Can we talk about consent for a moment?
Consent applies to many every day interactions & isn’t JUST about SAYING yes or no.
Understanding & establishing consent for interactions with others in physical, emotional and/or sexual ways can create safety & ease for deeper, more embodied & nuanced connection with others.
It’s one of the core values of The EROTICA Film Festival.
Here are our top 5 tips for navigating ‘Consent’ in an intimate context
Speaking openly to those you are engaging in intimacy with about your boundaries is important.
Understanding what your yes’ & no’s are on a cognitive level AND within your body’s sensations & then communicating them with your partner(s) is a great way to start a conversation about your boundaries.
Sometimes navigating what’s okay & feels good for you is made easier when you clearly know what’s NOT okay & what doesn’t feel good for you (this extends to how you feel physically or emotionally within intimacy too!).
Predetermined boundaries don’t eliminate the need for consent, but they support the flow of consensual connection.
A boundary could be –
‘Don’t enter me without verbal consent’ or ‘When my body feels frozen – I need more time to feel relaxed, safe, turned on & open to progress to sex’
That doesn’t mean you don’t need to be communicating or receptive to your partners emotional needs or physical cues during intimacy, but you have a map of where to bring extra discernment to establishing consent to honour the boundaries
Inviting any fears to be shared can be a useful guide for consent, & can also support the formation of boundaries.
If someone’s fear is crossing their own boundaries, you may need to be extra discerning around how consent is given within intimate relating.
This could look like verbally clarifying, pausing, regulating, taking more time/slowing down, checking in & asking how things feel, taking breaks or switching roles, including safe words or making decisions to not open into certain aspects of intimacy or sex for a certain amount of time or at all.
Sharing desires before entering a space of intimate connection can also help in navigating consent.
The thing is, just because something is shared as a ‘desire’ – This is NOT automatic consent.
Eye contact, touch, breath, body language are all cues to attune to, as well as verbal communication.
Remember, things can change throughout intimately relating, whether physically or emotionally – just because a desire or yes has been expressed initially, it is not a given that that desire or yes will come to fruition no matter what.
Releasing expectations, agendas or fixed ideas about where your intimacy will take you is also important, as it releases pressure on fulfilling desires despite potential changes about how that feels to enter into in the moment.
Pause / Check In
The flow of passion, carnal desire, sexual aliveness & yearning can be intoxicating.
Desires in aroused states don’t always match our core values or boundaries.
Inviting a pause in heated moments to co-regulate & tune in with each other can create space for deeper authenticity & heart connection within the experience.
The invitation to ensure all aspects of the human being are included & cared for within relating, NOT just the body/sexual organs, is the foundation for consensual intimacy.
Consent Is Sexy
Don’t be concerned that making agreements will ‘ruin the mood’ – it gets to be playful & arousing to check in with where someone is at in different ways.
You can even tease them, build the arousal by waiting, unsatisfied with basic verbal consent.
You may even want them to beg for it!
Make it fun, get curious & incorporate many different forms of ascertaining their embodied F YES to add to the experience of your intimacy – not detract from it.
Sometimes, even with verbal consent, you may not feel full permission.
As we’ve mentioned a few times – there are many layers to full permission & consent that includes the whole person, & is considerate of their mind, heart & body within the intimate experience.
Here are some great words to offer in those moments:
‘I desire to pause & breathe together in this moment. May I just hold you?’
‘What do you need?’
‘I’m feeling uncomfortable, will you slow down with me? I may need to stop’
‘How are you feeling? Will you let me know what’s happening for you?’
‘I’m needing some time to integrate what we’ve already experienced together, I want some space now’
‘I’m feeling really complete in this moment & desire to transition into rest & reflection. Are you available for that?’
Explore these tools for deepening trust & creating opportunities for more authentic, embodied intimacy.
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