Tag Archives: consent

Guest blog: Withdrawal symptoms – how to withdraw consent

If you’ve been following the criticism of the oppressive changes to UK porn regulations, you’ll probably have seen one or two (or thousands of) people spitting outrage over the definitions of ‘moderate’ pain and consent. While consent in porn is absolutely vital, the censors have made a pretty huge mistake in how they categorise it – believing that consent is something which should be determined by an objective third party, rather than the people who are playing.

It’s for this reason that they’ve said porn with a bound and gagged subject will be censored – apparently there’s no clear means of withdrawing consent.

Please welcome Jenny, who is here to demonstrate just how utterly ridiculous that assumption is.


Guest blog: Hit me, but only when I tell you to

This week’s guest blog comes from the brilliant Broken Sub. Her blog is searingly honest, and combines some straightforward, fun sex blogging with some fascinating reflective posts on BDSM and her submission.
I don’t want to say too much by way of introduction, because I don’t want to detract from her own words, but I should warn you that the blog includes discussion of abuse. It’s also incredibly personal, and very thoughtful. If you want to find out more, please do check out her blog.


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Why the ‘Good2Go’ consent app is shit

Sometimes when I am having an argument with a complete twat about consent, they argue that consent is difficult and the fluid nature of it means that life is so hard for people that they might as well just NOT HAVE SEX AT ALL because they’ll never be sure if their partner likes it. At this point I smash my face repeatedly into whatever firm objects there are to hand, and explain to them that before throwing all their toys out of the pram they might like to instead try communicating with their partner, and watching/listening for those sexy clues (verbal, non-verbal, a combination of the two) that someone gives you when they’re keen.

At some point in the conversation, aforementioned twat might say this:

“Oh, I suppose you want me to get them to SIGN A CONTRACT or something saying ‘I declare that I consent to this sex’ before I even lean in to KISS THEM?!”

And it is at this point that my head explodes, spraying passers-by with the messy detritus of the by-product of their twattery. Because there’s a mistake here. A massive and fundamental one.

Good2Go app and consent

This week yet another shiny new sex app was launched. The aim of it was to get people thinking about consent, and the app itself does… well… some things that sort of miss the point. There’s a Slate article here that explains what the app does, but in essence the idea is that you and your partner both use the app to record the fact that you are ‘Good2Go’ (i.e. have sex, although there’s little detail about specifics) and then you have sex. And then… what? Magically everything you do is consensual and nothing can ever go wrong?

The app does flag that consent can be withdrawn at any time, which is useful, but not massively so, because fundamentally the app is based on exactly the same misconception as the idea of a consent ‘contract’: that consent is a tickbox. Once ticked it can be unticked, but it’s a firm and decisive ‘OK.’

How I like to get sexual consent

Perhaps the reason the contract idea sounds so tempting to twats is that it sounds a bit legal – a bit ‘official’. Of course the sex you’re having is official and totally A-OK: someone has consented to it. They have rubber-stamped your sex plans, signed their name on a dotted line at the end of a piece of paper, ticked a box, pressed a button on an app. You’re ‘good to go.’

Unfortunately, this is not the kind of consent I want when I’m fucking: it’s the kind of consent I want when I’m selling someone insurance.

“Do you understand the risks, sir? Have you read the small print?”

“Why yes I do, and I have.”

“OK, please sign the dotted line then prepare for the sexing to begin.”

It is the least sexy thing in the entire fucking world, and sexual relationships just don’t fucking happen like that. If they do, you are either a fetishist with a really niche role-play fantasy, or you’re doing sex wrong. If I want to fuck, here’s the kind of consent I’m after:

“Touch me. There. Oh fuck, yeah that’s it. Bit higher. Mmm. Bite my nipples. That’s good. Oh please put my cock in your mouth. Like that. Bit more gently. Aaah, perfect. Fuck. Fuck that’s good.”

