You may have noticed a campaign promoting a different kind of sexual awareness on your campus. People such as Mike Domitrz, author of May I Kiss You?, and others are suggesting a different approach to dating and relationships, all while addressing the real risk of sexual assault.
The idea is an interesting one: Since college hook-ups are a reality — and all too often these situations are amplified by alcohol — having a language to make sure both of you truly understand the boundaries is both important and empowering. Not only can you draw the line between what he considers hot — and what you definitely do not — but you can stop things from going beyond what you feel comfortable with.
Plus, being on the same page with the person you’re with, whether it’s going to be for one night or a lifetime, is key to your sexual satisfaction. Taking control of your sex life by employing the language of consent is a good way to establish this pattern because the language we use during intimacy can greatly influence our behavior outside the bedroom.
What Is the Language of Consent?
This is how it works: Instead of just asking yes-or-no questions, the language of consent involves open-ended dialogue such as: “Can I kiss you?” or “Where do you want my hands?” By asking these questions, things can move forward only when both of you feel comfortable. Plus, by checking in with each other, you can express pleasure and discomfort. Also, it allows for people to change their minds, suggest new things, say “yes,” say “no,” or anything else. Check-ins provide a great way to stay present in the hook-up. It can be as simple and sexy as an open-ended question or as personal and intimate as “how are you feeling?”
The Power of Slowing It Down
Another lesson of consent suggests there is virtue in taking things slow. A slower pace brings a fantastic tone of anticipation, a slight tease for everyone, and provides valuable time to process the passion. When you slow things down, you are allowed to take a moment to really understand what feels right. In college, you are just starting to explore your sexuality. Taking a moment to pause, and then moving forward can ultimately make it even hotter because you feel connected and secure.
Heading Down the Right Path
Consent is a lot about self-discovery. Some of us know what we want but aren’t quite sure how to best express it. When we take the time to think, we end up finding out about ourselves and are able to express intimate feelings from a more honest, personal, and genuine place. These positive early experiences will help establish a healthy love map and give you the framework for a lifetime of intimacy, connection, and sexual happiness.
Being true to yourself and being able to both ask for what you want in bed and listen to what a partner needs puts you on a path to fulfillment.