And to you, your consent should come first always.
It’s a variation on the idea I’ve put forward a few times, that YOU are your own best advocate, that you know yourself and spend more time with yourself than anyone else.
Back in 2015, I wrote “Your consent doesn’t matter as much as my consent.”
At lease to me, it doesn’t.
And if that makes me an asshole, well, then, so be it.
Yes, I need your consent to interact with you. Of course I do.
In fact, consent to me needs three things:
- The ability to intellectually understand what you are consenting to.
- 100% sobriety when consenting.
THAT is what your consent means to me.
And yet, your consent is not as important to me as my consent. And it NEVER will be.
Because my consent is what determines whether anything happens.
You may consent all you want.
Hell, I got crazy wankers consenting all up in my inbox (no matter that I suspect that numbers 2 and 3 are not fully represented, sometimes).
But If I do not consent, your consent doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. Less, even. I like beans, and I can eat them. And I like to cook.
I can’t eat your consent, or do anything good with it at all.
At least not without my consent.
What about when I am seeking your consent, you ask?
Your consent is important. Critical, even.
However, mine is still more important, because without my consent, your consent will never be sought.
I was reminded of this today, because a dear friend of mine posted on FetLife about one of his hard limits: any sort of alcohol or drug use in kinky/BDSM play.
And you might have noticed that I also included that in my list above.
But, you see, I’ve changed my mind a bit.
And I’m not saying that to say he’s wrong. NOT AT ALL.
His line is that he wants the people he plays with to be 100% sober. That’s his right.
My line has become a bit more…fluid.
Let me be clear: I don’t drink. I’ve never been drunk. I’ve never smoked (anything). I’ve only tried ONE recreational drug, ever (and I’ll admit I liked it, and partake about 3-4 times per year).
My partner enjoys alcohol. So do many of my friends and lovers.
I’m OK with that.
And I’ll play with them. If I feel comfortable at the time.
Which means that I feel like:
- They have already given consent sober.
- They are not beyond competence.
- I know them WELL.
I would never do pick-up or casual play with someone who was not sober. But then, I don’t do pickup or casual play hardly at all, ever. It’s just not in me.
Those are my lines of consent, and they may shift as I choose.
And whatever your lines are, I would expect, should we negotiate, that those would be the most important to you, before you seek my consent in anything.
And if our consent profiles don’t match, we won’t play.
It’s that simple.
I won’t tell you that your consent is wrong for you (as happened on my friend’s writing), or wrong for everyone, because it’s not. It just may not be right for me.
And to me, that’s what matters.
What are your thoughts?
Do you put your consent first? What are your hard limits? Have you had an experience where you have been chided for your limits or consent—and you had to stand firm?