1. I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT WITH MY BODY.
2. YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT WITH YOUR BODY, LIKE YOU DON’T HAVE TO ASK IF YOU WANNA MASTURBATE DURING SEX.
3. IF YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING TO ME YOU HAVE TO ASK AND YOU HAVE TO BE EXTREMELY SPECIFIC. GOOD REQUESTS: “CAN I TAKE OFF YOUR SWEATER?” “CAN I LICK YOU HERE?” SPECIFICITY IS CONFUSING SOMETIMES AND ALSO I KNOW IT’S EMBARRASSING. BUT YOU HAVE TO BE AS SPECIFIC AS POSSIBLE. AS I START TO TRUST YOU THIS RULE MIGHT CHANGE.
4. TELL ME WHETHER YOU WANT ME TO ASK BEFORE I DO THINGS TO YOU.
5. YOU CAN ASK ME TO DO THINGS TO YOU BUT I MIGHT SAY NO.
6. IF I ASK YOU TO DO ANYTHING YOU CAN SAY NO.
7. NO EXPECTATIONS OF RECIPROCITY. ANYBODY CAN SAY NO ANY TIME. WE STOP WHENEVER SOMEONE WANTS TO STOP.
(thnks to the Learning Good Consent Zine)
trigger warning: rape
I had good sex with these rules so I thought I’d share them. In the past, I’ve been inconsistent about insisting on verbal consent, even though it’s really helpful for me. Sometimes it’s just too exhausting to explain the concept of verbal consent to straight boys who’ve never heard of it, and to be vulnerable to their weirdness about it.
But from now on I want to always insist on these rules, because the last time I didn’t I had weird sex that caused me to dissociate because it triggered my rape. I’ve been socialized to be a really accommodating person, and also I’ve read way too much male-centric erotic fiction. So I respond to feeling scared or vulnerable by trying to be helpful. When I start freaking out or feeling uncomfortable, I sometimes switch into trying to be really sexy and sweet, so that they won’t suspect that I’m freaking out / feel bad or ashamed. (I really waste too much of my energy trying to figure out how to not make men feel bad or ashamed, this goes double during sex. It seems really likely that porn has made me overidentify with the male mindset during sex, so it’s like, if *he* thinks that this is good sex, then it must be good sex! As a side note, I think this is a lot of why I identified with Marie Calloway’s piece.) What’s fucked up is that I think I disassociated and faked being present by being sexy and sweet during my rape, and I think I still sometimes revert to doing that during sex, until I go into that weird dissociative headspace, where I just playact or check out and wait for it to be over and then when it’s over I’m just sort of this limp, checked-out body. (Not that it can’t feel good to be fucked limp. But I just feel like I need to build myself back up again before I can make myself vulnerable to that, where it doesn’t make me feel so weird.)
The last time I did insist on verbal consent, I was with this new guy that I was sort of into. I wanted him to check in with me a lot because I didn’t want to become a false sweet and sexy girl, and I didn’t want to disassociate. So when he asked if he could take off my clothes I told him yes, but that he had to ask before he did anything. He took it sort of playfully at first, like he pointed to a spot on my cheek and asked, “Can I lick you here?” But I just said “yes” in total seriousness and so he licked it, then pointed to another spot on my cheek, further down my face, and asked, “Can I lick you here?” And then he did this like a hundred more times hehe sorry I’m blogging about my hetero vanilla sex but it was really sweet and nice and I was totally present the whole time.
Epilogue: So I thought I had made this totally awesome feminist breakthrough, but then it turned out that he was in the middle of a custody battle where he was being accused of rape and domestic violence, and he denied the whole thing, which was really confusing for me and my politics because I could imagine the feminist tumblr world getting livid at the idea of me repeatedly having sex with an accused rapist, even if I wasn’t in danger, because like it’s providing solace to the enemy, but he just denied it, which made it worse, and it was really confusing, and I didn’t know what to do.