Or, if you’re less chatty during sex itself, here’s the kind of consent I’m after:

“I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to get shagged with a strapon.”

“Sweet. Want me to show you?”

“Umm… would it hurt?”

“Maybe. Tell you what – I’ll use tonnes of lube, and we’ll start slowly and take it from there, what do you reckon?”

Note that he hasn’t explicitly offered a safeword or asked me if I’ll stop if he tells me to because for me that goes without saying. If it doesn’t go without saying for you, then say it. Anyone who thinks you’re a dick for saying it is not worth fucking.

Other forms of consent include guys begging me to fuck them, guys staring at me with sexy, sexy eyes, then raising eyebrows as if to say ‘do you want this?’ as they reach round to touch my arse. They include me telling a guy a story about a particular fantasy in which I struggle a bit against him while he fucks me, and that guy fucking me in that way, but stopping if I say ‘ooh, fuck, ouch, your elbow’s on my hair’ or ‘OK that was hot but can we switch round now?’ They include all of these things and more.

Crucially, consent in all of these situations is individual to me, and to the person I’m with: it’s personal. If any single one of you points at this blog post and uses it as an excuse to raise your eyebrow and grab the arse of a person you fancy, then scream at them “BUT GOTN SAID THAT WAS CONSENT!” you have utterly and completely missed the point.

But what is consent, exactly?

Consent may be hard to explain, because it’s individual, but that doesn’t mean it is hard to do. You communicate with your partners about what they want, what they need and what they are absolutely dripping hot for, and you keep listening. As you kiss them, touch them, fuck them, and cuddle afterwards. And yes, I am fully aware that this blog post is in no way helpful to someone who is stuck in the ‘contract’ mindset: someone who wants a blogger to give them a list of words and body language signals and phrases that they can tick off and feel comfortable that they definitely did all the right things and established consent.

But that’s deliberate. I haven’t done it for the same reason I haven’t told you how to have the perfect conversation or work out whether this person you’ve approached in a bar definitely fancies you: sometimes things just don’t work like that. I need to stress wholeheartedly that I am not an expert in this. I am an expert when it comes to negotiating the kind of sex I want from my own partners, but I am not an expert in what you should do with yours. If you want some more considered, expert advice on this, do what I do and learn from Bish.

What I do feel qualified to tell you, though, is what consent is not: it is not a simple rubber-stamp ‘OK.’ Saying ‘should I have a contract?’ or ‘should I have an app?’ is based on the fundamental misunderstanding that because we have a legal definition of ‘consent’, that gaining it should be done in the same way as you’d go about gaining planning permission, or something equally tedious.

Do not ask your partner whether they’re ‘Good2Go’, like you’re a dodgy car salesperson trying to get them to sign off on a ropey deal. You’re not looking to get them to agree to something, you’re looking to find out if this is something they actually want. Ask them: is this fun? Do you want this? What’s great and what’s not working? Ask with your eyes, your hands, your mouth, and every tool you have to communicate. And keep asking.

That’s not just how you get consent, it’s how you get good sex.

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Guest blog: Primary school sex education

There’s lots of debate at the moment around how young people are taught about sex. My own sex education was fairly decent, if a little patchy, but focused pretty much entirely on the basics. Trains in tunnels, how to avoid a tiny baby train coming out of the tunnel, that kind of thing.

This week’s guest blog is a fantastic overview of why the more emotional aspects of sex education are so vital, and is a call to arms for those who work with younger children, to make sure that they are given a good emotional grounding rather than just a quick, embarrassed talk about the birds and the bees. Tasha is a primary school teacher who is keen to get better age-appropriate sex education on the curriculum. When she emailed me, with the example she uses in the piece below, I thought it was such a perfect example of the odd views society has on things like consent, and why it’s important to help children understand issues like this early on.

