Discussing Consent and Scene Negotiation
Part of my life i have been a father to two daughters. I have done my best to be open and honest with them about my own sexuality, empower their own positive body image and set real world expectations around relationships. Both mainstream ones as well as alternative lifestyles like mine.
Last term Lil took a “Sex, Gender, and Society” class. She is her father’s daughter and loved it. Discussing sex in an age appropriate way is something the Blonde and I have always done. The idea of exploring those topics with people’s whose lives were dedicated to the topic and debating with other students invigorated her.
This though was different because now my 18 year old daughter after debating consent in class for weeks ask me about how i handled consent and negotiating a scene…with a real life example and a friend of mine she had met. It was no longer theory but an applied science discussion. And i was the lab rat.
“Dad you use to play with the Siren right?” she had met the Siren once many years ago. Admittedly she was a regular part of household conversations for a few years and while less frequently talked about still comes up from time to time. She and I are still in contact.
“Yes kiddo the Siren and i are friends. And we did play a few times. We dated more than anything.” you could see Lil processing my answer.
“Did you tie her up?” she asked. I was curious as to where the conversation was going but explained that we had attended a workshop where I did tie her but we had never done an actual rope scene. Fortunately she did not ask about what else play meant for us or the difference between a class and a scene. Explainable yes, but the drive was not that long to do it justice.
For years the black gym bag over my shoulder meant i was “going to a Malflic thing”. Now though the conversations were getting a little more detailed than i ever expected.
“How did you know it was OK with her?” ahhh suddenly i knew where this was really going.
So i explained that we had talked about things before we started playing, and that when she and I agreed to go to a class however we didn’t specifically discuss what we would and wouldn’t do. I expected her to speak up if she was uncomfortable, had a physical limitation, was just not her thing or whatever. Likewise if I felt that the ties were not safe or i lacked the skills to execute them, or was uncomfortable it was my responsibility to do the same and speak up.
Interestingly Lil was concerned that might mean i didn’t really have the Siren’s consent. Since i didn’t explicitly ask.
A moment was taken to consider my answer. “You’re right in that i assumed she consented. I had sent her the class description, asked if she wanted to go to it with me and be my practice bottom. That I assumed when she said yes, signed up, told me where to pick her up at that it all was a series of “yes” it’s ok unless she stated otherwise at any point.
It was an interesting view point. I never once thought as i sat there on a blanket, rope in hand, in the bag and all around that consent was not given as she would snuggle into me.
So i explained when my partner stood up and asked if it was ok if she took off her dress before we started to say. “Yes that’s fine, ”then for me to ask “Is it ok to tie you up?” and then make her answer me audibly.
Ironically had it been a new partner i would have, if it was a person i didn’t know well or hadn’t been friends with i would have asked or informed them before putting the first rope on her. Or a new kind of rope/tie.
This troubled Lil. I could see it. Then she asked a few more questions. It led to the concept of safewords, calling colors red, and yellow. She asked about “green” and i chuckled. After all no one has ever yelled put GREEN in the middle of a scene.
In fact if they did i might stop rather than keep going simply for clarification.
“How did you know it was OK if she never said yes.” i went on to explain that neither of us were new to kink. That we were friends, knew each other’s interests to a point, and played at parties more so than privately. She was still processing. So i shared “i didn’t kiss her for the longest time.”
Lil stared thought and then asked “Why not?” the answer was easy because she never indicted that it was OK. “So you did rope or whatever but didn’t kiss her?”
Which was exactly right until one night after i missed the chance and realized she wanted me to. So i asked her about and corrected that the next time around.
It struck me. We are teaching our children that sex requires consent, that consent means a verbal yes at every stage so there can be no misunderstanding of whether what is being proposed is acceptable to them. Which is great. Honestly no issues there.
Yet i have to wonder if they are learning to communicate with their partners outside of those heated moments. To express their needs, wants and desires. But that is a topic for another time.