Consent Is Hot

I grew up thinking that sex – in its sexy, romanticised form – was when a strong, very “manly” guy was grabbing a sweet, pretty girl who would take it without absolutely agreeing or asking for anything. I never saw in films and books partners asking each other ‘Is this what you want?’ ‘Are you sure?’. My parents never taught me that consent was the very first ingredient of the formula, and the most fundamental. The education system didn’t either. I remember a giggling classroom awkwardly putting condoms over polystyrene penises and an intervenient telling us that there were pretty much three contraceptive ways, – that too, what a misinformation. I never heard about women’s pleasure, gay sex, and most of all: consent.

However, what was shown to us in the media were beautiful and silent girls bending to a man’s desires. As for boys and men, society never permitted them to pay attention to their own consent, as if they should always want it, always perform it.

I thought until my late teenage years that this not very consensual and fully sexist approach of romance and sex was what I should be aiming for, how it should look like, how I should behave. This was until I educated myself – and saw how this new generation could wonderfully educate and support each other – but also when a partner told me that if I wasn’t feeling like it, it was absolutely unimportant. I was then filled up with a wave of trust for that person, of self-confidence and immediate energy: it changed everything.

Consent is hot. Checking on someone is sexy af. Accepting that someone isn’t ready or likely to perform a certain sexual practice is important, and, should I repeat it: hot. It doesn’t make things less intense or weird. A person asking: ‘is that okay?’ could change the whole dynamic for the absolute best.

Consent is hot because it creates respect and trust. These ingredients very often lead to better, if not great, sex. How on Earth would it be sexy to pressure someone to do something they don’t want to? First, this is called abuse. Second, what sounds better? Someone doing something with you willingly because they crave it and are ready to experiment it, so they will gladly dedicate themselves to it, or someone doing it under fear and pressure?

Here, for boys and men out there who suffer from this sad symptom called fragile masculinity and are often afraid to communicate with their lovers because it would somehow make them less masculine or whatever: you are so far away from the truth. There are a few things as sexy as a caring, attentive and respectful person.

As for girls and women who don’t know yet how to truly speak for themselves or ask their lovers if they are still okay with whatever is happening, know that it seems scary and strange, like an itchy coat on the skin, until you do it.

It might appear as a silly reminder, although we often forget it: you belong to yourself and yourself only. All that is you. Take care of it.

But most of all, take yourself back.

This would be a very hot move.

Maëlle Leggiadro

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