What it says on the tin. Before I begin, please note the following things:
a) I’m using the Stiles/Derek ship as a template here, because that’s what I’m currently reading heavily, and where I’m seeing a lot of stuff that indicates this kind of clarification is needed! However, the stuff that I am saying applies to like, fandom and writing in general; the Stiles/Derek thing is just, you know, the convenient entrance point. This isn’t “Ugh Sterek is evil,” or “Ugh people are writing Sterek wrong,” or even actually ABOUT Sterek at all. Sterek’s just the template. Capiche?
b) As ever, this isn’t me trying to dictate opinions, or shame anybody, or make anybody feel shitty. About anything. This is in fact me, as a rape and assault survivor myself, pressing on in my constant mission to get as much HONEST INFORMATION AND DISCUSSION out there about these topics as possible!
c) The auto-correct on my computer keeps switching the word “uncoerced” to “uncorked.” Think I caught them all, but if you see an “uncorked” in here somewhere, rest assured that’s what happened, goddamn.
d) Obviously, this post comes with serious trigger warnings for discussion (and illustrative, written examples) of dub-con, non-con, and rape culture. Also, there’s (written) porn in this post! Illustrative…example…porn? So, you know, be warned about that too.
So, with that said, let’s talk about trigger warnings, call outs, dub-con, non-con, and why only you can prevent forest fires! (Okay, fine. Not really that last one.)
FIRST THINGS FIRST: LET’S DEFINE SOME SEX STUFF.
Okay, folks! To begin, let’s establish what CONSENSUAL SEX is.
Consensual sex: a sex act partaken of by two or more fully informed participants, in their right minds (i.e. not under the influence of any drugs/alcohol/sex pollen/wolfsbane/etc), with their clear, mutually understood, and uncoerced consent (i.e. willingness and desire) for said sex act to take place.
For real, that’s it. If it doesn’t meet that definition? It’s not consensual sex. Does that mean it’s wrong to write it? Nope. Does that mean you can’t write characters having it? Nope. It doesn’t even mean you can’t write characters having it and still loving each other afterwards, so long as you’re careful, and so long as you warn for shit. You’re in charge of what you write! We’ll get there!
But first, let’s talk about DUB-CON, or DUBIOUS CONSENT. (Keep in mind, folks, that this is a fandom term used in talking about fiction; your own personal definitions of what you personally are personally comfortable with sex-wise are super duper not even a little bit my business! Talking about the fiction here. Talking about the fiction only.)
Dub-con: a consensual, or implied-consensual, sex act partaken of by two or more participants, one or more of whose ability to give that consent is dubious.
Fuck or die? Dub-con. Sex pollen? Dub-con. Two characters in an established relationship fucking while blackout drunk? TECHNICALLY DUB-CON, GUYS. Sex where one character is only doing it to try to please, calm, or appease another character? Dub-con at best. Sex where one character hasn’t been informed of what’s happening? Again, dub-con at best. Somnophilia? A huge kink of mine in fiction, but, again, that’s best-case-scenario dub-con.
You’ll notice that I’m doing a lot of hedging here, popping in “at best” at the end of my examples. The truth is, I could say, “This is dub-con at best,” about pretty much any dub-con story ever written, including some I’ve written myself. That’s because it’s a FINE LINE, guys, and part of the reason it’s a fine line is because there is so fucking much non-consensual sex going on in actual reality.
Speaking of which:
Non-con, or non-consensual sex: a sex act where there isn’t clear, mutually understood, uncoerced consent between all parties involved.
PERIOD. EVEN IF THEY SAY THEY LIKED IT AFTERWARDS. EVEN IF YOU’RE WRITING IN THEIR POV AND ESTABLISH THAT THEY REALLY DID LIKE IT AFTERWARDS. EVEN IF THEY DIDN’T VERBALIZE THE WORD NO. EVEN IF THEY DIDN’T “FIGHT BACK.” EVEN IF IT’S NOT PENETRATIVE SEX. IF THERE ISN’T CLEAR, MUTUALLY UNDERSTOOD, UNCOERCED CONSENT BETWEEN ALL PARTIES INVOLVED DURING A SEX ACT, IT IS NON-CON.
