My best friend emailed me yesterday about my last blog post, where I described the Sex in Science Fiction panel as going “about as you’d expect“, and asked me to ‘splain her. I looked back at what I wrote, and yeah, it’s a bit off the cuff and vague.
Mostly on purpose.
You see, I felt odd about digging into this particular issue so damn early in my writing career. I don’t like to raise a fuss, which probably tells you very correctly that I am both female and raised in the Midwest.
Anyway, I thought about it for a while, and decided to get into more detail.
I was really excited for this panel, partly because I have an Opinion on the subject, and also because one of my favorite authors was going to be there. This was my first convention as an honest-to-god author, my first public reading ever was just a couple hours before, and there were tons of people there! It was going to be brilliant!
And it totally started out that way. Once we got past the obligatory scoffing at Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight, we talked about Samuel Delaney and Heinlein and In Conquest Born by C.S. Friedman The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and Lust by Geoff Ryman and more, and discussed the varying benefits of graphic description versus elision versus “fade to black” versus focusing only on the emotional rather than the physical action.
And then it got a little … overly emphatic.
Now, I’m not saying that people can’t go to cons and discuss their sexual preferences. Hell, the panel was *about* sex, and it’s hard to separate one’s own kinks from an academic discussion.
It probably would have helped to have had an experienced moderator in the panel. I think the guy did a great job of doing research and asking questions, but it was his first panel moderation ever, and certain questions and comments were starting to ping me as creepy at about 50 minutes in. I was glad when the panel finally ended.
And then, a couple of guys came up to the table to give me their business cards and asked for my number. DUDE. I’m trying to be professional here, not get a date.
Now, I will agree wholeheartedly with anyone who says I should have said something. But dammit, it’s HARD. And I’m new at this. I have hopefully learned something and will be able to speak out next time.
But … anyway. That’s what I meant about “as you’d expect”.