Activity: Eroticizing Verbal Consent

8 Feb

*** EDIT: Check out this similar blog post! Thanks Melissa for the heads up!***

Recently, I lectured at the University of Michigan Sexpertise event about a variety of sexuality related topics, including eroticizing the consent process and making negotiation sexy. Videos of the lectures themselves are soon to come, but in the interim I wanted to share an activity I used at the end of the event to help the group relax into the idea of clearly and explicitly stating sexual desires in a safe, confidential way. Please note this is an adapted version of an activity done at a sexuality training I attended years and years ago, and I am unable to find the original source to credit them. If you know who it is, please let me know!

Background: We’ve all read and heard about the importance of gaining clearly stated verbal consent from partners before sex acts. But how do we do that in a way that doesn’t make our partner feel like we’re role-playing lawyer or doctor? “I would like to remove your pants and preform fellatio,” might interrupt the flow of a sexual exchange by sounding too clinical.

I suggest that dirty talk is an excellent way to go about negotiating consent while simultaneously heightening the erotic experience. “All I can think about is tearing off your pants and sucking your..” well you get the idea.. is asking your partner through stated desires, just like the earlier example, but in a way that’s likely to heat things up instead of cool them down. Dirty talk is an excellent way to state an interest in some sexual activity, and create space for your partner to say “yes, please!” or “mm, maybe not.. but I’d love to ____, what do you think?”

The problem is that dirty talk can feel awkward sometimes! Follow the cut for an activity to help participants loosen up and get comfortable with making sexy suggestions without being too on the spot!

Materials needed:

  • Index cards or slips of paper for each participant
  • Pen or pencil for each participant
  • At least 10 people ( to keep it anonymous)
  • Sense of humor

Process:

  1. On the slip of paper provided, participants write a body part they find particularly sexy. It can help for the facilitator to make some suggestions like “abdomen” or “ankle” to get participants thinking beyond the genitals.
  2. Participants fold paper and hand it in to the facilitator.
  3. Facilitator shuffles papers and redistributes while describing the next step.
  4. Now, participants each have a slip of paper with a body part somebody else in the room finds sexy written on it. They each write something sexy you could do to that body part. The facilitator may suggest “massage it” or “lick it.”
  5. Participants fold paper and hand it in to the facilitator.
  6. Facilitator shuffles papers and redistributes while describing the next step.
  7. Participants each have a slip of paper with a body part and an action written on them. They go around the room, practicing asking for consent to do the action to that body part in their best bedroom voice.
  8. Participants may get a little self-conscious. It may be useful for the facilitator to remind everybody of the diverse possibilities of sexuality (if group seems to be making fun of each other’s body parts, which is highly unlikely), and that they are reading body parts and actions listed by somebody else, so nobody is going to make assumptions about their sexual tastes based on the practice activity.
  9. Lead a group discussion how it felt to sexily ask to do actions out loud.

This activity definitely pushes some people’s comfort limits, but in a gentle way that helps ease them into the process of verbal negotiation. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from everybody who has engaged in this activity at one of my workshops. Enjoy!

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