First of all, I would like to dedicate the following words to the memory of Eurydice Dixon and Qi Yu. If you don't know their stories, I encourage you to Google them and light a candle for the women we lose to violence. This article will contain graphic content and the discussion of sexual activity.
When I was 15, a very horny and awkward girl in High School, I made a promise to myself to never sleep with someone I regret. I would only have sex with people that respected me, or made me feel good, or in the very least, helped me to learn something about myself. At best, I was boinking people that geuinely enjoyed me, and at worst, I had loud, drunk sex in a car that made me laugh and laugh the next morning. Both integral experiences in my sexual journey to being the woman I am. Something that never occured to me, was that I was accidentally operating under the approach of ENTHUSIASTIC CONSENT. A great phrase I have come to understand from play parties and the kink community in both Melbourne and San Francisco.
Consent, a term we as a society are still struggling to fully comprehend, is the emotional, verbal and physical agreement between two or more people about what can and cannot occur within our bodies and spaces. It is a contract, which can change of course, but it is irrefutably yours. I kind of learnt this in school, a brief “yes means yes” lecture was probably the most of it. But ehhhhh, how do you do that when you’re just flirting with the barista at work? Or when you’re okay with doing butt stuff but its not reeeeally you’re cuppa tea? Well, ENTHUSIASTIC CONSENT is as it sounds and feels like a “HELL YES”, rather than a “I guess that’s okay”. It is a yes with exclamation points after it.
Enthusiastic consent is more than just what we are okay with doing, and moves onto the things we really want to feel in and around our bodies. I’ve found since having enthusiastic consent in my head within my casual dating, I have been more unwilling to accept less than equal orgasms and nice gooey feelings. I started to understand what I really wanted to do versus what I could merely put up with. Some things that I learnt from using enthusiastic consent:
✘ BDSM is WAY better with someone I know, trust and understand the use of safe-words, after-care and sexual protection
✘ Asking to hug/kiss someone is very sexy and people enjoy it rather than the surprise-attack kissing/hugging we are taught to find romantic.
✘ Butt stuff is great when I feel zero pressure to do it.
Enthusiastic consent does take a bit of discipline, which I have found tricky to do when I am feeling low in self esteem and need some attention, or just want someone to like me. Saying no to things I would be okay with doing normally, in the hope for achieving something better doesn’t always work but I think in the long-term, my sex-life has improved, vastly (Not that it’s the goal of sex, but I am coming a lot more these days!!!)
I encourage all readers to look at their sex lives and either say, HELL YEAH or FUCK NO, and start getting exactly what you want out of it. Nothing less is good enough for you!