This comment was from Julie Gillis on Lessons From the Seduction Community, Part Three: Explicit and Tacit Sexual Communication
Enthusiastic Consent as a concept is great for both men and women. In fact, I can envision a world where sex ed goes past the birds and bees, and sees sexual health and pleasure as a person’s birthright. In addition to talking about reproduction, there could be classes on “How to read body language.” “How to ask for consent in a sexy way.” (I like the way my hand feels on your thigh, do you? whispered in an ear at the bar gives the man/woman the opportunity to check in, while letting the person know they like touching them, giving the other person an “out” if they don’t.)
We don’t live in that world though. In Texas, we live in a world where abstinence only is the name of the game, text books are filled with inaccuracies about birth control, and girls are taught that “True Love Waits.” We don’t have a world in Texas where the idea of consent period really works. Attitudes are “Slut/Dawg, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, It’s not sex if it’s anal/oral, and god help anyone, boy or girl if they are under the age of legal consent (which I believe is 17).
So, for me personally, it’s all well and good to talk to college aged students about consent and communication, but the entire paradigm of sexuality in the US is kind of fracked, in my opinion.
Women play games, men learn games to counterbalance the women’s games, women need “convincing” but don’t own their own agency, men are confused at the mixed messages and how much of this could be solved if we were willing to discuss sex like any other social interaction (and is it different or is it not).
Lots of people manage consent through body language. Lots of people can’t read body language at all. No one really learns how to use verbal communication in a sexy way, and I think they should rehearse.
If I’m kissing someone, and I say, “This feels so good I’ could do it for hours.” That’s a pretty huge yes to kissing. And there is, if I’m saying that, an implied “more.”
People have to own their shit, men and women both. Men should be able to say no. Men should be able to say, “I love kissing you and I want more, you are turning me on so much.” If the woman doesn’t want more, she needs to say so and then deal with the fact the man might want to end the night.
And we should start with actually teaching about sex ed frankly.
Also, I think teaching kids about consent and boundaries non sexually is a a great way to start. Don’t take my pencils without asking. I’ll ask you if I can borrow some paper. Jesus, that should be basic no matter the gender and I just don’t think sex should be that different.
photo by artemsco / flickr