Ok, this topic is only distantly related to my overall theme of this blog. Sometimes I ponder starting a blog to soapbox about gender and sexuality and really, anything I might want to rant about that isn’t related to autism etc. This would probably go better on that hypothetical blog but I haven’t started it, and I have talked about consent and sexuality a couple times before, so I’m going to consider this an extension of those posts.
I recently saw someone state, quite bluntly, that consent is complicated. The general line of thought behind it seemed to be that it’s hard to guess if a woman wants to have sex with a guy when she’s making out with him. Maybe it’s an implicit invitation to more, and maybe it isn’t. Maybe she’s ok with certain things, but not others. How is the guy to ever know? It’s so complicated!
So I just want to state, for the record:
CONSENT IS SIMPLE.
If you’re not sure, you ask. Asking can be sexy. Asking can be sensual. Asking can be a regular part of your sexytimes, integrated into hot and heavy sexytalk. If a person, regardless of gender, says “yes,” that’s consent. You can make a habit of always asking and getting that “yes” before moving forward. Also, consent to do one thing (like kiss) does not mean consent to do something else (anything else).
Having regular sex with someone, you know their signals well, and you want to try something other than active consent? Talk about it first. Make sure you’re on the same page. Decide together how you want to do things.
But if active consent is your default model, then consent will always be simple. You will never have to be confused, because you will always know.
Asking. It’s not difficult, it’s not complicated, and it’s not awkward.