Enthusiastic Consent and Negotiation

I want people I play with to be really interested in doing something with me. I don’t just want the moaning and groaning response of “well, i guess that may be acceptable if it is what you think I’ll want”.   I do not want consent to sound like my teenage son when he is grumbling about emptying the dishwasher.  That is not a good baseline for consent. I’d much prefer “you really want to have me bent over so you can whack the backs of my legs with a cane? That sounds really fun!” How does one get enthusiastic consent?  Negotiation.

Negotiation does not need to be long and drawn out for a short, ten minute scene. Negotiation does not generally need to be approached with the delicacy of a hostage crisis. Negotiation is simply the act of talking about what you want to do with someone else.  There are a few basic things to think about with negotiation: be polite, be honest, and be genuine.

Negotiation usually begins with a simple phrase like “Hi! My name is________________ and I’m wondering if you’d be interested in doing ___________________ with me.” Someone may approach you about playing (or having a scene, as it is also called), and may start out with a very similar phrase.  If someone says “hey do you want to be tied up in a strapado and I’ll hit you with this bat and stick electrodes on your face?” it is perfectly acceptable to say “no, thank you” or “I don’t know what a strapado is, and I’d rather skip the electrodes” or “I prefer to do the tying, so I think I need to say no” or “Thanks for the offer, but I’m new at this and would you like to spank me instead?”.  I would rather be told “no, thank you, I’m just not interested in playing with you” than have consent that is less than enthusiastic. It is also perfectly acceptable to say “I’d really enjoy _________________, I haven’t played with you before, do you mind if we keep our pants on?”
Sometimes the answer to keeping one’s pants on will be “No, I’d rather you took off your pants- you can leave your underwear on, or if you have biker shorts, you can wear them”.  Here’s why: With a new partner, it is really good to be able to judge the amount of damage being done. I can’t see how your skin is bruising under jeans. I can’t gauge the heat coming off of the surface of the skin, I can’t see how red areas of the skin are getting.  These are really important things to be able to pay attention to as a new person in the scene.  Other times, I will encourage people to keep their pants on, or is someone is really uncomfortable taking their pants off, pants can be negotiated. Do not expect to have sex just because you have asked someone to play with you, and you negotiated the removal of pants.  Unless sex is negotiated and enthusiastically agreed to (that is of any form- including oral, mutual masturbation, anal, and vaginal), it does not have consent.  BDSM does not equal swinger- so please,  do not go to a swinger party with a hundred feet of rope and a whole mess of impact toys and expect to use them!

Share Button

Hi,  I’m Lucy!

I tend to love the essay- a lot. I also love story telling and just sharing my experiences as I see them- usually with a bit of snark and humor in the mix.  I’ve been active in the VA, MD, DC BDSM scene for about 15 years, as a bottom, a top, a switch, a submissive and a lot of weird stuff in between, I am also a masochist as well as a sadist.  I am a graysexual and can relate to the ACE perspective as well.

You can find me on Fetlife as LucyMarshall, feel free to drop me a line!

 

 

Tagged with: , ,