Consent is the difference between I WANT YOU TO FUCK ME and NO DON’T RAPE ME
Consent is about four things:
An action – what is it that is going to happen?
A belief – what do you know about what is going to happen AND the person you are with?
A connection between the action and the belief
In plain English here
Consent is all about both (all) parties being aware of what is wanted, the action; the physicality of sex/play. If the action is understood and wanted then and only then is it agreed too.
Consent is about having a reasonable belief that the action is wanted as understood by both (all) parties. There must be no ambiguity about what is wanted and you cannot be reckless in assuming that the action is wanted. Willingness to engage must be associated with active displays of wanting; physical and verbal.
Consent is what you know and what you understand about how the action fits with the want. A specific belief must be connected to a specific action. Don’t assume find out!
Consent erases all ‘blurred lines’ ‘grey areas’ and ‘miscommunications’ because it takes away any ambiguity by connecting the action with the belief. If you don’t know don’t act.
Consent is all about how both (all) parties come to the interaction. Both (all) parties must enter the totality of the interaction, and this includes communicating with each other, of their own free will. That is, there is nothing impeding their ability to understand or want. Coercion, deception, fraud, threat, intimidation, harassment, obligation and fear all take away from someone’s ability to understand. Just because someone else gets what you meant doesn’t mean I will.
Consent is not an issue when the ‘nature of the act’ is legally restricted. When ascertaining consent is taken away, sex is not sex but sexual assault (rape is not a criminal offence in the state I live in) when age, cognitive incapacity, consciousness, psychological distress, unlawful detention, intoxication, a position of authority over, the intention to harm or mistaken identity are relevant issues there can be no sex.
Consent validates and refocuses on the want rather than the I don’t want, moving sex from the no to the yes affirms and gives me permission to express my desires and needs both sexual and relational. This is why consent is affirmative.
Consent is about expressing, implementing and respecting boundaries and expectations within which action is allowed.
Consentire is Latin Con meaning together and Sentire meaning feel; the origin of the English word consent means coming together to feel. Consent is between two people who are coming together in order to feel something sexual.
Consent is intentional decision making rather than being reactive behaviours even within established healthy long term relationships. Implying that there can be some kind of illusion or suspension of consent is not a reality. We consent a thousand times in a thousand different ways within established relationships, so implying that because you choose to withhold the word ‘no’ you are somehow not consenting is, again, not a valid reality. Consent is not about the no and all about the want.
Consent is no existant when there is no or no longer any consent for the interaction or relationship to proceed any further. What some people call ‘withdrawal’ of consent really means that the boundaries of the relationship are no longer there, you have no place within my sex life so leave it.
You have a responsibility to inform and be informed. This is where communication becomes t keystone of consent. Communication is the ONLY way that understanding can happen and the only way that consent can be established. This absolute limit of personal responsibility. I am responsible to inform, what another person chooses to do with the information is beyond my control and therefore beyond my personal responsibility.
Consent specific to kink
Consent is consent irrespective of how you fuck. Being kinky, calling your sexual/intimate partner a kinky label or identifying in some way with ‘the BDSM community’ does not make you above the law.
Consent is all about communication. Negotiation is just a kinky word for talk it over. Remember communication is more than words.
Consent has nothing to do with a safe word. A safe word is something you choose to use in order to communicate with someone AFTER you have consented. Consent is established before anything physical or sexual occurs so before a safe word is ever needed. A safe word is a way to tell someone they need to be aware of or when something within the interaction has gone wrong. So saying ‘but they had a safe word and didn’t use it’ is invalid ALWAYS.
Consent allows us to become risk aware; by having conversations that allow us to have the best possible understanding of the action you are enabling yourself to be the most aware. If you actively and honestly communicate about therefore consent to the action; whatever that action is, you are choosing to become more aware of the entirety of what it is you are doing beyond the hypothetical what you think this could be/feel.
Think of sub space as an altered state of being, you are essentially changing the conscious state in a way that alcohol and drugs can. Obviously sub space is not a monolithic experience so it is imperative that you understand the individual that you are with. Again this comes back to communication and your personal responsibility to inform and be informed about everything that is reasonably necessary to make a decision.