October 3, 2018

SEX ON THURSDAY | Consent is My Biggest Turn-On

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I had my mind set to write about non-invasive sex toys, but considering current events, it’s critical we discuss sexual consent. Even though it seems like consent is all we talk about some days, it is clearly not in our heads. We talk about sex in terms of baseball, and never has anyone mentioned consent in that analogy. When I had health class in school, we talked about STDs and protection, but never about asking permission.

Consent is something I think about a lot. Given the fact that I cannot have sex, I want to make sure the people I’m with are open to communicating and are accepting of what I can and cannot do. But honestly, pain condition or not, everyone should feel safe communicating with a partner. And with that, let’s talk about the best ways I’ve been asked for consent.

“How would you feel if I did this?”
We were lying in bed, and I assumed my body language relayed that I was comfortable with the circumstances. Although the question caught me off guard, it caused me to slow down and evaluate how I was feeling. Did I really want to be here, in this bed, with this man? Would him taking it further make me feel good? My answer to both questions was yes, and I let him in the know in the most seductive voice I could muster. He casually worked consent into foreplay, and I was even more into him as a result.

“Hey, let’s stop for a second. I don’t want to push you.”
An oldie but a goodie. This was not technically a question, but it made me feel in control of the situation. I was calmer knowing the person I was with would not pressure me into doing anything. It actually made the rest of the night more enjoyable. He was reassured that I wanted him and I was reassured he wanted me.

“Wanna do stuff?”
I’m not sure why this was just so. damn. hot. Maybe it was his husky voice or that we had worked through a bottle of wine. Maybe it was the fact that he asked. Probably the latter.

“Are you sure this is okay?”
This is a perfect example of asking for consent even when you’re in the middle of it. We were making out and before sliding his hand underneath my bra, he reconfirmed that I was comfortable with what was going on.

A thumbs up.
Yes, you read that right. I was dancing with someone, and he gave me a thumbs up so I gave one back. Next thing I know, I was in the middle of a sweaty DFMO. It was probably the most creative way I’ve been asked so far, and it was certainly memorable.

Most of all, I find not asking for consent in some way, shape or form to be a huge turn off. A few weeks ago, someone had unexpectedly kissed me, and I didn’t want him to at all. Even though this happened in the comfort of my own room compared to the hot and sweaty dance floors at frat parties, I was significantly more uncomfortable. And when a friend asked me if I’d want to kiss that person again, my answer was no. I don’t think he had bad intentions. I don’t think he’s a bad person. But we weren’t on the same page, and the encounter was awkward at best.

So if they can ask for consent in The Notebook, if Salt n’ Peppa can write a song about it, if Kristoff asked Ana in Frozen (“I could kiss you! I could…I’d like to. May I?” This scene gets me every time), then you can do it in real life.

As always, be wild, be free, be respectful. And boys and girls, just ask for consent.

Sexless in Seattle is a student at Cornell University. The Virgin Diaries runs monthly.