Kate Lansky asked N.K. Jemisin:
The sex (Inheritance bks) is all with male gods. There's a level of trust and power play here, especially since the women have limited agency. How might the power dynamics differ with goddess sex? Is this a dynamic you'd thought about? is the god-sex a side effect of straight female MCs (exception in bk 3)? If you were to portray a goddess/mortal relationship, how would you show that same power imbalance?
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)[Hmm, I'm not sure I agree that the women have limited agency -- but yes, there's a deliberate exploration of power dynamics in the sexual politics of the story, because that kind of thing interests me. It tends to be male gods with women because I'm a woman, and I have no idea how men view the power politics of sex, and because I'm straight. Though I did explore that somewhat with Sieh in book 3 on purpose, because a writer ought to be able to write even experiences she's not familiar with. And I deliberately positioned that liaison with Shahar on top, effectively taking control of things, because Sieh was in a vulnerable position and Shahar "felt like a goddess" to him, not just sexually. (A similar dynamic occurred later in the book, with Dekarta taking control and manifesting divinity during sex, though that's not the gender combo you're looking for.) So most likely I would depict a goddess/mortal relationship the way I did there -- a degree of fear and reverence mingled with the lust. Same as the way I depict relationships with male gods, really. What's important is *god*, not gender; the gods' gender is just a temporary affectation, after all. (hide spoiler)]
More Answered Questions
Carolyn asked N.K. Jemisin:
TW for sexual violence. I'm gonna get all serious and talk about trauma so please feel free not to answer if you'd prefer. Given that some of your readers are survivors of sexual violence, and the fact that rape is often used in novels as the tropey most-shocking-thing-ever, do you have guidelines/rules for when and how you write about sexual violence? I think you do it really skillfully.
Marielle asked N.K. Jemisin:
Sarah D asked N.K. Jemisin: