Want the Best Sex of Your Life? Just Ask!

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About Jamie Utt

Jamie Utt is a diversity and inclusion consultant and sexual violence prevention educator based in Minneapolis, MN. He lives with his loving partner and his funtastic dog, Chloe. He blogs weekly at Change From Within. Learn more about his work at JamieUtt.com.

Comments

  1. It seems to me that in consent advices like this one the question if the consent is freely given lacks consideration. We all know how to ask; what is more difficult is to emphathise with our partner and see all the reason’s why they might be reluctant or even fear to say “no” (or “yes”). For consent to be freely given, the person who answers a proposal must be certain, that their “no” doesn’t have any other consequences than that the proposed sex act doesn’t happen (and necessary consequences by the laws of nature of this fact). For example if somebody has to fear that their partner might leave them, if they don’t have sex act A, their consent is compromised.
    Of course our partner gets a lot of messages from society about what sex should look like and even if we assure them that those rules don’t apply in oubr bedroom, their decision regarding sex may be influenced negatively, but we are responsible for our behaviour (see for example the PUA-tactic “freeze-out”).
    To be clear I don’t want freely given consent to be a legal standard (it would be also very impossible to implement into law), but I wonder why anybody would want any less than “freely given consent” as the standard for their personal life.

  2. Joanna Schroeder says:

    To add one fun consent “game” – I love what’s happening in this photo.

    You could use lipstick to mark on either of your bodies where you want to be kissed… Like an “X” marks the spot. Even better if the person points on his/her own body and the partner makes the X and then in the end kisses all those spots.

    Fun!

  3. Many women claim they hate it when they have to tell a guy what to do. They expect men to know…when to be gentle and when to ravish. Many women consider it a turnoff if they have to explain.

    Women say the best sex they had is when the guy is so confident and experienced that he just knows what to do, what he wants and how to take it.

    • It kind of depends on how you phrase the questions. There is a big difference between saying sort of tentatively, “Do I have your permission tomtouch your vagina now?” and “you are so hot, I want to touch your pussy now…. Mmm… Is that ok?” (while nibbling on her ear)

      I mean, you can be sexy about it.

      • @Sarah:
        What you are talking about isn’t exactly the “explaining” part of the article that Tim comments on.

        I also think there are a lot of people who feel inhibited to talk about their “sweet spots”, or just haven’t given them enough thought. I know that more often than not when I’ve posed the “What do you want (me to do)?” question to a partner, the result have been sort of blankish “I don’t know…” (and usually followed by “what you usually do…”)

        • Agreed, it is difficult for some women (some men, too) to answer a direct question “what do you want me to do?” I have trouble with that one myself, partly because of feeling a little inhibited, and partly because I’m in the moment and don’t want to stop and think. At the same time, I hate it when I ask my boyfriend “what do you want me to do” and he says “whatever you want” — give me an idea, dammit! I think it behooves all of us to think about this ahead of time and have some answers ready to those questions. If I freeze up at the question, I’ll say “talk dirty to me” because it’s something that really turns me on and it can get me over that barrier that inhibits me from talking about what I’m feeling, and then I can get on a roll with it. Sexual communication is definitely an issue that many people need to work on.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            I think it’s important for women who like the sensation of a consensual “ravage” (and yes, I realize the contradiction in terms there) to be clear about what they want.

            “I want you to be rough with me. I want you to be the boss of me, tell me what to do, touch me however you want. Take control of me. If it’s too much I’ll say ‘stop’ (or whatever safeword she chooses)!”

            That, right there, is consent. But she needs to include that last sentence.

            Now, it’s a good idea for this woman to be really knowledgeable about BDSM and the way the kink community discusses limits. Because while that sort of consent is good and helpful, it’s done in good faith that someone isn’t going to violate her “stop”.

            Cliff Pervocracy’s guide to discussing BDSM and boundaries is great.

            http://pervocracy.blogspot.com/2012/02/concise-kink-worksheet.html

          • If someone tried to play that mother-may-I game with me in bed, I’m pretty sure I would kick him or her out in a heartbeat. I understand the importance of consent, but if I’m actively participating in sexual acts with someone, I firmly believe that my consent to be kissed in a particular place or other minute details is already accounted for. The only thing that kind of a “game” accomplishes, in my opinion, is taking all of the spontaneity and sensational surprise out of sex. Part of the joy of having a partner is that I don’t know what he or she is going to do next. I don’t want sex to become another heavily-cognitive experience in my life, full of questions and answers in the moment–it should be about our bodies and what they respond to well and don’t respond to well and that’s it.

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              I agree Maya, I think a good idea, would be to talk about not so much about what you like but what you dont like. So tell him I dont like this and that. Thise are my limits. You have carta bianca and if im unconfortable, I will say so.

              Just IMO

            • FlyingKal says:

              @Maya:
              I’m not thinking about this as a step-by-step instruction that needs to be spelled out every single time you’re in bed with someone.
              More of a way of getting out of a rut, if you feel that you’ve been following the exact same pattern the last 20 times in bed.
              And if you’ve never had that feeling, all the better for you.

    • Tim, here’s my take on it.

