Consent is not only crucial when getting intimate with someone, but it’s extremely sexy too, as Jolaoluwa Ayeye explains.
“So… we hit it off, there’s just all this great chemistry and the timing was great and the mood is right”
“And so we’ve started getting hot and heavy, some kissing, light touching or whatever…”
“I’m waiting for you to get to the point..”
“ …and then I’m meant to just stop and ask if the person wants to continue”
“Yes, of course, you have to”
“Man… that would just ruin the mood! And besides, you’ll sound like a loser”
With the ever-growing awareness of nuance within consent, conversations like this have become not just more commonplace, but louder and deeper. It’s no longer just about loud verbal cues i.e a shouted “yes” or “no”. Now we know, that there are several other important factors that must be considered, including your partner’s body language and coercion/nagging disguised as consistency or “promoting your own interests”. What is the right thing to do in a sexual situation? What are the rules of engagement for sexual contact? Are we all going a little bit insane what seems to be an ever-increasing list of rules for not just human, but intimate contact as well? Is nothing private anymore?
— MTV Shuga (@MTVShuga) December 8, 2017
Over the years, especially through popular media like novels, films, music videos and even roundtable talk show discussions, we’ve been socialised to think that the ideal, sexy, sexual experience goes something like this; there’s chemistry, you find each other interesting, attractive and like spending time together. Then one day… or night, without words being spoken you start to kiss, and touch, and then the clothes come off and the best sex ever happens. It’s intuitive guesswork. The ultimate marriage between a ”spark” and “magic”.
Speaking, or any sort of reassurance has barely any place in this exchange. It takes away from that “magical” experience and is often portrayed as dorky or only the sort of thing an unattractive, untried “loser” would do, leading to derision and often abrupt or embarrassing end to the liaison. The portrayal that such discussions and heightened or careful awareness, don’t bode well for sexual liaisons makes even the idea an unsavoury one.
But is it really? What if your partner changes their mind and doesn’t want to go all the way anymore? What if they need you to be more patient to enjoy their experience? What if they’re nervous? How will you know if you don’t pause to find out? It’s time to change the narrative. As a matter of fact, it’s imperative that we do. Pausing to ask gently, if your partner is comfortable with what is going on, what they would like to do next, if they’re okay, asking what their boundaries and reassuring them that they can stop whenever they like is important.
Side Note: Leo had to learn a serious lesson on the meaning of consent in seasons 4 and 5 of MTV Shuga. Click the picture to read more:
If you are afraid that asking your partner for consent and staying aware enough to check for unspoken signs of discomfort, reticence or fear will end the sexual liaison, then that is a fair price to pay. At no point should a partner “kinda sorta” be “into” whatever sexual contact is happening/is about to happen be a good enough. The minimum expectation from any partner ought to be enthusiasm, excitement, active participation and comfort. Getting to this point does not happen automatically, and the idea that it does has no place in any society that is interested in being progressive.
Consent, verbal or otherwise is not a stumbling block in the way of a great sexual experience. It enhances it and is absolutely necessary for ensuring that both parties are happy to be where they are, and are on the same page about what is about to happen. It’s the kind and intelligent thing to do. And far from killing the mood or making either party feel uncomfortable or sound like a loser, consent is sexy.
On episode 3 of #MTVShugaNaija, Leila and Tobi’s heated moment was especially sexy because they were not only on the same page, but they both took time to pause and talk about condom use. They spoke to each other to understand what the other was feeling and voice their concerns.
After realising they didn't have condoms, Tobi brought up the topic of contraception with his new bae, Leila. What do you think is the right time in a relationship to start talking about contraceptives? pic.twitter.com/R3d1ap1WDL
— MTV Shuga (@MTVShuga) March 23, 2018