What is consent and what isn’t? This term has become more mainstream the last few years and for good reason. Non consensual sex is an act of violence and at Aprés Delight we place a huge importance on consent in all sex and relationships.
Per Merriam-Webster, consent is “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something.” When engaging in any kind of physical act with other humans, consent is paramount in ensuring that all participants are on the same page. Asking for and giving consent is not a one-size-fits-all package. Consent is dynamic, develops with the moment and is foundational to any healthy sexual and intimate relationship.
We’ve all seen it on the big screen. Two strangers lock eyes across a crowded dance floor, they silently move towards each other and meet in a passionate embrace, hips rocking back and forth to the beat. Limbs frantically searching for hair to pull and buttons to unclasp, kissing deeply the couple undresses and begins making love. After a dusk-lit tussle in rumpled white sheets and a shared post-coital cigarette, they depart as silently as they came – with one lingering look as they both turn and walk away.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. While this may be one of the more PG-13 fantasies that we vibe to as we put ourselves to sleep at night, there is actually a lot wrong with this situation. First, if we lock eyes with someone across a room, after nearly two years in quarantine our first reaction is to swallow hard, long blink and slowly crouch down behind the bar into a very small ball and have our friends text us when the coast is clear. But in all seriousness, the big thing that this situation is missing is consent.
Asking for consent is sexy. It actively invites your playmates into the moment and ensures that they are comfortable with what is happening and feel in control of their bodies and their experience. Yes, there is always room for dom/sub play, BDSM, etc, but those come with clear, pre-determined boundaries.
Ensuring current consent means making sure that as the sexual tension rises and things heat up, consent is redefined each step of the way. This doesn’t have to be a stop-everything-and-talk situation, it is as simple as “can I put my hand here?” or “can I go down on you now?” Current consent allows everyone to open up and be the fullest expression of who they are. Even if you are having a one-night stand or are in a purely physical relationship, asking for and giving consent is a necessary component to a mind-splitting orgasm.
There is no such thing as implied consent. Just because you lock eyes with a stranger across a crowded dance floor, does not mean that they have permission to stick their tongue down your throat. And if you swap saliva and get a little handsy, that is not an open invitation for them to put their hands in your pants. And just because you started having sex does not mean that you can’t stop having sex at any time.
In addition, if you did something with someone once, this does not mean that consent is given for the next time. Maybe you had a few shots of tequila last week and loved anal, but at 2p on a Thursday? Maybe not your jam. Trying something out once does not permanently add it to the menu. And while we are taking things off the menu, a reminder that non action is not consent. If someone is unresponsive or if they are asked a question and don’t respond, that is not a go-ahead. Non action and non response is the same as a no.
So next time you are grooving on the dance floor and lock eyes with a sexy piece of meat, remember to speak up because everyone has needs and boundaries that deserve to be met. Ultimately, developing a safe and consensual space will allow you to build trust and go deeper with your partners. And when the time comes for you to get down and dirty, ask permission, drizzle on some Aprés Delight and then start making magic.