Any number of things can be given the label ‘sexy’. Any number of people, of acts, of objects, of ideas. I remember fondly one of my teachers exclaiming brightly, ‘Occupational Health and Safety is Sexy!’ and doing a little dance around the room because OHS keeps you alive, and people aren’t very sexy when they’re dead. So yes, nearly anything can be called sexy.
What perplexes me, though, is that there are any number of sexy things but the single most important sexy thing is often overlooked or even ignored and scorned. I don’t have a little dance to go with this statement but I might shout it from the window later on – Consent is Sexy.
I’m not an expert. I’m not in a position to launch into a grand lecture about what Consent is and what it is in the law and such – that’s a job for another time. However, I’m occasionally a pretty smart cookie and the one thing me and my chocolatey chips have learned is that lots of things are sexy, but there’s nothing as sexy as consent, and consent makes everything sexier.
In a nutshell, consent is an agreement – it’s someone giving permission. I said I’m not an expert but you don’t need to be an expert to understand what it is. Consent is a ‘Yes’. More than that, consent is a freely given, enthusiastic yes. I can tell you what consent is not, and it’s NOT – the absence of a no, a begrudging yes, silence, or a no that ‘wasn’t said often or loud enough’. Quite simply…
if it’s not perfectly 100% clear that the other person has given consent – they haven’t.
No buts or ifs, it’s that simple. If you don’t have a yes, you don’t have Consent.
Further, just because you have consent for one thing doesn’t mean you have consent for anything else. For example, you and I might be on a date – I’m looking hot, you’re looking hot, we’re both having a great time being hot together and I might give you consent to kiss me. In fact I might even give consent for a bit of cuddling and necking. But unless I make it obvious that I want to go further, you don’t have consent to go further with me. Let me say it again – just because I’m kissing you or more, doesn’t mean I give consent to have sex with you, or go bungee jumping with you, or have you pick my nose. And if you don’t have consent to have sex with me but try or force me anyway – that’s sexual assault at best, rape at worst. Nobody wants to be a rapist.
(Also, just because I’ve had sex with you once doesn’t mean I gave you an all-season free pass to my nubbly bits. You need to buy a ticket each time, and the price is asking for my consent.)
You cannot consent if you’re unconscious, or under the age of 16 or 17 if you are in Tasmania or South Australia, or under the influence of drugs – that means alcohol too. So if you or someone you know is thinking about taking home that girl who is bashing into walls because she’s blind drunk and ‘easy’ – think again, because that’s rape. Unless, of course, you meet up with her afterwards when she’s completely sober and she actually gives you consent. Free consent, not giving in because you’re horny and nagging. (That’s not very sexy and doesn’t actually make your sexual prowess seem any better.)
Getting consent isn’t hard. Repeat after me:
(Protip: If he or she says no, you should stop.)
Checking in with your partner can even be as simple as looking up from whatever it is you’re doing and making eye contact – if you sense some hesitation, stop, and make sure. You can ask however you want, just ASK. If they’ve frozen up or if they’re trying to push you away or if they don’t seem to be enjoying it, don’t just assume you’ve got consent anyway – ASK. It’s not rocket surgery.
Back to the whole ‘consent is sexy’ thing, I’ve never, ever understood how someone can enjoy having sex with someone who isn’t enjoying it themselves. I don’t see the appeal in having sex with someone who is drunk and may vomit on me and my genitals at any moment – I don’t see the appeal in having sex with someone who is looking afraid or disgusted or upset. If I’m gonna have sex with someone, I want them to be enjoying it as much as I am – I want them to be thinking that I’m amazing and sexy and wonderful, not that I’m some kind of monster or freak. What could be sexier than looking up at your sexual partner in the middle of a heated session, and finding them looking back at you hungrily or, better, begging for more? What could be nicer than having that sexual partner moan your name, or cling to you just to feel you pressed against them? Why would you want to hurt someone you care about enough to get naked for?
Consent is sexy because it means the person you’re having sex with is enjoying it – enjoying YOU.
If being powerful and in control is what gets you off, you can do that with consent. If ‘in the heat of the moment’ is your thing, you can totally do that with consent. Communication is key, and even though right now it might seem like it’d ‘kill the mood’ and not be any fun, trust me – things are so much more fun when you know your partner isn’t being hurt and is having fun too. And you don’t need to worry a few days or weeks down the track that your life will be ruined because you didn’t get consent.
Consent is a legal necessity and even if it weren’t, it makes sex at least 324% better. That’s a scientific fact, I’m a scientist now. Consent is sexy, and I think I feel a dance coming on.
What do you think? Leave us a comment below and join the conversation. For more info on consent and sex, check out topic page all about it, as well as our sex section which has info on sex and sexual health.
Hurt by words Image By gamal_iphotos under Creative Commons Licence
Also check the related topics:Alcohol Safe Partying Sex and consent