When it comes to sex, “consensual” isn’t the same as “no mistakes.”
Sure, consensual means no big, life-changing mistakes. It means no clearly and easily avoidable mistakes. It means avoiding all the nasty stuff like:
- penetration without an active ‘yes’, or
- lack of regard for risk, or
- sex without an easy, agreed, recognisable way to withdraw consent, or
- negotiation where a hard limit is discussed like it’s a soft limit or a preference.
People talk about “active, informed and enthusiastic” consent because it goes a long way to prevent the above. Those kinds of things aren’t mistakes, they’re down too bad consent.
But even when you stay well clear of all that, even when your partner is a decent human being who would never want to violate or harm you — that doesn’t mean everything always goes to plan. Maybe an unwelcome memory rears its ugly head. Maybe your body starts feeling wildly uncomfortable when you didn’t think it would. Maybe you didn’t shut the door and the cat walks in.
Mistakes will happen; the question is, what do you when you realise it’s not working? And do you learn from your mistakes?Continue reading Consent means communicating if something’s not going to plan (in a context of mutual trust)