With discourse around consent rapidly (and thankfully) increasing post several online movements, we are finally discussing it in more detail than ever. Sexual activities often fall into a bracket of activities that happen across time and situational contexts- thus creating subjectivities. However, through this all, it is important to maintain that positive and enthusiastic consent is obtained from all parties involved.
But consent isn’t just a formality in the beginning of the act and forgotten later- it needs to be asked for at every new stage of sexual activity. Consent for one sexual act doesn’t mean consent for all- and it certainly doesn’t mean the consent is constant- it can be taken back at any time when a person changes their mind as well. But many argue that consent can ruin the flow of the moment or the mood during extremely passionate situations.
This can’t be further from the truth- ongoing and enthusiastic consent can be the sexiest and most affirming way to have a holistic sexual experience. First of all, nothing is sexier than knowing that your partner wants this as much as you do- and them verbally saying it. It is also an affirmation of how much they are enjoying the activity and want to continue it! While it may seem like it’s better to move from one activity to the other seamlessly as is shown in movies, asking for consent before each new activity during a sexual encounter can also build anticipation of the various things you and your partner want to experience.
But also: the flow of a sexual encounter, especially during heterosexual sex, is often dictated through the lens of a singular male gaze and porn- which clearly ear-mark all the things that are supposed to happen. Each person is different, and may have different things they enjoy or dislike. Asking for consent before each act will also allow you to know which sexual activities your partner likes more- thus making it a more pleasurable experience for you both- because even if they consent to all the activities and go with it- it’s rare to express all the things one likes and dislikes before getting into the act; and asking for consent at each step can be a way to achieve that.
Lastly, always remember: potentially ruining the mood, even for a few seconds- is much better than putting your partner in an uncomfortable position. Remember, manzuri hamesha zaroori hai! Asking for consent at each step can break the ice, create more communication and lead to a more pleasurable and safe experience overall- is there anything sexier than that?