If you’re reading this, I assume you want to talk about consent. Here’s the first lesson: there’s no such thing as implied consent.
– you’ve heard the one about a cup of tea, right? I mean, that’s great, and it’s helpful, but “Keep Calm and Consent On” isn’t the only color that comes in…
Consent can be sexy. Consent can be a turn-on. Consent can be fuckin’ hot.
Don’t you want your partner saying yes?!
Don’t you want your bedfellow saying, “Yes, I want that!” “Do more of that!” “That feels good!”
Thought so. And yet, with #MeToo silence-breakers everywhere, it’s clear we’ve been living in a consent vacuum for a while. (To be clear: it’s not a scary time to be an initiator of sexual activity, it’s a scary time to be a sexual predator. Finally.)
I say, no more! I’m bringing consent back! You get consent, and you get consent, everybody gets consent!
Here’s your quick and dirty guide to gettin’ some so you can get some, in three easy steps: Stop, drop, roll.
1. STOP and ask before you proceed
Consent is simply the agreement of two (or more) people to be sexually intimate with one another.  It’s the initiator’s responsibility to get consent for EVERYTHING, and if it’s the first encounter, they need to get consent for ANYTHING. 
Particularly if alcohol is involved. Listen, drunk people try to consent to A LOT OF THINGS. You might be hearing “yes,” but that doesn’t mean it’s informed consent…
So often we talk about the importance of giving consent that we skip over the responsibility of getting consent.
It’s up to the initiator to keep checking in, and getting confirmation all the way along that this is something you both want. Keep in mind, if this is the first time someone is hearing the question, they may be a little taken aback.
Sex is like the rides at the carnival, not Disneyworld. You can’t get an unlimited rides pass – you have to pay for every single ride you go on.
Listen, you do this all the time. “Can I sit here?” “Can I move your coffee cup over?” “Can I make those changes to the file?” It’s not weird at all – usually, it’s something you don’t even think about.
Repeat after me: consent is???????? ONGOING ???????? VERBAL ???????? ENTHUSIASTIC????????.
Between both parties. (And let’s make this a party, shall we?) Going to get a condom, taking off clothes, walking towards the bedroom… This is not consent.
Just like drunk people can’t sign binding legal documents, people under the influence of drugs and alcohol aren’t reliable to give informed consent. See paragraph above re: responsibility of getting consent.
2. DROP it if they say no.
A lot of people don’t get consent because they’re afraid it’s going to be awkward. Let me tell you something:
Consent only awkward if you think they’re going to say no, and if you think they’re going to say no you DEFINITELY NEED TO BE GETTING CONSENT!
Otherwise, it’s called sexual assault. Sex is like boxing: both people have to want to be there and agree on the rules; without that, it’s a criminal activity.
It’s important to be prepared for what happens when you hear no.
Consent can be withdrawn at any point in time, and needs to be respected.
No is a complete sentence.
No does not mean try harder.
No does not mean you can start asking questions like, Than why are we even on this date? Why did you wear that? Why did you make out with me? Why not? You let me do it before!
No does not mean that you get mad.
Keep in mind: people can consent to other things than what you suggested, but if you freak out, you’re going to lose out. How you respond after getting no will dictate if you ever see this person again.
There are lots of signs that someone is uncomfortable, in pain, feeling pressured, and NOT consenting besides a verbal NO. The list is long but let’s start here: cringing, pulling away, not saying yes, pushing away, head shaking. Keep in mind that the power dynamics of the situation or the cultural socialization of your partner may be ‘pressuring’ them into saying yes or going along with it, even when they don’t want to.
There are also ways to say no without completely shutting down the party – though if you want out, get out.
If you want to stay in the game, but maybe play a little differently you can say things like:
Ooh that’s a three-month-in level thing for me…
I’m not really feeling that, but maybe we can do this?
Hang on, I want to take a break for a second.
I’m really not into that, but I do like…
That makes me uncomfortable, but what if we…
No comes in lots of forms, and how you give and receive NO is a crucial part of sex.
3. ROLL on you sexy thing 😉
So here’s the fun part. Remember consent feeling awkward? Let me tell you something:
YES IS NEVER AWKWARD.
(Unless it’s in this New Girl scene…)
When two people want to have sex, IT’S PRETTY GREAT, and they’re both into it. And really, you can only have sex with people who really want to have sex with you too. Which means:
Consensual sex is nevvvvver awkward.
(I mean, the sex itself can be awkward, if that’s what you’re into. But getting consent for it doesn’t have to be…)
Keep your personality with it – don’t try to be super suave if that’s not your move! “Hey baby, do you want to come back to my place?”
Consent can be goofy: “Raise your hand if you wanna go have sex!”
Consent can be easy. “Do you want to fuck me?” Whispered in the ear during a heavy make-out sesh is about as simple, and effective, as it gets.
Here’s the thing: consent can be fuckin’ sexy.
“Where do you want to be touched?”
“How can I make you feel good?”
“What do you want to do together tonight?”
“What words do you like to hear about yourself and your body?”
“What do you like in bed?”
Consent doesn’t have to be aggressive, consent doesn’t have to be kinky, consent doesn’t have to be anything but two people excitedly agreeing to what they’re doing. (Remember ongoing + verbal + enthusiastic? Just checking.)
Yes can also take lots of forms:
Yes can be, ‘Hell yeah!’
Yes can be tender.
Yes can be ‘Absolutely – and I want to take it slow.’
Yes can be, ‘I’ve had negative experiences before but I trust you and definitely want to do this.’
Look, “open dialogue” doesn’t sound sexy, but unless you’re a mind-reader, sex is going to be waaaay better if you tell the other person what you like and don’t like, and you’re going to be a much better partner if you ask for what they want and give it to them.
Trust, connection, and intimacy are built on open dialogue, and they’re sexy as hell. Basically:
You need consent to HAVE sex and to BE GOOD AT sex.
Let’s make consent great again, America!
 If you don’t understand what consent is, or it’s a really new idea for you, I’m going to suggest you pop over to Planned Parenthood’s really great site quick. But come back and join us when you’re done?
 Keep in mind that arousal states in the brain change our perceptions, so while these suggestions might not sound incredibly tempting on your screen, when someone you’re attracted to is offering you sex, they’ll definitely do the trick!