Ultimately, says Corrado, it’s asking, “How can we mutually have a great time together?” — and that’s an exciting question! Consent isn’t just about identifying your “no”, it’s also fundamentally about knowing and owning your “yes.”
It’s also something that is ongoing. Corrado explains that someone might say yes to something, and then afterward realize that while they may have enjoyed the thought of it, they didn’t actually enjoy it in practice (fantasy and behaviors we enjoy are two different things). So they can say, “I thought I would like that, but now I’m feeling a little icky. Let’s not do that thing again.” Checking in with how someone feels after a sexual experience is also part of consent and open communication; it’s not just about asking questions before or during.
Plus, adds Corrado, it’s always best to talk about desires, interests, and boundaries outside of the bedroom first. That allows everyone to have time to truly explore how they feel, without the pressure of feeling like they need to respond right away!
Editor’s note: Btw, Cassandra has even more amazing, comprehensive resources online! Check out more: How to Tell Your Partner What You Want in Bed, What to Do If You Change Your Mind During Sex, and Healthy Sex After Trauma Is Possible. Here’s How.