      I am a sexually assertive, sometimes even sexually aggressive guy. I come on strong. I’ll push the gas down a bit, and, if I get a positive response, I’ll push it down again until I get a yellow light. Then I slow down. So far, I’ve only had positive responses to this from the women I’ve dated. I’ve been told how hot it is, and how much they like it by multiple women. BUT…

      I am a man that cares very much that the women I’m with enjoy what I’m doing. More importantly, I don’t want to rape or assault someone. Not just because it’s wrong, but because just the thought of it is viscerally disgusting. So I make it a point to only date women that I believe will say“no” when they don’t like something, or will redirect me. I also make it a point to say very early on something along the lines of, “Hey, I know I come on strong. I think you’re someone that can handle me, or I wouldn’t have asked you to come out tonight. I want to have fun, but it’s important to me that you have fun, too. So if I’m moving a bit fast for you, slow me down. I won’t take it personally or throw a hissy fit or anything.” Obviously, then, she responds. If I get ANY indication that she’s not someone I can trust to speak up, I’ll take it slow. If she’s really timid, I probably won’t go for another date. If I get a genuine yes and trust that I can read her “no” well, then I start to work the gas pedal again while keeping an eye out and an ear open for any signs that she’s not comfortable.

      One very, very important thing – I ALSO make it a point to have this conversation while we’re both 100% sober, and keep the drinking light before she and I are comfortable getting physical. Too much potential for disaster with alcohol involved.

      • Wow, love this! Great self-awareness on your part, and a great example of setting up a consensual environment before sex is even on the table.

      • PM

        I think a lot depends on who the guy is. Women set different boundaries with different men. If a man is very attractive, has a dominant personality, great physique, a woman might engage with him as a submissive, allow him much greater room to explore and try new things, let him take control and relax her boundaries. With another regular kind of a man, the same woman might set rigid boundaries with him.

        The fact that you have been able to engage in a dominant aggressive way with women says more about you than those women.

  4. It does seem surprising, still even, that sometimes all it takes is an ask. There are some rad people in this world who like sex as much as I do. This is good. The conversation doesn’t necessarily have to be during sex, could even be a casual conversation, but it seems that if one is ballsy enough to bring “it” up, that alone should warrant a discussion.

    It could be about a specific act, position, scene, fabric, place, fantasy, etc., the list is endless (thank goodness). Sometimes we find ourselves wanting to take on a defined role during sex and that is very good. It is healthy to understand what drives you and turns you on, assuming there are no poisonous underlying reasons for being attracted to certain acts/roles/people. If we consider sex and most physical intimacy existing as the few ways humans are able to bare ourselves completely, voicing our sexual desires becomes a true opening of the soul and an emotional investment. This involves trust, self-confidence and an understanding that our bodies become vessels for mutual and respective enjoyment.

    As arousal becomes magnified, there are times when we feel ourselves slipping away and giving in to a bit more perhaps. Again, this is fine, but we must remember that some simplicity remains. No means no, always. Safe words are cool (cacao anyone?), but no need to confuse stuff too much. I understand that some couples participate in forced scenes or other rough iterations and again this is where we must have some pre-outlined ideas and potential boundaries. Think of it as improv sex , Larry David style – you have a brief outline of an idea, but who knows what desire may strike at what time, and what may feel good for you right then. Go with the flow, trust yourself, trust your partner, listen to your body and say no if/when necessary.

    You are not losing spontaneity nor are you engaged in a game of mother-may-I. It is about inflection, word choice and body language. Healthy and honest sexual communication is imperative in a relationship. Sex need not ever become stale as our connection with our partner deepens and evolves.

    In the end it is about respect. Yes, consent absolutely as well, let’s just not forget that sex = shame in America. To break free from those perceived chains and enjoy yourself by sharing your body and soul will set you free.

  5. I know point #4 was written in gender neutral language, but it still included a link to only one study and that study did not examine male victims and female perpetrators. This may give the impression that risk associated with alcohol intake is restricted to men becoming perpetrators and women becoming victims.

    To balance this I’ll include links to two studies looking a female perpetrators:
    “Variations in College Women’s Self-Reported Heterosexual Aggression by Peter Anderson in 1998″ – http://sax.sagepub.com/content/10/4/283

    Approximately 28.5% of the women from the East reported engaging in sexually initiatory behaviors traditionally defined as sexual coercion, 21.1% in sexual abuse, and 7.1% in physically forced sex.

    The women in the sample from the South also reported engaging in sexual coercion (25.7%), sexual abuse (7.3%), and physically forced sex (1.6%),

    and
    Sexual Coercion in Men and Women: Similar Behaviors, Different Predictors
    http://rd.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10508-009-9481-y
    That study reference other studies:

    Zurbriggen (2000) found that roughly 18% of women
    and 32% of men reported getting someone drunk or high so
    the person was less able to resist their advances. Less common
    in Struckman-Johnson et al.’s (2003) sample, 5% of women
    and 13% of men admitted to having sexually exploited an
    intoxicated person, whereas 1% of women and 6% of men
    admitted to purposely intoxicating a person.

    and itself found (table 1 p979) that 23.7% of male respondents had used an intoxication tactic while 17.2% of women had used an intoxication tactic.
    Definition of intoxication tactic used: intoxication (e.g., engaging in contact with a person too drunk
    or high to object, giving alcohol or drugs to a person so s/he
    could not object)

  6. Yes, the spartan race does burn fat…when done right

Trackbacks

  1. [...] To learn more about sexy consent, read my article Want the Best Sex of Your Life? Just Ask! [...]

  2. [...] kisses. And it’s the direction we need to be moving in. As Jamie Utt explains in his piece Want The Best Sex of Your Life? Just Ask!, enthusiastic consent is hot because it helps us know what will turn our partners on, and makes [...]

  3. [...] One of the best ways to ensure that your relationships are healthy and consensual is to have a strong understanding of yourself and your needs and desires.  As I said in my article, “Want the Best Sex of Your Life? Just Ask:” [...]

  4. […] Ask – If it looks like you might hook up, make sure you check in along the way. Ask if you can kiss her. Ask if you can remove your clothing or hers. Ask.  I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Consent doesn’t have to be plastic and boring. The single sexiest question someone can be asked is, “Tell me what you want.”  Not sure how to make asking sexy? Check out this article. […]

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