If you’re writing a story where characters are fucking and one of them clearly and visibly doesn’t want to, obviously that’s non-con. But if you’re writing a story where characters are fucking and one of them is, say, probably going to get murdered or otherwise harmed if they don’t go along? Or a story where one of the characters is tied up and gagged and didn’t say ‘Yes, go ahead and fuck me while I’m tied up and gagged, I want that!’ before they found themselves in that situation? Or a story where two characters are engaging in a mutually agreed upon sex act and then one of the characters pushes the other into another, not-agreed upon sex act? THAT’S ALL NON-CON.
Now, this is fiction, where context is everything, and where you, as the writer, control that context! So, we’re going to do a thing now. I’m going to write three brief scenes in which all of the physical circumstances, all of the actions the characters take, and all of the dialogue are the same! But one of them is going to be consensual sex, one of them is going to be dub-con, and one of them is going to be non-con. Behold.
1. Consensual Sex, Example-Style:
Sprawled lazily across his bed, pants bunched up around his ankles, smoking hot expanse of werewolf draped over his body; yeah, Stiles can definitely work with this. Stiles can work with this all day. Derek’s got one freakishly huge palm spread out over Stiles’ left thigh, the other fingering the worn elastic of Stiles’ boxers, and yeah, fine, admittedly Stiles would maybe have pulled on some nicer freaking underwear if he’d known today was the day Derek was going to lift his ridiculously unnecessary sex ban and come for Stiles’ virginity, but whatever. Stiles can still work with it. It’s Derek’s own fault for being the one to institute the sex ban to begin with; he can suffer Stiles’ ugly old Batman boxers for his trouble.
“You look good like this,” Derek says, scraping his teeth along Stiles’ hipbone. His voice is soft, nearly shy, and Stiles almost doesn’t feel like the most embarrassing person alive for the blush that he can see spreading all the way down his entire freaking body. “I…I’ve been thinking about this for awhile.”
“Yeah?” Stiles says, and he means it to come out casual and composed. Instead it’s all high and breathy and thrilled like he’s in the middle of some kind of terrible sappy movie, which, just, what the fuck. Sex is mortifying. “I mean…I mean yeah. Me too.”
“Good,” Derek says, and Stiles doesn’t miss it this time—the shock in Derek’s voice, the way a rare smile slips onto his face and hovers there, like it’s not sure of its welcome. Stiles smiles back, and Derek’s eyes hold his for a long moment, the air between them charged.
Derek moves, pushing himself up just enough to pull the stupid boxers down slow and careful, the pads of his fingertips trailing down Stiles’ thighs. Stiles is already hard, of course, has been since Derek walked in, hands flexing, and said, “Look, I’m going to ask if you want to do something, but if you’re not ready, that’s fine, I just need you to tell me,” like Stiles was the one who’d issued a goddamn sex moratorium. Now, though, with Derek so close, breath coming hot against Stiles’ dick, he feels like he’s going to burst, and he squirms against the bed, eager.
There’s a second’s pause, and then Derek looks up at him again, his mouth poised a half-inch from the head of Stiles’ dick, a question in his eyes. Stiles bites his lip to keep himself from saying anything horrific and sappy—he’s been embarrassing enough already, he can save My name is Stiles Stilinski and I think I’m in love with a werewolf for a day featuring less heavily in Batman boxers—and nods, his eyes wide.
“Do it,” Stiles breathes, and oh, shit, that’s Derek’s mouth.
2. Dub-Con, Example Style:
Wolfsbane, Stiles thinks dizzily, should come with warning labels. Or like. Warning…flowers. There are already flowers on it, but they’re, like, what, purple? Purple flowers so don’t count as warning flowers. Purple flowers aren’t even the right color to be warning flowers, everybody knows the color for warnings is red, even traffic lights know that. It’s comet knowledge. Common knowledge. Whatever. The point is, if Stiles had been warned, by the flowers, that the new plant someone had been nice enough to leave in his bedroom was actually freaking sex wolfsbane, or that sex wolfsbane, apparently, can totally be bred to affect humans, it would have spared him some grief. A lot of grief. All the grief.
On the other hand, he’s sprawled out across his bed, in nothing but his boxers, with the dude he’s been having really inappropriate thoughts about for months lying on top of him, so, hey. It’s not all bad.