Primary school sex education

My sex education at primary school boiled down to one video; a video starring a naked couple, coolly walking around their flat allowing us to check out some of the physical changes that our bodies, on the cusp of puberty, would soon experience. I was then given a special copy of Mizz magazine that came with a couple of pads and instructions on how to get along with my mum. No follow up lesson was planned for, no opportunity to ask questions or explore any of the revelations that the video had given us a snapshot of.  This picture remained the same through secondary school, where, while I was taught about the mechanics of sex, important emotional and sexual health details remained untouched.

Begrudged by the memory of my own scrappy sex ed, I knew I wanted to deliver some kick-ass lessons of my own when I started teaching upper primary a few years back.  By giving children access to honest information, I hoped  the sessions would enable them to feel confident and knowledgeable about both the physical and emotional aspects of sex and relationships. The importance of the latter became clear a few weeks ago during a chat with the girls in my class on puberty.

After these girls had cooed over some bras (it took three attempts to explain the difference between the number and the letter on the bra’s label), we checked out some hypothetical problem scenarios together. One of the scenarios told the story of how a girl, in year 6  (10-11 years), felt unready to kiss her boyfriend, but was scared not to do so in case he dumped her. Almost all of the girls in the group deemed this to not be a ‘real problem’ and unanimously agreed that she should just suck it up and kiss him, lest she become a laughing stock and, heaven forbid, become single at the age of 10.

These girls, aged between 9-10, believe that being a girlfriend equates to existing as somebody who will indulge a man’s desires regardless of their own insecurities and needs. Will this same group of girls in a few years time think that a girl should suck it up and have sex due to fear of being dumped? To suck it up on the street when cat called? When groped in a bar? By no means is this exclusive to females, boys at a young age are subject to very similar pressures. Interestingly, when the boys in my class were posed with the same scenario, they responded much more compassionately, suggesting that they should both ‘have a bit of a chat’. Supposedly, a mix of peer pressure, the endless objectification of women in our media and personal insecurities help to cultivate these dangerous ideas at such a young age.

Recently it has been revealed that Cambridge University is considering sexual consent classes in a bid to educate students on sexual violence. While it’s great  to see that universities are becoming proactive in educating their students on consent, it is evident that legislative steps need to be made to ensure that all children receive quality sex and relationships education at an early, albeit appropriate stage of their school careers.

Unquestionably, all  personal, social and health education must be age appropriate and delivered in an environment that is safe and inclusive. Children are curious about sex, therefore as a practitioner it is important that you teach accurate, honest information to avoid misconceptions and mystery around the subject, so that they are equipped with the knowledge to make informed choices as they grow. The more confused a child becomes due to lack of information, the more likely they may be to seek information from unsuitable sources that may misguide them.

The conversation that took place in my classroom that day shows that children in primary school need to be taught skills that will enable them to nurture safe, positive relationships. While it can be necessary to separate boys and girls for some aspects of sex and relationships education, it is valuable to run mixed lessons that encourage discussions between males and females. Take the example above, for instance, where girls and boys separately discussed their thoughts on the girl in the story who was unready to kiss her boyfriend. On reflection, I would now teach this as a mixed session, where both sexes can critically analyse a range of views on relationships and sex in society. Exercises like these will teach children how, through negotiation and discussion with one another, positive solutions can be reached. Hopefully, providing they receive quality sex education that promotes this mutual respect between the sexes throughout their school careers, they will begin to recognise gender inequality within relationships, fully equipped to make their own, informed decisions that will keep them safe.

Sex and relationships education is currently only compulsory to those aged 11+. There is an argument against teaching sex education in primary schools, since there is the unfounded belief that it encourages the early sexualisation of children. This bullshit stems from ministers in our own fragmented government, who are neglecting children by failing to ensure that they are educated on happy, healthy, sexual relationships. Without question accurate, factual information provided through sex and relationships education will prevent uncertainty about sex and encourage children to respect themselves and one another.  In a society that struggles itself to clarify the blurred lines surrounding sexual violence, can we really afford to keep sex and relationships as a non-compulsory part of our primary curriculum?

