Often we talk about sexual freedom and exploration, but we have a responsibility to our partners, both the one- night stands and the ones for life.
1. Knowing When To Say No
Sure, we desire sex and myriad experiences with all sorts of beautiful people, but when your partner is too debilitated to consent, you should turn down sex. Not only when they are drunk or under the influence, but also when your potential partner is emotionally or physically broken and using the sex to fill a void. This is because you become this person’s crutch and you risk hurting them more than helping. It is no longer good clean fun. It is taking advantage. The same could be true if your partner is a virgin. If you’re not prepared to care for the person should they want/need your continued presence, this is probably not the right encounter for you.
Ok, so there is this concept of pre-consent, aka you and your partner have decided sometime immediately before the act that it was alright to have a drunken tryst. Perhaps the being taken advantage of is part of the fun itself. But quite frankly, that is a slippery slope, and you might want to get it in writing just to cover all of the asses.
Being allowed to touch someone is insane. Really. Think about it. There aren’t many people you are allowed to touch period, let alone intimately. So should you choose to have sex with someone, no matter how demeaning or dehumanizing the sex act, you must always show respect to that person before, during, and afterward. Making someone feel shame for an act you both enjoyed and consented to is a very shitty thing to do. Plus, if you want to do that freaky shit again, you might want to show your gratitude. Don’t go trash talking to all of your buddies about that blah blah blah you did last night. Don’t post anything on social media. Just be a thoughtful human being.
Kind of building on the respect aspect, understand that every time you’re allowed to touch someone’s body you have a responsibility to care for them. Understand that you could set the tone for how they view sexuality, other women, other men, and themselves for the rest of their lives. A good experience goes a long way, but a bad experience could traumatize. So if his penis is tiny, don’t shame him. Coach him on eating and fingering. If she doesn’t have enough confidence to have sex with the lights on, start off with candles and build up her body confidence.
Now, I know, it isn’t your job to build someone’s self-esteem or be responsible for their hang-ups. Self-love comes from within the person themselves. However if you’re not willing to take responsibility for your actions and acknowledge the reality of your role, you might want to stick with number one: say no.
Photo Credit: Liz Lawley
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Quest is a switch in training