“You look good like this,” Derek says, scraping his teeth against Stiles’ hipbone. His pupils are waaaaay too big, and he’s kind of…shaking, but actually that might be Stiles. They threw the plant out the window when Derek showed up and found Stiles humping his desk, but it hasn’t exactly helped matters. Stiles is pretty sure Derek’s got it worse than him, even though Stiles was breathing it longer—werewolves, man. “I…I’ve been thinking about this for awhile.”
“Yeah?” Stiles says, because holy shit, what? Really? That’s totally getting filed away for further perusal when Stiles can verbalize things better—things like, Why the fuck have I been jerking off alone in the shower if you’ve been thinking about this for awhile, you complete bastard, if Stiles is honest—but it’s good to know all the same. “I mean…I mean, yeah. Me too.”
“Good,” Derek says, and that’s a smile, sharp relief and warm surprise and, yeah, okay, something that looks a whole lot like rough, porno-style hunger. Stiles is going to figure out who left him that plant and write them a thank you letter. A thank you letter to be delivered by furious werewolves intent on establishing boundaries and putting the asshole in jail, but still.
Stiles smiles back, and it must look just as sharp and warm and freaky-porno-sex-starved, because Derek moves, dragging Stiles’ boxers down so they’re bunched up around his ankles with his jeans. Stiles is hard like it’s his job description, and based on the tent he can see in Derek’s jeans, he’s probably got it even worse; Stiles should wait, offer to do him first, but fuck, Derek’s right there and everything. He squirms against the sheets, itchy all over and so desperate he aches, but Derek pauses with his mouth a half-inch from Stiles’ dick.
And fuck, that’s fear in Derek’s eyes, isn’t it, fear in the way he’s fisting the sheets, the way his whole body is trembling in trying to hold back. Stiles bites his lip, because that’s just so Derek, always so certain he’s going to get something wrong, always ready for the next disaster—of course he thinks Stiles doesn’t want this. Of course he thinks this is his fault.
“Do it,” Stiles says, gentle, like a gift, and oh, shit, that’s Derek’s mouth.
3. Non-Con, Example Style (TRIGGER WARNING: THIS IS GRAPHIC NON-CON, NARRATED FROM THE POV OF THE VICTIM. PLEASE SKIP IT IF READING IT WILL BE DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR OWN SELF-CARE.)
Okay, Stiles thinks, don’t panic. The trick is not panicking—so long as he doesn’t panic, Derek probably won’t rip his throat out. Or leave this bedroom to rip his father’s throat out. Or…or…fuck, Stiles is just going to lay here and stare at the ceiling and focus really fucking hard on not panicking, yep, yeah, that’s the plan. Surely that’s what you do when a crazed, half-feral werewolf breaks into your bedroom while you’re changing into pajamas and presses you to the bed in your Batman boxers. Surely that’s the right choice.
Stiles is going to have to burn these boxers, isn’t he. That’s a shame. He likes them.
“You look good like this,” Derek says, scraping his teeth against Stiles’ hipbone. Stiles shudders, wondering if that’s a warning—is this a go-along-or-get-turned kind of situation? Is Derek even running the show in his own head right now? Does it really matter? Stiles could scream, but there’s no way to know if Derek will kill him for that, kill his family, kill his friends—not when he’s like this, anyway, red eyes and wolf nails and fury coiled in his movements. Stiles doesn’t normally think of Derek as someone likely to jump to cold-blooded murder, but then, he also doesn’t normally think of Derek as someone likely to jump through his window and attack him. And he has seen Derek rip someone’s throat out, which is one of those memories that just doesn’t seem to want to go away as Derek pitches his voice low, dangerous, and says, “I…I’ve been thinking about this for awhile.”
“Yeah?” Stiles says, and it comes out high-pitched and terrified. Derek must not like that, because he lifts his head and glares at Stiles, eyes flashing red; hastily, Stiles corrects, “I mean…I mean yeah. Me too?”
“Good,” Derek growls. He smiles at Stiles, sardonic and sharp, with his fangs just peeking out of his mouth. Stiles smiles back, and he’s sure it must look unconvincing and sickly and hesitant, but whatever; it gets Derek to look away, and that’s all Stiles cares about.
