Consent is oversimplified and this is what we’re missing
If we want to experience rich relational interactions, we need to go beyond consent. We need to experience CHOICE and we need to be comfortable using our VOICE. When we talk about consent, many of us limit ourselves. We oversimplify.
Thinking about consent: simple or broader
The simplest version? Some of us may think mainly about consent as ‘making a verbal contract’. As in: you state some boundaries, I verbally agree to not violate them. And in theory, this might work well. In practice however, it’s much more complex.
The broader view? Some of us are very aware of the importance of non-verbal signs of ‘like’ or ‘dislike’, and don’t feel comfortable relying solely on a verbal contract. We use our ‘gut feeling’, we read body language and we then either check in verbally or change our behaviour preemptively.
But what do we really need when we want to cover CONSENSUAL INTIMATE INTERACTIONS?
Rich, consensual, intimate interactions
If we want to experience rich relational interactions, we need to go beyond consent. We need to experience CHOICE and we need to be comfortable using our VOICE.
Feeling what we want and what we dislike in the moment
First of all, we need to practice feeling into what we want and what we don’t want. To be aligned with ourselves. To feel what we like and dislike. Our “Yuck” and our “Yummy”. And no, that’s not a static thing. We can’t check in with ourselves once a year and conclude what our needs and boundaries are.
We need to continuously feel into our body, our sensations. In each moment we need to be present. To FEEL IN THE MOMENT what feels right or even delightful. To feel where our desire lies, where we are curious, what we want more of. Also, to feel what feels MEH, what we want to move away from, what doesn’t feel right at the moment. So yeah…this takes continuous practice.
Voicing our desire and boundaries
Next, we need to practice giving voice to our wants, needs, desires, boundaries. To not hold back, but openly express how we feel. What we want more of, what we want less of.
Being recieved with gratefulness
Lastly, we need to have our expression welcomed by the people we’re intimate with. They’ll have to learn to be thankful for you voicing your desire and doubt, your ‘yes’ and your ‘no’. They will then learn that your expression is a true gift of VULNERABILITY and OPENNESS.
This all leads to QUALITY INTERACTIONS and wonderful relationships. Where our desires and our boundaries all have a place.
You know what my desire is..?
For more people to learn about ONGOING ENTHUSIASTIC CONSENT. It’s about checking in regularly (with yourself and your partner), feeling enthusiastic and safe in an interaction, and truly enjoying the union.
If you want to learn more about ongoing informed enthusiastic consent: I have ample knowledge and experience in this field, and would be happy to guide you on your further explorations around this subject.
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