Today we're excited to spotlight Question I Want To Ask You by Michelle Falkoff! Read on for more about Michelle and her book, plus guest post & giveaway!
Meet Michelle Falkoff!
A mystery about family, secrets, and how to move forward when the past keeps pulling you back, perfect for fans of David Arnold and Jeff Zentner.
Patrick “Pack” Walsh may not know where he’s going in life, but he’s happy where he is. Then, on his eighteenth birthday, a letter from his past changes everything.
As Pack begins a journey to uncover the truth about the parents he thought he knew, the family he didn’t know he had, and the future he never realized he wanted, he starts to have a whole different understanding of his life—and where he wants to go from here.
Top Five Important Things to Know About Consent:
Here’s the thing: for a lot of us, talking about sex isn’t easy. It can be awkward and uncomfortable and strange; it can feel like a mood-killer; it can be embarrassing. But if sex is going to be worth having, and it’s going to be safe and enjoyable and satisfying for both people involved, it’s worth the risk of discomfort and embarrassment, and chances are talking about it is going to make it better. One of the most important conversations to have up front is about consent, so here are some things I’ve found it’s helpful to think about.
I grew up with the slogan “No Means No,” and while it has its problems as a catchphrase, the intentions behind it were good. The idea was that we should listen to what people actually say instead of trying to guess what they mean. I’ve been pleased to see the shift to affirmative consent, with “Yes Means Yes” as a better slogan, but even that isn’t perfect. It’s really it’s all about whatever words work for people in the moment, and ultimately, it’s really all about communication.
Words are great but they’re not everything
I had a lot of fun in my new book, QUESTIONS I WANT TO ASK YOU, making my characters take the concept of affirmative consent literally—it’s become part of their relationship to ask permission for every single thing they want to do, and they’ve managed to make it sexy for them. That said, affirmative consent doesn’t mean there have to be words spoken at every stage of a sexual encounter. It means that the people involved should never have any doubt, at any point, that their partners wants them to proceed. This can include words, sure, and that can be part of what makes the experience pleasurable, but consent can come from other sounds, or touch, or whatever the people involved agree upon. It’s still about communication, whatever form that communication takes.
Consent is not a one-time thing
Anyone involved in a sexual encounter can withdraw consent at any time. Period. There are no exceptions to this. If someone wants to stop, it’s over. And just as with affirmative consent, words aren’t required. If one person stops participating, that can mean they’ve withdrawn consent, and it’s the other person’s responsibility to stop as well and figure out what the lack of participation means. This is true for subsequent encounters as well—just because someone’s said yes one time doesn’t mean yes the next time.
Consent isn’t gendered, either
Another thing I wanted to play around with in my book was flipping the consent script. Often conversations about consent emphasize boys making sure girls have provided consent, but it doesn’t have to go that way, whether in same-sex or opposite-sex relationships. The key is for everyone involved in a sexual encounter to be not just amenable but enthusiastic about it at all stages.
Consent itself is sexy
There aren’t a lot of things hotter than wanting someone who wants you back. I worry sometimes that we spend so much time talking about consent in the context of assault and coercion that we forget that love and sex can be healthy, romantic, good things, experiences we want, under the right circumstances, to encourage. If we don’t talk (and write) about the ways sex can be loving and good, and the ways consent is part of that, then we leave too much space for people to learn about sex from sources that can be damaging and harmful. If we treat sex as something inappropriate to discuss, then we make people afraid to talk about it, and that makes communication difficult, if not impossible. But if we treat it like something wonderful and fun, then talking about it can add to the pleasure, not detract from it.
Questions I Want To Ask You
By: Michelle Falkoff
Release Date: May 29, 2018
One winner will receive a copy of Questions I Want To Ask You (US & Canada only).