We have lost the art of touch. The art of finding out how people really want to be touched or want to touch us is buried. But it is not gone. We just have to be brave enough to dig deeper. So many people I ask about consent think they know all about it. They think that as long as they ask "hey, is it cool if we fuck?" that this is all there is to know about consent. It goes so much deeper. So, buckle up buttercup, we're diving in!
The biggest lesson I can give right now, is to understand when consent needs to be addressed. Any time you are interacting with someone else or their world you should use consent. What? That's crazy! I need to be asking consent all the time then? Yes. Yes, you should. If you want to be someone who cares about how you interact with other people, then you should think about consent more.
It's simpler than you might think, though. Part of the problem with why we have such trouble with consent is that we think it's some big thing. But it's as simple as asking a question. However, we usually come from it with demands, or demurs. Some of us are more dominant, and we just say what we think we should do. "Let's go to the beach this weekend!" is a demand. "I guess we should go to the beach, then." is a demur. Neither of these people used consent, which means they may not be able to have the best time possible.
Let's try it again but with real consent.
"Will you go to the beach with me this weekend?"
"Yes, but can we spend some alone time together, too?"
See how when we use a question instead of a statement, it creates space for a dialogue to happen. Now both parties are more likely to get what they want from the weekend. Some people take on the role of submission naturally, and they want to please their friends, partners, or family. This is lovely! But they can unintentionally be taken advantage of if everyone doesn't understand consent. However, when they are asked direct questions, they are more likely to share what they are really feeling.
Whoa, I never thought of consent like this before... what are some common scenarios that we should use consent in? I'm so glad you asked!
When making any plans.
When dealing with someone's time.
When touch of any kind is involved (not just sexual).
When spending money is involved.
Whenever you are doing energy work.
When you want to talk about a sensitive subject.
This is not an exhaustive list, but a list that shows you the potential variations on when to ask for consent. The question isn't the end of consent, though! The question just opens up the space for a negotiation to happen. And in negotiation both parties have to come to a yes or there is not agreement. And without agreement there is no consent.
This topic can get very juicy! This coming weekend I'll be hosting a workshop that dives deep into the many different roles consent can take, the spectrum of response, and a really fun conscious touch game. If this is a YES in your body, then click over to my offerings and sign up. Date: February 26, 2022.
INSPIRED ACTION: In the following day, track if you're asking for consent. Try to catch yourself making demands or being demur. Then reverse, and YOU make it into a consensual agreement. It's small steps like this every day that can make the world more consensual. Journal about how this made you feel. Sometimes a lot of emotions can come up when we start really honoring our consent.