Situation 1: Person A meets Person B in a bar. They drink, talk, dance and generally have a great time. B invites A home. Things get steamy but B doesn't like having her navel touched and tells A. So A stops doing that. And the sex is great.
Situation 2: Person X meets Person Y in a park. They become friends and soon start walking their dogs together. X goes over to Y's for coffee. They're both single and decide to hook up. But Y has never tried this position before and isn't too confident. Y doesn't tell X this. But the sex is fine.
Both are cases of textbook consensual sex. But if sex (and therefore consent) were this simple, the Kamasutra wouldn't have existed.
Sex is delightfully complex and while Situation 2 is completely acceptable, had the partners talked about their discomforts, they'd definitely have enjoyed the romp a lot more. Here's the deal, any doubts that you have before, during, or after sex can be communicated, and as unsexy as that sounds, being in control of the situation is a different high.
No means no. But yes means?
Consent by definition is a clear distinction between 'yes' and 'no'. But if 'yes', how? That too is worth consideration. Because after all, your partner is another fully functioning human, and you need to appreciate that. And that's precisely what F*CK YES, a new web series that proclaims #ConsentIsSexy, is trying to say.
Their first webisode, not very imaginatively titled Protection, makes the idea of wearing a condom seem hot. And talking about it, even more so.
The video's description reads, "In an era where abstinence-only education leaves so many people clueless as to how to talk about safety -- let alone bedroom etiquette -- F*ck Yes! is here to share informative and sexy models of pre-coital conversation."
Bedroom etiquette. Now why didn't personality development classes in school ever teach that? Because really, table manners never made anyone feel as good as some between-the-sheets time.
But now, thanks to Emily Best, founder and CEO of the indie film crowdfunding company Seed&Spark, comes this wonderful web series teaching us about the one activity we all thoroughly enjoy. Well, most of us anyway.
Interestingly, Best's team for the production of F*UCK YES is an all women crew that comprises the likes of Feminist Frequency producer Elisabeth Aultman, the Full Out Series ladies Julie Keck and Jessica King, cinematographer Eve M Cohen and writer/director/actor Lauren Schacher.
The show, still just one episode old, will feature all kinds of consent related stories including that of a couple watching porn together, a lesbian couple fingering and teenagers sexting and experimenting. Best also hopes to make it diverse by exploring the stories of a Muslim couple, a transgender individual's concerns, etc.
BDSM sets an example
BDSM is often seen as a taboo form of sex that's violent and 'perverted'. The reality, though, is utterly removed from that. Those who engage in BDSM generally understand sexual consent better than the average heterosexual couple.
And thanks to this series and the idea behind it, perhaps people will see why BDSM practitioners are actually very nice people. As it turns out, Emily Best got the idea for the series after reading about BDSM and the careful manner in which all cards are laid out by both or more participants before they engage in any sexual activity.
As a vanilla, hetero woman, this was the first time I was reading about negotiation - active, interactive consent - as a part of sex," Best told HuffPost. This got Best thinking about how just talking about sex, could make it not just more comfortable, but actually sexy.
Dummies guide to consent
Best's web series, though the first of its kind, isn't the first video to explain the notion of consent in a fun manner. But to Best's credit, while these videos are super fun, they draw analogies to explain the basic yes or no and don't go beyond that.
Back in March 2016, Project Consent, a non-profit, found a refreshing new way of explaining consent and shaming rape culture. By making intimate body parts interact.
The videos featured an animated star cast of different body parts with faces, and, almost shockingly, they weren't disturbing. Yeah, basically a penis with a face and a vagina with a face dancing around and looking totally normal.
But before that, exactly a year ago in May 2015, Blue Seat Studios released a stellar stick-figure animation video that explained consent with tea. If you don't want tea, you don't want tea. And the same goes for sex.
Going by how the subject is increasingly being broached, things are definitely progressing. For so long we needed to establish consent, now, with Best's effort, we need to learn how to enjoy it.
So the next time you think twice before whispering in your partner's ear exactly what you mean to do with him or her, don't. Start talking. Communication is sexy.