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Thankfully consent is becoming more and more of a talked-about concept nowadays. But what exactly does consent mean? And how can we establish it without ruining the moment and sounding like a robot? Consent doesn’t have to kill the mood.
Consent is the agreement between two parties to engage in physical contact. Not just sexual activities, but any kind of physical action towards another person. Kissing, hugging, oral, penetrative sex, all these activities should come after explicit consent has been given.
When in the heat of the moment, it’s easy to get carried away. Your partner(s) are simply too irresistible, and you cannot keep your hands off them. And that’s okay! Get caught up in the moment, lose yourself to lust, but make sure there’s consent. You don’t need to pause every couple of seconds to monotonously ask, “Can I do this?”, “Can I do that?”. Start the activity by getting consent. Explain what it is you want to do (I.e. “I want to kiss you right now”), and don’t just listen to your partner. There can be a lot of pressure to move forward in these situations, even when you’re not really feeling it anymore. Listen to their words and look at their body language. Do they seem tense when they say yes? Is their body rigid when you touch them? Do their lips feel uncooperative when you kiss them? Pay attention and suggest stopping if they do not seem or interested in the activity.
“Are you okay? You don’t seem interested. Do you want to try something else, or would you prefer to stop? It’s okay if you don’t want to continue.”
Reassure your partner(s), take the pressure off them and give them that opportunity to express what they do or do not want. Maybe they thought they wanted this but then realized it wasn’t what they were looking for. Regardless of the reason, accept no for the answer it is and do not persist. Forced consent is not consent. Forced consent is not consent.
When checking for consent, you can change your wording to involve everyone. For example, instead of consistently asking “can I?” try switching it to “can we?” or “how about we…?”. Including the other person when talking about desires and what to do can be incredibly hot and much more engaging. This will further help to alleviate some of the pressure against saying no. It becomes a group task that everyone is involved in, and everyone should enjoy what they’re doing or what is being done to them.