poster from Daily Murf
When it comes to interacting with other people, we are all about consent.
“Can I borrow your pencil?”
“Can I finish your chips for you?”
“Would you like to go with me to this party?”
“Can I take a look at your notes?”
We are constantly asking one another for permission to interact, take, and borrow from our friends and partners. In fact, people would be offended if we didn’t employ these social graces.
Without that enthusiastic, and mutually participating “yes,” we wouldn’t consider taking pencils or forcing people to attend parties. That is just bad manners.
Yet, when it comes to consent and sexual activity, our manners become muddled by awkwardness, shyness and a lack of ideas on how to approach the situation. Yet believe it or not my fellow sexual beings, consent can be SEXY.
Having an open dialogue with your partner about what they are comfortable with, what turns them on and their boundaries will lead to a more intimate and pleasurable experience for the both of you. There are few things better than knowing your partner is enjoying your rendezvous as much as you. But to go through how to gain consent, we first need to understand what consent is, isn’t and some tips on how to get that passionate “yes” without ruining the moment.
Consent is when both partners have given an enthusiastic and verbal yes to engaging in sexual activities without the use of force, coercion or threat. Consent means at any time, both partners have the right to stop if they no longer feel comfortable with what is happening. This means any time: pants on, pants off, or in the middle of intercourse, each partner has the right to say no and have that decision respected. Finally, consent must be given each time two people decide to be intimate.
Consent is not given if: one partner is silent; one partner is unconscious or asleep, one partner is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, one partner says they are not ready; one partner says no; one partner says nothing or if one partner has to be persuaded or guilted into engaging.
When it comes to consent, it is a stoplight with two colors, red and green, no and yes. If the green light has not been verbalized, then take a step back and wait for the light to change instead of breaking the light pole or ignoring it.
The most basic rule to go with: if you are unsure, semi-sure, 99 percent sure, ASK to erase any and all doubts.
When it comes to initiating consent, there is no reason that when asking for a green light you can’t create fireworks as well. When you verbal engage your partner for their consent, it can stroke the fire of passion as well. Consider, consent can be asked directly, “do you want to have sex?” or “Do you want me to touch you here?” Consent can draw upon the imagination, “What do you want me to do to you?” and “What turns you on?”
Consent can be a simple, “Are you comfortable?” or amping up the passion with “How can I pleasure you?” Consent can be a code word or phrase or a sexy conversation.
While the ways it is instigated may change with situations and partners, the consistency of having consent in your relationships will allow a more fiery and intimate experience for you and your partner. And who doesn’t want that?