His boxers are ripped away from him, and Stiles screws his eyes shut, tries to focus on that and only that. They’ll be easier to burn, right, now that they’re in rags, think about the boxers, think about the boxers, don’t think about the guy who might be planning to bite your fucking dick off, Jesus. Stiles is hard, not that he wants to be—stupid hair-trigger, stupid unlatched window, stupid sheets bunching under his thighs where he’s trying to squirm away, stupid tickle of Derek’s stupid fucking breath on Stiles’ stupid—
His eyes slam open, because shit, shit, shit, Derek might be planning to bite it off. Stiles can feel him down there, waiting, taunting him. Derek’s eyes are red when Stiles looks down, but his fangs are gone, and he’s glaring up at Stiles like they could come back any minute, so, fuck, lesser of two evils, right?
Stiles bites his lip, swallows hard, doesn’t cry. “Do it,” he whispers, and oh, shit, that’s Derek’s mouth.
See the differences? In the first example, Stiles and Derek are both in their right minds, and both want it; there’s allusion to the fact that they’ve talked about this, about their boundaries, about what this means, outside of this sexual situation; Derek stops to check in the moment, and Stiles grants his permission. THIS IS CONSENSUAL SEX: INFORMED, MUTUALLY UNDERSTOOD, UNCOERCED CONSENT GRANTED BY PEOPLE IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS. In the second example, Stiles and Derek are under the influence of a drug that causes them to want sex; they both want this, and have wanted it outside of this context, and both grant permission, but neither one of them technically has any way to know if they would be granting permission without the influence of the drug. THIS IS DUB-CON: CONSENSUAL, OR IMPLIED-CONSENSUAL, SEX BETWEEN PEOPLE WHOSE ABILITY TO GIVE CONSENT IS DUBIOUS. In the third example, Stiles does not want to have sex with Derek, but feels he has no choice; he doesn’t argue, because he is afraid of the consequences; he grants permission, but only because he is certain something terrible will happen to him if he doesn’t—or, in other words, he grants permission, but only as a result of coercion. THIS IS NON-CON; SEX WITHOUT CLEAR, MUTUALLY AGREED UPON, UNCOERCED CONSENT FROM ALL PARTIES.
Right, okay, so at this point you’re probably going, “But Jizzy, it’s not always clear-cut! I’m not always sure what I’m doing with the sex scenes in my stories! I’m not always sure what other people are doing with the sex scenes in their stories! What if I like dub-con? What if I like non-con? This is so complicated!” To which I say unto you: hell yes, this is complicated. Sex is complicated. Consent, unfortunately, can be complicated—in real life, I cannot make this clear enough, it should not be, and if you find yourself in a sexual situation where you’re thinking “Wow, I’m not sure if everybody’s consent is clear here,” IT’S ALWAYS GOOD AND OKAY AND JUST RIGHT TO PUT THE BRAKES ON THAT SHIT UNTIL EVERYBODY IS ON THE SAME CONSENSUAL PAGE. But in fiction—especially within a community like fandom, that features heavily in erotic fiction—the lines can get blurry. Maybe you’ve got a rape fantasy; that’s okay! Maybe reading about characters having wild drunken sex gets you where you live; that’s okay! Maybe you, like me, have a huge thing for stories where somebody wakes up to find their junk in their partner’s mouth; for real, it’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with having kinks. There’s nothing wrong with liking what you like.
However, there is kind of a lot wrong with putting some of this shit out into the world without, uh, telling people what they’re getting into, which brings me to:
SECOND THINGS SECOND: TRIGGER WARNINGS AND HOW THEY ARE A BIG GODDAMN DEAL.
Okay so right here’s the thing: I saw a thing the other night that was basically like, “Wah trigger warnings are just going to create a generation of people who can’t handle their shit in the real world waaaaaah,” and, for real, I very nearly flipped a table. Because, yeah, no, that’s…missing the whole point of trigger warnings. In a really big way. Trigger warnings are important because they keep people from being triggered, yeah, but they’re also important for another VERY BIG REASON. We’re going to talk about both.
1. TRIGGER WARNINGS ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY KEEP PEOPLE FROM BEING TRIGGERED. THIS IS THE OBVIOUS ONE.
