one of the best lessons i’ve started to learn at college is the concept of consent. i remember the term being thrown around at the various mandatory orientation programs my freshmen year. other than that, it was pretty much the standard “no means no” type thing and not much deeper.
as time has gone on, my understanding of consent has continued to change. the first change is that consent doesn’t just apply to sexy-times for me anymore. it’s pretty much whenever i’m about to do something that involves another person, ie touching them/picking them up or something (i love picking people up…). personal space is something that is important to a lot of people and unwanted physical contact of any kind can be upsetting (and has been to me).
i have picked up that habit of asking before and during—multipletimes—whether or not [whatever it is] is okay. i feel like the multiple times part is important, especially when being intimate because sometimes it can be hard to say no or anything negative for fear of upsetting the other person/not going with the flow/etc. going against what seems to already be happening can be rough, and its understandable that one does not want to say something they think the other doesnt want to hear (as in, “no,” “not okay” or “im uncomf”). i realized that i what i want to hear is the truth. so what im saying, i guess, is “no” would make me just as happy as “yes”, given that it was honest—and maybe happier because i feel like “no” can require more honesty, trust and willingness to talk things out.
as i said, consent is a subject that im starting to learn about. i think it’s a very simple concept at heart but the fact that human communication is inherently flawed because your meaning of “okay” could be totally different than mine (i have gone in circles about absolute meanings/truths etc). for me, this means that i want to work hard to create the opportunities to talk and create better understandings. right now, i understand that yes does not always mean yes and sometimes it means fuck yeah, y’know? im excited to keep learning about it and practicing it and trying to make safe spaces more of a reality.