This might sound weird, but I’m actually pretty sick of talking about consent. As a fan of sex, what I really want to talk about is desire. Want. Lust. Need. Craving. But I can’t talk about all those cool things without also having to explain the basics of consent. Because some pricks still cannot drag themselves over this, the lowest possible bar. Consent! Fuck my life! It’s the most boring sexual basic! Consent is vital, of course, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also dull. Like that bit at the start of a cupcake recipe where they tell you what temperature you should set your oven to – it’s not the most interesting part of the recipe, but without it you can’t make cakes.
It may be easy to introduce your partner to your friends if you’re dating someone with infinite swagger. But my partner is often quite shy. When I introduce him to my friends, he’s nervous and unsure – will they like him? Will they see in him what I do? Will the start of the evening – all shuffled feet and polite chitchat and coughing and staring at phones – eventually meld into one big conversation, when he gets swallowed into the group until no one can remember that he only met them four hours ago?
Sexual consent isn’t gendered – at least, it shouldn’t be. If you’re chatting someone up in the hope that you’ll get to have sexy fun with them later, you shouldn’t be putting pressure on them to do things they don’t want to do, no matter what your gender or theirs. So apologies to everyone who knows this already, but I just wanted to pick up my sledgehammer and really slam this point home. Men: your consent matters too.
You can tell a lot about a person by what happens when you tell them ‘no.’ This is possibly one of the most useful lessons I’ve learned as a sex blogger, so I figured I’d share it with you: if you want to know someone, say no to them.
As someone who’s struggled a lot with anxiety in the past, I really appreciate hearing other people’s perspectives on it: how it affects them, how they manage it, and any other insights into it that make me (and hopefully others who struggle with it) feel a little bit less alone. So I’m delighted to welcome Kim to the blog today, who’s here to talk about sex with anxiety: the ways in which it can creep into your head when you’re trying to enjoy yourself, and how it doesn’t necessarily always have to win.