This video is by far my most favorite when it comes to consent. It has nothing to do with BDSM or D/s specifically, but rather talks about consent in a broader sense, applying to all people. This is the British Voice Over version, because everything – especially when dealing with tea – is better with a British accent. 🙂
I like the no nonsense attitude of the video, that consent is easy to figure out. However, in a D/s relationship, or in a Top/bottom scene, consent can be more complicated. For example, I wouldn’t want to tell Mr.R ‘no’ for anything, and would gladly push myself to or past an edge of consent, comfort, and possibly safety. I also know of subs who have told their doms they wanted to delete their soft list, because they weren’t being submissive if they kept it. This is, of course, the wrong kind of thinking in consent, and probably breaking the ‘safe, sane, and consensual’ creed. Then there is the aspect of understanding exactly what you are giving consent to.
Pushing into the world of kink seems to be a never ending chain of new doors. There is entirely new worlds of kink, new toys, and for some, new people. This is where informed consent comes in.
To me, informed consent is not just giving consent, but understanding exactly what you are giving consent to. Informed consent can’t be fully given when you’re experimenting, or in other ways moving into unexplored territory. Mr.R and I have 20+ years of trust and respect as a foundation. That affords our communication a bit of freedom and openness. He can very easily read my body, and picks up on things I feel and think, even if I am trying to keep it a secret. That being said, it still remains my responsibility to be open with him in regards to things he cannot see, namely my health, my mental status, and emotional well being. Because of this, and because I am sexually available to him 24/7, I have begun to share more with him, things I wouldn’t have shared before we started 24/7 D/s. This is an important part of consent, maintaining a high level of openness and communication, and an aspect of informed consent.
I don’t really feel like sexual consent is the most important aspect of consent there is to discuss.
As we enter further into D/s, we also have to discuss consent as it comes to the areas in which I submit control; consent over the power exchange between us. As a submissive, I gave myself to him. I continue to give him control and power over many aspects of my life. This is consent. I am consenting to the power exchange. However, misunderstandings in consent can happen in a power dynamic.
It is entirely possible for a Dom to give a sub a job, command, or other task that over-steps consent into an area where the sub did not grant power. We are no exception to this. We had miscommunications in the beginning. It took some discussions and negotiating for Mr.R to understand that because I gave up control in some areas; for example, being sexually available, that doesn’t mean I consent to relinquishing control in every area, like my car. In these areas, where I have not consented to relinquishing control, he still has to seek consent first, and I still have to give it.
But it also goes the other way. A Dom has to also give their consent to take the control. For example, in some D/s couples the Dom has financial obligations and control over the sub. Mr.R does not want this responsibility. It is a big job; to fully manage the budget for our entire household includes many aspects from the monthly food and clothing budget, to our retirement, plus annual plans, holidays, and our teenagers’ needs. Not to mention the amount of free money I should have. Money I am earning. Mr.R told me no before I even brought it up. He did not want control here, and did not give his consent for me to give it to him.
The giving of consent, be it sexually or in the power exchange of everyday D/s life, ultimately comes down to communication. Like so many aspects of D/s, communication is the key. Consent is also a two-way street, where both parties must consent to their role in the exchange, be it sexual or power.
Happy playing everyone!