This is not about people being too sensitive, folks. This is not about people not being able to handle their shit. This is also, super duper and a lot, not about you. This is about people who have had traumatic life experiences trying to manage their emotional state on a day to day basis. People who have experienced trauma don’t want you to trigger warn your shit because reading something on the internet is going to make them curl up in a ball and weep and rend their garments—people who have experienced trauma want you to trigger warn your shit so they are not SUDDENLY SMACKED IN THE FACE OUT OF NOWHERE BY A CHARACTER THEY’RE INVESTED IN GOING THROUGH SOMETHING SIMILAR TO THEIR OWN TRAUMA. People who have experienced trauma are actually generally pretty fucking awesome at managing their own mental states—you kind of have to be—but it’s a lot easier if you can brace yourself for stuff, if you know what you’re getting into, if you can make decisions about what you are and aren’t exposing yourself to on a given day. I’ve been raped; I am still perfectly capable of reading (and, as evidenced above, writing) both dub-con and non-con. I’m also perfectly capable of identifying a story that’s heading in a direction that I’m not comfortable with and hitting the back button before I get triggered! But not everyone is, and getting triggered feels like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat of your own pain, and if you honestly think people are oversensitive or unable to handle themselves because they like, you know, avoiding that feeling? During, uh, their fun escape-hobby internet pastime? Then please spend some serious time considering the possibility that you might kind of suck.
2. TRIGGER WARNINGS ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY KEEP PEOPLE FROM THINKING DUB-CON AND NON-CON ARE NORMAL AND ACCEPTABLE THINGS IN REAL LIFE. THIS IS THE LESS OBVIOUS (AND MORE IMPORTANT!) ONE.
Now, look, I know people are going to go like, “Whatever, this is bullshit, people totally know the difference between fiction and reality.” But the thing is, no, actually, that is not the case. People are getting raped left and right out there, and that’s not a rape joke, that’s not me making light of it, that’s just a fucking fact. People. Are. Getting. Raped. A. Lot. People are getting sexually assaulted a lot! People are getting stuck in abusive relationships a lot! People are not reporting their rapes and assaults a lot! Don’t take my word for it; look it up. Please, I beg of you, doubt me up and down and around the town if it means you will do some research to try to prove me wrong. You will learn some hideous and shocking things! And you should learn them, because people should fucking know.
And the thing is, this is fandom. There’s a lot of sex getting written about, a lot of different kinks on display, a lot of stuff that society likes to keep in dark corners pulled out and put under bright lights. Which is great, don’t get me wrong—I love the sex positivity of fandom, I love the variety, I love the openness. But, okay, I’m sure some of you guys reading this are teenagers in fandom; I’m equally sure that some of you, like me, remember being a teenager in fandom. I don’t know about you guys, but I learned a lot of shit about sex from reading fanfiction! I read a lot of fanfiction way before I ever had any sex at all; I read a lot of fanfiction back when my school system and my parents and my friends weren’t actually giving me any real information about sex, and I didn’t know where else to find it. And when you write stories that feature dub-con or non-con and don’t warn for that shit? Or refuse to warn for that shit? Or claim that that shit isn’t really dub-con or non-con? You are feeding into a culture that has been telling each new generation of sexually active humans, FOR YEARS, that consent isn’t really that big a deal. That assault isn’t really that big a deal.That rape isn’t really that big a deal. That this kind of stuff is acceptable and normal and commonplace! When non-con and dub-con show up in stories unwarned, my first response isn’t usually “Oh, fuck, I am so triggered,”; my first response is usually, “Oh, fuck, how many kids have read this with no way to know that what’s being depicted here is absolutely not healthy?”
I don’t want you to trigger warn your shit because I think your kinks aren’t acceptable. I, in fact, want you to trigger warn your shit because the only responsible, safe way to have a sex-positive community that doesn’t shame kinks is to be CLEAR AND VIGILANT ABOUT IDENTIFYING THE STUFF THAT IS UNHEALTHY OR DANGEROUS IN REAL LIFE. I have read so many stories where a character is raped and it’s presented as love. I have read so many stories where a character is coerced into sex they aren’t ready for and it’s presented as a favor. I have read so many stories where a character is assaulted and it’s presented as the norm, and that terrifies me, you guys. It doesn’t terrify me because I’m afraid of reading it; it doesn’t even terrify me because I think it’s wrong for people to enjoy reading it. I don’t think that’s wrong! I think it’s great—everybody can like what they like and that’s awesome. It terrifies me because the real-life ramifications of this shit are young people who think this stuff is normal and commonplace, that they’re wrong to feel bad if it happens to them, or that they should be doing it to other people, because no one has stopped and said, “Hey, this is a piece of fiction and I’m the author in charge of it—I wrote this this way because I liked it, but in real life, this would NOT BE ACCEPTABLE.”
