How to say “yes” and mean it.
Just saying “no” to sexual advances can actually be very difficult at times. Body language, tone of voice, history, relationship, context and the emotional intelligence of the person or persons can have a massive impact on how the rejection is received, or not received. But happiness in a hat box, is also a place to appreciate the great parts of sex.
That in mind, I thought I would begin a list of different ways to consent to sexual activities, both before and during. Please go ahead and add your own suggestions. If the way you say yes is simply a nod, that’s great. If you say yes by waving a turkey in the air, firing a gun and yelling “Show time!” I want to hear about that too. (Maybe with a little explanation of context).
Ways to say yes:
- Sounds good
- Uh huh (Best delivered with wide eyes and an opened mouth, in my opinion)
- I’m up for it
- We’re on the same page
- Groan happily
- Whimper happily
- Screaming happily
This may require checking in, to make sure the person knows it’s a scream of joy. Again, context, relationship etc. etc. will all come into it.
- Keep going
A personal favourite of mine and it always makes my partner grin from ear to ear.
- Can you be more specific?
This can lead to a yes or a no, but I think we too often assume what someone means when we’re too scared to ask for clarification. However you want to phrase it, making sure you know what you’re in for makes a difference. One person’s “anal play” might mean gentle stroke of the nearby area, another person’s “anal play” may be the largest ball on the beads.
- I’d like that (If you’re stuck in a romantic drama, of course).
- That sounds good, but I will pump the breaks if I need to, and I expect you to stop.
This one seems oddly specific, but in the early days of my partnered sexual activity, I realised that sometimes people need to hear that this is about going at your own pace, not about anyone rushing each other to some desired point. I found it was also a good one to hear myself say out loud. If you know that you might not want to fuck someone to the nth degree, affirming out loud for yourself is important. I also found that it scared off the jerks and helped others to feel comfortable checking in more often, or just slowing things down themselves.
- Safe words.
Most people know about safe words as a way to say no or stop, without actually having to use those words. Yet, mutually agreed upon safe words don’t just have to be for slowing down. They can be a quick and easy way to affirm consent of something that’s happening. My partner and I often engage in pretty heavy BDSM play and given then nature of our own expectations, something that was a wet dream in our own minds, can fast become a pretty scary nightmare in reality. Noting the worry on a partner’s face and having a quick and easy way to reassure them that everything is OK, saves a lot of unnecessary conversation. It also keeps things flowing nicely.
- Beginning to undress yourself.
- Fuck yes!
These are just a few ideas. Don’t forget to comment and help someone else find the words, or actions, they may need.