in, a hand against her face as he thrust into her.

And then his other hand was there – there – touching where they joined, an unthinkable intimacy.

“Oh,” she said. Her breath came to her in struggling, panting gusts, battling against the tightness in her lungs and belly and pelvis.

“Come beloved,” he murmured through their kiss. “I love how you come. Come with me inside you.”

She couldn’t have stopped herself if she’d tried. She tucked her head against his throat but her held her face and said, “Look at me.”

She did. She met his eyes and her body pulsed around him, her attention coupling the heat of their joining with the heat in his eyes. In the white of the streetlight, his eyes were dark and massive and deep and as penetrating as his body, gripping her as tautly as his arms, as he pulled himself suddenly from her body and thrust against her, his shaft sandwiched between their two bodies, and Marigold felt the sudden rush of fluid heat against her belly, while his hips flexed sharply under her, and again, and again.

As the tension in his body softened, his arms held her to him so tight she could hardly breathe.

Then from his:

Marigold tossed herself on the couch and put a hand over her eyes. “I’ve had too much to drink.”

“You had two pints, you’re barely squiffy.”

“Well. I feel far too relaxed. I should go to bed.”

Oh, she should. She really should. James invited himself to the sofa and tucked himself along the back, to lay beside her. Her eyes flew open in surprise, searched his face.

“I want to kiss you. May I?”

She squirmed a little. “I don’t know if that’s a good idea.”

“Why not? You like me.” He put is mouth on crest of her cheek, kissed a light train to her ear, and then to her jaw as he mumbled against her skin, “You came and had a drink with me, you told me your life story; you wouldn’t do that if you didn’t like me. Don’t you like me?”

“I do like you Mr. Marlow, I -”

James burst into laughter and pressed his face to her throat, “Christ, is that how you think of me?” He lifted head and grinned at her. “Call me Jamie. Think of me that way.”

“Jamie,” she said quietly, and her eyes went to his for a silent moment.

“I like the way your lips move when you say my name. Say it again,” he said with a smile. And as she set her mouth to the consonant, he kissed her.

She softened under him at last, and he touched her with his lips and tongue and fingers.

“You’re glorious,” he breathed against her skin. “I’ve longed to touch you this way.”

She was so responsive, so open, she enflamed him. He buried his hand under her skirts, searching out her core with his fingers, enraptured, blinded by a strange hunger that could only be satisfied with her pleasure. When his hand reached her apex, he tuned himself to her arousal – and suddenly everything was wrong.

“What is it?” He looked into her face and saw terror. Eyes wide. Still. She wasn’t breathing, though he could feel her pulse racing under him. What? “Don’t you like it? Just say, darling, and I’ll stop.”

“Stop,” she said. So he did.

“All right.” And he kissed her again – or tried to. When Marigold turned her face from him, he said, “You like the kissing. It’s the other that made you panic, and I won’t do that unless you like it.”

“You want – “

“I’m a man with eyes and you’re gorgeous woman. Yes, I’ve wanted inside you since the moment you walked into my library. But it’s no fun unless you want it as much as I do.”

She had wanted it. But he’d gone too far, pushed her too hard. So he slowed down, stroked her hair, petted her, murmured into her ear that she was beautiful, that all he wanted was her pleasure.

Gradually her tension ebbed in trembling discharges. She returned his kisses, and touched him, and held him. Still he waited, not advancing against until she moved toward him. When at last, at last, at last, she was soft and pliant and her hips searching, he pulled her to her side and slung her leg over him.

When her hips aligned with his so that her heat, beneath the layers of her dress, slid along the swollen shaft trapped in his trousers, he sighed, “Oh Goldie. Take what you want.”

From the moment she had said stop, his hands had stayed above her waist; he allowed her to come to him. Now, with her mouth locked over his, one arm taut around his neck and other hand fisted in his hair, she pressed and rubbed and he held her close as her breath came in panting gusts within their kiss.

In a bountiful flood, she came, rocking against him restlessly, grunting, searching, wild, and he had never known anything as erotic as Marigold in her throes.

“Oh god I’m so sorry,” she breathed, even as the orgasm still echoed in her muscles.

“Christ Jesus, sorry?” He bit at her lips and rolled under her to his back pulling her over him. “More. Do it again. Oh god do it again.” He pressed his hands into her buttocks and ground her pelvis against his, he touched her all over. He wanted more, more.

“Wait, hang on,” he said, and reached between their bodies to unbutton his trouser. When she tensed he said, “It’s all right, I’m just going to ease some pressure, darling. I can’t concentrate on you when I’ve got a seam digging into my cock. There.”

She felt his hands tugging up her dress then, untucking it from under her knees. She began to protest, but he whispered, “Just see how it feels. It’ll feel good, sweetness. You know I’ll stop if you don’t want it. You know I will.”

With only her lawn step-in between her skin and his, he could feel much more of her – hot and damp and tender against him.

He inhaled and shuddered. “Oh god. Oh, you sweet woman.” And he made of noise of unholy, rabid pleasure while he scraped his teeth against her cheek and then bit into the meat of her jaw.

He let her explore, delighting in her curiosity, letting her know when she gave him pleasure. When his hands reached between them to undo the snap, (“Just a little more, darling”), she only hesitated a moment, and when he fingers spread the folds of cotton apart and brushed almost incidentally against her body, she arched her spine and threw back her head.

She pressed and rubbed and played and explored, feeling him with every part of her body. In her exploration, the tip of him accidentally aligned itself against her entrance, and instantly he was ready to enter, but she said, “No” and lifted her hips away.

He responded by clutching his hands to her hips and grinding her against him with a growl. “You mean to torture me,” he said. “And I’ll let you. Kill me this way and I’ll count it a life well lived.”

The second time she found him aligned with her, he made little “Ha… ah…” noises, like a man dipping his fingers into too hot water.

The third time was less of an accident. Their eyes meet, and he started to push in.

“Do you want me, Goldie?” When she didn’t answer, he pulled her face to his and kissed her, pulled her shoulders down against him and held her, running his hands over her. “Aren’t you sure? Doesn’t it feel good? Does it feel good Goldie?”

“Yes.”

“Let it,” he whispered into her ear, and then bit her earlobe. “You feel good to me. You’re hot and tight, and anyway it’s just a little, I’m not even all the way in. Just let me stay.” Oh god let me, he thought.

She pressed herself ever so slightly back against him, and when her muscles tensed around him involuntarily, his control cracked for a desperate instant; he made a visceral sound and pushed against her, his arms clutching her whole body closed to him.

“Oh I want to move,” he sighed, “Let me move.” And she let him, all her muscles tense, trembling with arousal. Her mouth sought his, and he drank her in, a hand against her face as he thrust into her.

He reached to feel where he entered her, damp heat emanating from their bodies.

“Oh,” she said. Her breath came to her in struggling, panting gusts. James could feel the mounting tension in her, her openness.

“Come beloved,” he murmured through their kiss. “I love how you come. Come with me inside you.”

She tucked her head against his throat but her held her face and said, “Look at me.”

She did. She met his eyes and her body pulsed around him, as he pulled himself suddenly from her body and thrust against her, his shaft sandwiched between their two bodies, and his hips flexed sharply against her soft belly, and again, and again.

He wrapped his arms around her and held on. This one he would have again. This one he would never let go.

So there you have it. Consistently reaffirmed consent, freezing and recovering, and radical pushing of boundaries. Again, not great literature, but it shows that it can be done.