THIRD THINGS THIRD: CALLOUTS AND HOW NOT TO BE A DICK ABOUT THEM
Right so this is technically about getting called out to put a trigger warning on your shit since this post is about that? But it’s also about getting called out about problematic shit in general, because it’s just. Uh. Basic common sense, mostly.
So! On the internet, like in life, the following thing is true: if someone expects you to be perfect and flawless and never make a mistake, that person is an asshole. Humans make mistakes. Humans fuck shit up. Universally, human beings are flawed. It’s the human condition. It’s a whole thing. But! If you do make a mistake, and your response to that mistake is not, “Wow, I fucked that up, let me own that, I apologize for any harm I may have caused, now let’s see how I can rectify this error and learn from it in the future,” YOU ARE THE ASSHOLE. Saying, “I didn’t really make a mistake,” will only make people mad. Saying, “You shouldn’t care that I made a mistake,” will only make people mad. Saying, “But this isn’t really my fault so I don’t have to do anything about it,” will only make people mad. Saying, “I didn’t know so I’m not responsible,” will only make people mad. This is just a thing that’s true, guys. It’s true on the internet; it’s true in reality; it’s true in general. When you fuck up, you’re supposed to own it, fix it, and move on having learned something. That is how mistakes work. That is the whole point. Of mistakes.
HOWEVER. In the situation of problematic shit on the internet, there is something additional you must know. Here’s what I want you to do: I want you to imagine ordering a new toaster, because your old toaster has, I don’t know, broken somehow. You’re very excited about your new toaster! You’ve been missing the crunchy taste of toast! And then, lo, one morning it arrives, and you pull it out of the package and, crap, the plug is missing. That’s frustrating, but you can handle it; you pick up the phone and you call the number for customer service on the box. The first person you talk to says, “That’s not my fault.” The second person you talk to says, “Do you really expect me to care about this?” The third person, like they are talking to a child, lowers their voice and says, “Are you sure you are not being oversensitive?”
There’s this great episode of Community that, among other things, talks about the idea that everybody has a breaking point, that people can only be made to wait for so long before they snap and start freaking the fuck out with fury and disappointment and exhaustion. So think about the toaster: how many people do you think you could you go through, telling you that you’re wrong about your problem while you’re staring at your toaster with its obviously missing plug, before you pulled a Tom-Cruise-In-Tropic-Thunder and started advising people to take a step back and literally fuck their own faces? Seriously, how many? Personally, I think I could get through ten people, maybe fifteen with some breathing exercises, if I was really trying.
So when someone on the internet calls you out on something problematic, yeah, there’s a good chance they’re going to sound angry. There’s a good chance they’re going to sound frustrated. And that’s because they have been on the phone with the toaster people for YEARS, GUYS, THAT’S WHY WE SEEM ANGRY, IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU PERSONALLY. It’s about living in a culture that encourages and enables problematic shit. It’s about living in a culture that insists that you constantly be on the phone with the toaster people, a culture that says, “No, you are wrong; no, there isn’t a problem; no, there isn’t anything we can do for you; no, we won’t help you; no, you’re just being oversensitive.” And meanwhile we are sitting here staring at our broken toaster/reality and inching ever closer to the critical overload point, hitting it, snapping, and finding that NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN THE AFTERMATH. If you get called out by someone who is angry, guess what! That’s not about you, it’s about the problematic thing you invoked and the years and years of problematic things behind it. It only becomes about you if you refuse to, uh, own your mistake and fix it and learn from it. Because that always pisses people off, on the internet and in life. Because that’s how mistakes work.
Uh, nothing, really. That’s pretty much all I wanted to say. Be good to each other? If someone wants to write a full story out of that wolfsbane-made-them-do-it example PLEASE FEEL FREE I REALLY WANT TO READ THAT STORY? And all the love in the world, obviously, but that’s true every time <3