I was at an event a couple of weekends ago, and I asked a question in a discussion:
“What can we do to make consent more sexy?”
I followed that up by saying that If we find ways to make our lives more full of consent, that making it sexy and fun and natural is a no-brainer to me, and that it will only benefit us as individuals and as a community.
The conversation got contentious.
People arguing, saying they thought consent shouldn’t be sexy or fun. It should be a chore, and difficult and serious, because… consent.
Which seems counter-intuitive to me.
How do we convince people to develop consent-infused lives if it’s presented as a chore that must be suffered through?
The other thing that perplexed me was that so many people were focusing their consent talking points on public scenes with strangers, or non-lovers/partners.
Like the MAJOR time that we need to think about consent is in public spaces with strangers.
In fact, according to a survey NSCF did in 2014, only 36% of consent violations were in a public space. Less than half of those were with non-lovers/partners. And only some of those (the poll is not clear on overlapping or specific numbers) were within a scene, as opposed to other kinds of consent violations.
So, a fraction of 20% were public play scenes with people who were not partners.
Seems to me all this talk of public negotiations and consent, while good, is overshadowing the larger issue of consent in our daily lives and interactions.
As if consent is something we do with strangers, but we can stop all that horrible effort when it comes to those we are close to, or in the privacy of our home.
But WHY would we want to stop?
- Because it’s not sexy.
- It ruins the mood.
- It takes us out of our headspace.
- It changes the dynamic.
Thing is, I’ve not found any of those things to be true.
Consent is sexy to me.
When I make him ask, explicitly, for what he wants, to beg for it, even, that is super sexy, and infuses the mood with my power over him and his desire for me. It makes his submission that much more intense for him, and my dominance feels so much stronger in those times. It reinforces our chosen dynamic.
Of course, not everyone kinks the way I do. I don’t even always kink the way I do, because I kink differently with different people.
Sometimes it’s as simple as, “Do you like when I do this? Would you like more? What if I move lower? May I touch you here?” said in a soft voice with smoldering eyes (or at least that’s how I imagine myself in my head, and no one has ever laughed outright, so I’m going with it).
I think consent is incredibly sexy. A turn-on. A must-have. It’s not a chore, or a hardship, it doesn’t get in the way. It is the foundation of a loving relationship or interaction.
So, why do we, as a society, think consent is not sexy?
What am I missing?