Enthusiastic Consent

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This piece was written for Esoterotica, an erotica-themed open mic here in New Orleans. It is now featured in the ReJAC NOLA Reproductive Health Zine.

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I like my sex with a hard yes and a side of please
Please you, please me, please us
Are you scared to hear “no”? Here we go
I have no time for fragile egos,
Yesses that sound and look like no’s
And anyone who thinks that “anything goes”
Fantasy is fantasy, until you make it real
But before you do, make sure the other person feels
The same way you do about what’s about to go down
Get that communication on, before word gets around
That you’re an asshole. You don’t respect people’s boundaries.
I’m not here to tell you what to do in your bedroom
But to tell you the truth some of my best sex has involved a lot of “yes, yes, yes!”

I want to love you, even if just for one night
But to love you I gotta know how to treat you right
What do you like? May I touch you there?
Maybe loving you looks like not touching you anywhere
I don’t want to do things you don’t like being done,
I want an experience that you’ll remember as fun
I wanna make you sigh, if you’re into that
And let you know some things I like, if you’re into that
Because don’t get me wrong, I’m a good little sub
But unless we’ve agreed upon the scene
I am not an object upon which to act out your personal dreams
And you’re not that to me
Again, unless you’re into that. Because so am I.
But we gotta talk about it first, not assume it’s worth a try
Without asking, risking crossing a line
Putting an end to this sexy night
Oh why, why is it easier to risk crossing a line
Than to ask someone if this is something they’d like?

In my quest to understand I visited an interesting land called Reddit
Read a thread titled “What’s wrong with enthusiastic consent?”
And you know what I read?
If you ask for consent you won’t get laid, if you ask for consent you’re not doing it right
Sex is all about pushing boundaries and consent creates an unnecessary fight
Tell me: How do I push a boundary if I don’t know where it is?
No, you’d rather not know the boundary even exists. Selfish.
They said it’s too formal for an informal situation they said
A cheating man who didn’t give consent wouldn’t be forgiven
Because that’s what it’s really about, isn’t it?

These redditors are scared of regulators in their sex lives
I am, too. Oh wait, hah, too late.
They like playing “the game” but
“the game” only lasts so long
until the pain of a line crossed brings it all raining down
I want a world where people ask first, and it’s okay to say “no, thank you”
I want a world where we’re all selfless enough to say, “No, thank you.”
For knowing yourself and knowing your truth
I want a world where the hashtag “me too”
Means a different thing like, “Yeah, I also wanna fuck you!”
But only if you really do
Where it means, dude,
I’ve been wanting to blow you since the day I swiped right
And I hope it’s all right
If that’s as far as it ever goes
I want a world where not anything goes unless everyone’s agreed on it

Don’t you love yourself enough to only want to fuck people who want to fuck you?

I am not a character on TV or in a movie
Falling wordlessly into consent every other scene
And even if I am the star on your incognito browser screen
When you’re here, with me, I am a living, breathing human being
With wants and needs that I’ll whisper to feed your dreams

If you’re into that
And if you’re into me, you better listen.
I am a person, and so are you
Let‘s act like it.

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