An anonymous e-mailer asked me "How is nudging someone into having sex with you by using mind control not rape? It is not a free choice if you push them for it."
My first answer is -- this is a story and that point of view was within Jess' perspective. What my characters say and do are not necessarily (or even usually -- if I had a Ring of Control I don't think I'd be strong enough NOT to use it to have sex with everyone within the sound of my voice, etc.) what I would say or do.
That's kind of the short answer. The longer one is that we ALL do things to get others into bed with us. From the moment we go out on that first date, we are trying very hard to end the night in bed. It usually takes some persuasion. It usually takes some acting. We're not really trying to be deceitful -- we're just trying to ease someone into our shell, to see the real person underneath in bits and pieces instead of all at once because we think, rightly or wrongly, that subjecting someone to all of ourselves at once will cause them to run screaming into the night -- and we're usually right. So, is that rape? I mean, we're bedding someone without being truthful with them so...
Andy just has a different and more powerful means to enact that persuasion that we all use. Is it rape? Ah, that's a trick question. He changes their mind to *THINK* it isn't rape -- and perception is reality. To them, then, it isn't. However, to an outsider it most certainly is. Semantics, I know...but viewpoints are going to differ.
Anyway, I just had to answer the question the way *I* think it should be answered. Other people may disagree. :) That's what's so great about being human -- our penchant to disagree and discourse about why we think we're right.