On Consent

Consent, beyond “good touch, bad touch” and “no means no”, is a hard thing to define ever, let alone in a relationship. Liane’s recent blog about sleep sex had me thinking a lot more about it recently.

A while ago, my partner expressed the desire to be woken up with a blowjob, something I would never do without being asked. Nothing against blowjobs, it’s the sleeping part that throws me off. It walks a finer line than I’d usually be willing to and raised a few questions for me in terms of consent. Namely, if my partner is into something one day, is it alright to do it without asking the next? Does practicing good consent have to come at the expense of spontaneity?

I know my partner well enough to be confident waking him up without the fear of violating him and I’m sure he’d say the same, but that confidence comes from a lot of communication and understanding – about our comfort levels, triggers, and yes, definitions of consent. For me the consent talk has to happen. Maybe not right away or all at once, but somewhere between “Do you use condoms?” and “You don’t like country music, do you?”

If you’re not sure how to start the talk, check out this awesome zine! http://zinelibrary.info/files/Consent_Zine.pdf