In the past year I feel that the awareness CONSENT has come to be a national debate or topic in many arenas, not just only politically but also within the BDSM community and the swinger community. In my home state of California, last year the state passed a law that makes ANY sexual contact that is NOT consented to an act of rape. In popular culture, that disgustingly, terribly written Twilight Fanfiction series 50 Shades (I REFUSE to treat this grammatically like a book, since it is SWILL, aside from their disgusting take on BDSM it is HORRIBLY written), has brought the topic of BDSM to the national spotlight and one of the main critiques of the series is the lack of consent the sub character is given. I really don't want to go further dissecting this book etc, as it has been done to death and I despise how this book rapes the English language and exploits BDSM and whitewashes it.
CONSENT IS SEXY....
My experience in the swinger community or play parties etc. is that there have always been very clear guidelines regarding consent. Many people are often scared or intimidated about going to adult play parties because they somehow feel like it is going to be a free for all--I had these same reservations and misgivings about some Caligula style orgy but at the same time a little insecure because I didn't want to seem like a prude if I didn't want to do something with someone who wasn't sexy to me. The thought of someone I didn't find attractive trying to get sexual with me is very disturbing. ULTIMATELY, I learned that there are very clear and strict guidelines and if hosts and attendees of these parties do not ENFORCE INFORMED EXPRESSED consent then you were not allowed to attend, and warned that you will be expelled and banned if you violated the cardinal rule of consent. Now after attending dozens of parties, I know the GOOD SAFE and FUN ones have CONSENT DISCLAIMERS--which specifically state that you MUST ask before approaching, touching, ANYTHING--yet still encourage people to be friendly and decent to one another. After all you are there to have fun, get sexy and try things you haven't done before with multiple people.
Sexually I feel that when I agree and say yes to someone who respects me enough to ask--I know it sounds silly to say it because so much of language is body language, but a verbalization of someone's desire is a huge turn on. I like it when that desire is expressed, just kissing someone and throwing them on the bed is not going to do it, and for the record I have never allowed anyone to throw me anywhere without me verbally expressing my desire for them. I actually demand sexual attention, so my consent and desire is expressed, and I wait until that person gives me their consent before proceeding further. Even something as simple as a kiss feels special when someone asks for permission. Last year my friend tried kissing me on his birthday, but he did it by asking for a birthday kiss--very drunk so I refused because I feel like drunk people are consent impaired. If someone is not in their right mind their consent and trust is NULL and void. It loses its sexy when something is not consensual...not all parties have agreed ...it feels like you are forcing someone to be with you, that's not sexy, seriously...NOT SEXY, it's sexual assault/ rape...as the sober person it is up to you to say NO when the other person has NO control of themselves.
The Moral Dilemma of Being (Not Being) in Charge:
In sessions I often have this moral dilemma as lots of the power play resides in doing things are might be un-consensual and risky but the consensual part is the thrill of not being in control. The appeal of this is very powerful, to not be able to control a situation is central in a primal existential part of ourselves. If you didn't have control of yourself you'd feel like you were in a dream, or going crazy. It is an integral part of being to be in who you are, egos are very much about control. I am going to use one of my favorite examples...The Matrix. (You all know about Neo so I don't have to explain, and if you don't know then you need to be slapped--you don't have to LIKE the Matrix movies, you just gotta know this ONE film, OK? ). Control is parallel to the several levels of reality Neo experiences in The Matrix, when he is first taken out of the Matrix he realizes that all the "control" he thought he had inside was all simulated, not real all fake and programmed to keep him sedated and sleeping but he comes to realize that ultimately he is in control thus he can control the Matrix. The mind will always find a way to be in control, it is how human beings are Masters of the Universe, whatever our mind can create that is what the universe is. It is a big responsibility to be in control thus being out of control has a very powerful appeal. It is also the burden of existence, to constantly be in control is exhausting and it is why we sleep and dream--we need to allow a part of ourselves to be out of control. It is also why fantasies are so powerful, you imagine them in their idealized way that are sometimes so specific and perfect that every element is something you control even as you are fantasizing about being out of control.
Consent & Trust= Power Exchange
Consent and trust play a very important part of my life. I do very much enjoy and cherish those who allow me a plethora of Dominance and control over them. It is what makes me happy in being a Domme that subs consent to My control, and ultimately their trust. I make it a point to respect personal boundaries and HARD limits--I do not cross that threshold of someone's individual control because I feel it would violate their consent and that individual's trust. I love pushing some limits but that person has consented to allow me that. This is pivotal in power exchange. If that is what you want--of course in more extreme cases where people want to submit fully and give up all control, with no limits--I believe to give up full control of one's self takes giving up one's self...you lose your identity or learn to compartmentalize it real well, in the style of MK-Ultra you have been abused and broken down so badly that you suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder and can split off yourself and bury your identity to allow someone else to decide for you who you are. That's actually kind of intriguing in a morbid way, if I had a 24/7 slave would I want to create a clean slate in order to make them whatever I want--very powerful popular fantasy that one...(notice FANTASY...maybe an upcoming post of the Short List).
What actually inspired this blog post was someone asking me for a session where I tie them up, strip them naked, and make them stand somewhere semi-public where he might be seen and not be able to do anything about it. While he has granted consent and wants this to happen, the people who might see him have not consented, and since that bothers me, I cannot consent to the session. While people might be used to seeing things they don't particularly want to see, I would consider his unwarranted public nudity sexual harassment/assault, the lack of consent in a sex act of a third party that is OUT of MY control is something I ultimately cannot consent to because it is out of my control. Call me crazy but I have logically worked it out and it violates my morality of consent. But if two grown adults come to an agreement about something as complicated as exchanging control and trust then I am open to do many things most people wouldn't consent to doing to someone else. It is my consent to be in charge that gives me power, you can't force someone to be in control, that's just silly...
What are your thoughts on consent? DO you feel Consent is SEXY?