Consent is such a careful word in our society. It almost feels like no matter how you talk about it you almost have to walk on eggshells to avoid offending anyone. I, of all people, understand the sensitive topic of consent and the fine lines we have draw around it. I almost feel as though whenever the word “consent” is brought up lately you can almost feel the tension in a room thicken and everyone either holds their breath or shifts to the edge of their seat ready to pounce. If you were to ask a person on the street for a trigger word very few would say Consent. You may get “rape” or “assault’ but very rarely will you hear “consent”. I’m really want to address this today seeing as this is a topic that keeps being brought up around me in the past two weeks.
Last night I went to a sexy story telling meet-up in Toronto with my girlfriend, it was really something spectacular and the people were wonderful and had hilarious stories to tell from their sexual adventures. Before we got to the venue my girlfriend showed me an article about the fine line between bad sex and rape. The article itself felt a bit emotionally driven and scattered but she covered something in the article that I think every couple should address; The right to say “no”. This is where consent comes into the picture.
I feel as though when some of us find ourselves in sexy situations with our significant others we may feel as though consent is mandatory. Your partner may have never done anything to make you feel that way, it may just be due to your upbringing. Point being, you feel like you can’t say no when they’re in the mood. You’re in a relationship and it’s just sex so why not grin and bear it right? No big. Except that it isn’t right, and it is a very big deal.
A healthy and functioning sex life means communication and often times we think that it only applies to the emotional side of the relationship. It is so important to know at all times where a partner stands with the sexual side of your relationship. It’s unhealthy for both parties if the communication regarding consensual acts isn’t there.
Now I’m not going to use delicate language here, sex is sex and there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to what you do with your partner/partners beneath the sheets. When it comes to those acts though you really need to be honest with your partner. If they want to try something in the bedroom that makes you uncomfortable you can’t just sit back and let them think it’s okay. They may care for you but that doesn’t make them a mind reader. You shouldn’t be afraid of communication and if you are then maybe you need to take a step back and evaluate why that is. If you are in a relationship where saying no isn’t an option then it’s time you let go and found someone who can please in a way that suits you both.
Now this isn’t all on the partner who is uncomfortable. If you are the party asking permission for these acts then you need to establish that it’s okay to say no. It’s your job to make sure that the person you care for knows that you will accept and respect any decision they make in the same way you expect to be accepted and respected. Sit down every now and again and talk about the sexual side of things and be honest about everything.
“But Toby that doesn’t sound so hot,”
My girlfriend totally told me about someone who brought this up before in regards to this topic. Apparently it was suggested that you could make asking for consent a sexy thing, and that could totally work for some people. Keep in mind though that sexing up the question of consent could end up making your partner feel equally as pressured. Asking a simple question shouldn’t kill the mood for you for the rest of time. What matters more to you, no longer being in the mood for the next hour, or your significant others pleasure as well as your own?
To really tie this all together and bring it all home in a neat little package; even when you are in a committed relationship you need to make sure that consent is present. No excuses, no “what if’s”, just a simple “Are you sure you’re cool with this?” or “I don’t want to do this”.
Any relationship that doesn’t allow you to communicate may not be the healthiest place for you.
I hope this got a few of you thinking about your own opinions on the matter and maybe got some gears turning. Talking about sex shouldn’t be reserved for teenagers and their parents, or high school sex ed classes. We should never be afraid of discussing sex or anything it entails.
That’s all for today everyone and I will blog for you gorgeous readers again sometime soon