How many of you have had an unwanted touch or kiss? Yes, it can happen to all of us, myself included. Yes, it is uncomfortable, and sometimes even frightening. The thing is, this sort of thing would happen a lot less if we make sure to ask before each step.
We are too inundated by the idea of spontaneity and instant chemistry in romance. The ideas of soulmates! Sparks! Love at first sight! All those movies with actors who stare into each other’s eyes and just know that the time is right for a kiss. All of that makes me sigh because it’s really absolutely unrealistic.
The reality is that we cannot read other people’s minds, and while you might thinking that this person in front of you is your new soulmate, they might not be feeling so deeply for you just yet. Let me repeat: we cannot read minds! This is why asking for consent is so crucial.
Yes, eventually there comes a point where after months or years of playing together, you know each’s cues and tells very well, and thus you already know where all the boundaries are and how to not overstep them. At this point, yes, you can kiss each other without asking first, but that’s for established couples, for established acts that have already been discussed.
I cannot stress prior discussion enough! Prior discussion and confirmation of willingness is what consent is all about. Asking before doing is just one form of consent that is often overlooked during the dating phase.
So this post is for new partners, that haven’t sat down and discussed everything just yet, but want to deepen the relationship and/or play regardless.
Sadly, all the time, I hear people complaining that asking for everything is “unsexy” or “disturbs the flow of things.” Or, even worse, I’ll hear in the kink community that a dominant always asking for permission is a show of weakness.
Consent can absolutely be sexy and fluid, and we need to uphold this idea in our everyday lives.
Think about this…
You stare into each other’s eyes. There’s a moment of quietness in which the world narrows down to just them.
You lean into each other, and you whisper in a low sexy voice, “I want to kiss you now. Is that okay?”
They breathe out an excited “Yes” that’s filled with anticipation.
Finally your lips meet. That final bout of waiting making the kiss all that sweeter.
Phew, isn’t that hot?
Why this approach is so good…
- CONSENT: you actually know that they want it too instead of blindly guessing.
- ANTICIPATION: those lovely butterflies? They just keep building up to the main event because now your partner knows what is coming. Think of asking consent as fun flirting. It adds to the tension and makes the release so much better.
- RESPECT and BOUNDARIES: this sets a precedent for the future in which it will be expected for boundaries to be respected.
So next time when you are beside your partner, whisper dirty questions into their ears, and if they respond with an enthusiastic “Yes!” then you know you’ve hit a gold mine.
This type of consent is fine and dandy for first meetings where both parties are fully mentally capable.
Remember, a person cannot consent if they are under the influence or otherwise mentally incapacitated! Thus, I do not suggest this ask before doing approach for actual BDSM activities or play.
First of all what is a scene?
This is not to be confused with “The Scene” which refers to the kink community. A scene refers to a period of time that is devoted for BDSM activity: this is when participants play. Playing relates to BDSM activities similarly to how having sex relates to sexual intercourse.
So why do I not recommend this type of consent for scenes?
Since scenes often have a very emotional and mental effect on people, negotiation should not be handled mid-scene when people first start a playing together. In fact, I know several people who are unable to consent mid-scene because they lose themselves in the sensations, and their headspace doesn’t allow for critical thinking. So just asking before doing is not effective if they cannot properly think about the consequences of what you’re asking for.
So for scenes, and other BDSM activities, I suggest you have a prior discussion or negotiation session in which all parties are able to consent and talk about limits and other important things. I will talk more about this prior negotiation in the future.
But for the rest of the dating world? Ask before doing.