Here's how to have the conversation without killing the mood.
Sex is quite a primal act. The human body knows exactly what it wants and when the opportunity for sex arises, its first inclination is often to go right for it. But that primal instinct can lead to murky (and awkward) waters if consent isn’t a priority.
Consent is more than just a transaction that happens before you engage in intercourse—it's an ongoing conversation that continues during, and even after, sex. And it’s definitely not exclusive to casual sex, but rather something that you should be mindful of with all your sexual partners, whether you've just met or you've been married for decades. (This example, using a simple cup of tea, explains it perfectly.)
The thing is, the word ‘consent’ doesn't exactly feel sexy. Because it's such a serious topic, there can sometimes be a pressure to make it sterile and transactional—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here's how to have the conversation without killing the mood.
Think about how frustrating it is when you don’t know what someone wants. Well, it works both ways, since your partner is probably feeling the same about you. So when you clearly state what you want, not only does it make you seem confident, but you also have a much higher chance of getting the kind of pleasure you’re seeking. Follow up your request with "how does that sound?" to get that consent checkmark.
Get really specific.
How are you going to do it? Where? How do you want it to feel? Don't skip the colorful parts. This gives your partner the chance to speak up if there’s something they’re not comfortable with. And be sure to listen to their suggestions as well and let them know if there’s something they have in mind that won’t work for you.
Set the rules.
If you have a feeling you might be anxious, creating a set of rules and expectations before you get things started can be super beneficial. Spelling out what you’re both into beforehand is helpful, but also let your partner know that if they change their mind, all they have to do is let you know. Make it sexy and do it with a safe word so you don’t have to worry about fumbling sentences in the moment.