This weekend, in the Triangle, PUSH is going on. It’s a kinky hotel takeover filled with amazing, hot, sexy people. And anything like that is a perfect reason to discuss consent.
To be clear: I have NOT heard of any consent violations at PUSH. I just wanted to plug them and use a large gathering of kinky peeps as an example. Other examples include the many cons coming up, now that Fall is racing towards us, some of which I’ll be attending as an instructor. YAY!
But back to consent.
It’s common at such amazing events for people to reach out and touch, without getting consent first.
For some, this is OK, maybe even wanted. For others, it can actually cause serious repercussions, thanks to trauma. Most will find it various levels of annoying, which, honestly, is not the best way to connect and have a great time in kink.
I have personally had my ass groped (pretty common), someone reach out to touch my breasts, and even had someone grab my ankle (while I was in stilettos), trying to get my attention to their groveling.
Luckily, I have the personal resources to handle these things myself. Not everyone does.
So, let’s stop, shall we?
And the best way to do that…
Ask for consent.
Ask for it first.
WAIT for it.
Yeah. Ummm… that shouldn’t have to be said, but it does, apparently. More than once I’ve had hands reaching for me AS they were asking.
Asking properly does not assume that you’ll get an answer in the positive.
Make sure it’s enthusiastic.
Some people, even when asked, are hard-pressed to speak up against being touched.
So, pleeeeease, watch how their bodies move when they reply, and listen for clear affirmation.
Enthusiasm is pretty clear, when you care enough to look.
“But I’m shy and awkward and asking for consent is really hard.”
Well, then, you’re not ready for all the responsibility that comes with the super-fun touchy sexy things, if you are not ready to get clear consent.
At least not with those people.
Your people, your tribe, may know you well and do things differently.
AND THAT IS OK. As long as everyone is happy and feels respected.
But don’t touch strangers without asking.
Yes, rejection sucks. Like, lots. But there are ways to get better at it. And it’s worth it, for consent’s sake.