I want him to touch me while I sleep

A confession: sometimes I pretend to be asleep. He knows I’m pretending, and I know he knows I’m pretending, but as I breathe softly and try not to move, I’m pretending to be asleep.

I love to lie still and wait for him to come to bed. To slip naked under the covers and squash up to me. I love feeling his dick go from flaccid to solid as he rests it in the crack of my arse.

Best of all I love his hands. Tentative strokes at first – easing softly from a hug to a grope, building to very gentle pinches of my nipples. Like he’s trying very hard not to wake me up. Like he just needs to feel the texture of my skin, or squeeze the curve of my hips.

Like all he wants is to touch me.

I breathe in and out, trying to measure the movements and sounds so that my fake sleep remains convincing. His hands wander further, and he gets rougher in his movements. He knows what I’m waiting for, and he sighs with open lust as he pushes his cock up against my arse.

Grinding, squashing, pushing it against me, before he pulls away and grips it with his right hand.

His touches get more urgent. As he rubs himself slowly, his other hand wanders all over me – stroking me, grabbing my arse, using his fingers to push the thin fabric of my knickers deep into my crotch. Sometimes he stops, licks his fingers, then puts his hand back, this time pushing the fabric to one side so he can work them in further. All the time gripping the shaft of his dick and rubbing himself closer to orgasm.

I shift slightly, just the tiniest movement as if I’m stirring in my sleep, and he takes the opportunity to flip me over. With his left hand, he pulls at my shoulder until I’ve rolled onto my back, then his greedy hands are back again – pawing at my chest. His left hand gripping one of my tits while the bed shakes with the effort of vigorously rubbing his cock.

Lying there as still as I can, my cunt taut and aching with need, I suppress the desire to fuck him – to ‘wake up’ and turn over and slide neatly down the shaft of his dick. I want to do that, but what I want more is to lie in the stillness, hearing the shuffling and gasping and feeling the sheer, objectifying need of him. This one thing – this gulping, horny, compulsive desire to grab and swallow me up – is the single unifying feature of all the best sex I’ve ever had.

That lust. That desire. Those greedy, greedy hands.

I can hear his breathing getting faster. The little ‘mmm’s and ‘ungh’s that I imagine him making when I’m not there. His movements get faster too. Rubbing himself angrily and squeezing me tightly. He dips his head to suck hard on one of my nipples, grunting lustfully as if the only thing that will sate him is my body.

And it does.

In one quick movement he kneels up. With one hand still firmly gripping me – pinching a nipple with all the force he held back on earlier on, he leans over my still body. A short grunt, a sigh, and the lashing jets of spunk hitting my chest, my neck, my face.

As he lies back down, he idly rubs the liquid into my skin as it cools, then rolls over and settles down. With my clit throbbing and my knickers wet, it takes me another hour to get to sleep.


Note: The idea that he might touch me while I sleep naturally raises some questions around consent, so hopefully this note will answer them. There are two ways my partner and I deal with consent around sleep sex:
Firstly, I make it fairly obvious when I want this stuff to happen: I lie in a very specific position – on my stomach, one leg straight and the other bent to the side, giving him easy access to the crotch of my knickers and my dripping wet cunt.
Secondly, on the very few occasions when I actually am asleep and he hasn’t realised, I either wake up utterly drenched with arousal, and assume the position to encourage him to continue, or I wake up irritable and I growl, in which case he stops and wanders off to the living room.

I shouldn’t need to say this, but when I don’t I get comments from people saying ‘oh my god you’re encouraging people to just go ahead and do this’. I’m pretty confident that no one is going to read something like this and take it to mean that all women want to be touched up while they’re asleep, but this note is here just in case you think they might be. So, yeah. If you have sexy, greedy hands, don’t fuck things up by using them when they’re not wanted.