Sex Ed. 101: How to Ask for Consent

Let me lay it out real easy so you can get laid real easy

Victoria Secret pink brief underwear with the words Consent is Sex in caps on them
Victoria Secret pink brief underwear with the words Consent is Sex in caps on them
Image: Victoria’s Secret

Here are some fun ad libs to try!

“Do you like this?”
“Do you want to ______?”
“Do you want me to ______?”
“Is this okay?”
“What do you think about _______?”
“You good?”

Then listen to the response.

Is the person(s) enthusiastic? Do they respond affirmatively? Great! That’s consent!

Are they wishy-washy? Do they look uncomfortable or unsure? Did they respond unenthusiastically? They are not consenting. Oh, well.

Listen to your partner(s) and find out what they would like to do instead.

Remember! Coercion is not consent!

Whining and making the other person feel like shit until they give in and do what you want is not consent!

And remember if your partner didn’t say “yes” and you proceed anyway, that is rape and you are a rapist.

Don’t be a rapist! Get consent LITERALLY EVERY SINGLE TIME.

If you can’t make consent sexy, then you are bad at sex.

A “soft no” sounds like this:

“Is it okay if we just snuggle?”
“I should get home.”
“Maybe another time.”
“I don’t want to ruin our friendship.”
“I don’t feel good.”

These are all “soft nos” meaning they want to say “no” outright but they are afraid of the potential repercussions of saying “no” outright including your hurt feelings and also… the very real threat of retaliation from hurting your feelings.

Things that have happened to me when I gave a forcible “no”:

- The person proceeded anyway until I started sobbing begging them to stop. (That person then started recommending me to his swim teammates as a potential challenge.)
- Another person held me against my will while I shouted for help and they wouldn’t let me go until I kissed them.
- Another person told all our mutual friends how shitty I was “for leading him on.” I lost friends because of how “shitty I was to him.”
- The stranger followed me down the street shouting “bitch” at me until I walked into a random store for safety.
- The stranger grabbed my arm and held me until he felt he properly explained that he was a nice guy and it wasn’t necessary for me to be so rude to him.
- The person kept “accidentally texting me” about how awful he felt that I wouldn’t give him a chance.
- The person told all our mutual friends that he and I weren’t friends anymore because *I* was insulted that *he* wouldn’t sleep with *me*

And the least malevolent

- The person stopped talking to me completely because I wouldn’t sleep with him.

Putting the onus on the (most likely) woman to “just say no” is unfair and ignorant. We have a lot to risk by “just saying no” Like our safety.

If someone tells you straight up “no,” TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT because that means they don’t suspect that maybe you will PHYSICALLY TRY TO HARM THEM OR RUIN THEIR LIFE IN SOME WAY.

If a person is giving you a “soft no,” they are afraid of you — either of hurting your feelings, or maybe afraid that you might physically, emotionally, or socially retaliate. DONT PROVE THEM RIGHT! Be a decent human being and take the “soft no” or the forcible “no” like an emotionally mature adult. If you’re not actually an emotionally mature adult, go ahead and work on that… or at least fake it ‘til you make it.

Go on, Lovers! I believe in your ability to have totally awesome, kinky af, consensual sex!

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If you liked this article and want to read more articles from me, check out:

White People Need to Start Standing Up Against White Supremacist Microaggressions

Walkaway Partner Syndrome: It Has Probably Happened to You

Ideasthesia: Why We Shouldn’t Refer to Women as “Girls”

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