Two Lego figurines stand facing each other, holding hands in agreement

You know how hitting the open road on a bike or car comes with its own set of risks like scraped knees or fender-benders? Well, the same goes for getting busy between the sheets. If you're not careful, things can quickly go south and your sexy-time fun can turn into a major bummer. That's why it's important to follow the rules of the road! So, fasten your seat belts, folks, and let the journey begin with help from our trusted copilot, Manzuri Select- the guardian angel of titillating adventures!

Let's talk about consent, baby!

We all know that "no means no," but there's so much more to creating a culture of consent. It's about respecting each other's boundaries and being aware of the signals we're sending, whether it's a hug, a conversation, or trying a new veggie.

So what exactly is sexual consent?

It's an active and enthusiastic decision to engage in any kind of sexual activity with another person. And it's not just one person's responsibility - it's a shared responsibility for everyone involved. But unfortunately, not everyone knows the basics of yes-no-maybe consent, let alone the more personal cues. (Seriously, some people just don't care or aren't aware!)

But fear not, friends! We're here to break it down for you in the most fun and informative way possible. So buckle up, because we're about to take you on a wild ride through the ins and outs of consent culture.

A colourful animated GIF showing the phrase 'Love knows boundaries' written in bold letters

5 Situations When Consent Sometimes Takes A Detour

Buckle up, folks, we're about to navigate through some cringe-worthy encounters where the consent compass went haywire.

  1. The Tickle Monster: Tickling without consent can turn a cosy moment into a tickle frenzy. Remember, laughter should be consensual too!
  2. The Misread Signals: Mixed messages can lead to confusion. Make sure you're on the same page before diving into steamy situations.
  3. The Silent Stumble: If something feels off during an intimate act, a gentle check-in can help clarify any doubts and ensure enthusiasm.
  4. Netflix and "Oops": Background noise shouldn't overshadow the importance of consent. Respect each other's boundaries, even during binge-watching sessions.
  5. The Unwanted Alarm Clock: Just because you've been intimate before doesn't mean it's a green light for every future encounter. Consent is ongoing.
  6. The Surprise Role Play: Unexpected role-playing can catch someone off guard. Discuss fantasies and boundaries beforehand for a consensual experience.
  7. The Battle of Bedroom Boundaries: Different people have different comfort levels. Respect each other's boundaries to create a safe and enjoyable environment.
  8. The Sleepy Disconnect: Initiating intimacy with a sleepy partner may not be their cup of tea. Ensure both partners are fully awake and willing.
  9. The Unsolicited Photos: Sending explicit photos without consent can violate boundaries. Always ask for permission before sharing intimate content.
  10. The Enthusiastic Consent Check: Take a moment to ensure both partners are enthusiastically engaged. Open communication ensures a consensual journey.

Remember, consent is the compass that guides us through respectful and fulfilling intimate experiences.

Using Your Words for a Safe and Sexy Time

Some common verbal signals of consent and nonconsent to get you started

Remember, just because someone isn't shouting "No!" from the rooftops doesn't mean they're saying "Yes" either. Always listen for verbal signals of consent, and if you're not sure, just ask!

NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list!

What can consent sound like?
What can nonconsent sound like?
Yes No
I'm so sure I'm not sure
I know I don't know
I'm excited I'm scared
Don't stop! Stop
More! No more
I want to. I want to, but...
I'm not worried Wait, I feel worried about...
I want you/it/that I don't want you/it/that
Can you please do... Can you please not do...
I still want to I thought I wanted to, but...
That feels good That hurts
Mmmmmmmm. [silence]
I love you and I love this I love you/this, but...
I want to do this right now, like this I want to do this, but not right now/this way
I'm ready I'm not sure I'm ready
I want to keep doing this I don't want to do this anymore
[insert praise to your deity of choice here] [no such praise]

A gif of multiple beer glasses popping in succession with the phrase 'still need consent.’

Consent is ongoing. It's not just a one-time thing; we need to check in with each other throughout the sexy fun times to make sure everything's still good. But don't worry, these check-ins don't have to be formal or kill the vibe. You can take advantage of natural pauses, like when someone has to pee, the phone rings or you fall off the bed (ouch!).

So, what should you say during a consent check-in? Keep it simple with questions like: "How's this feeling?" "You still into this?" "You comfortable?" "Anything you want or need right now?" "Hey, you seem quiet, is everything okay?" "Is there anything I should stop doing or start doing?" And of course, don't forget to share how you're feeling too: "I feel good, are you feeling good?"

Mind readers? Step right here for the low-down on nonverbal consent!

As you get comfortable with your partner, you might start using fewer words and more nonverbal cues to communicate your consent. But here's the catch - it's not as straightforward as it sounds. Body language can be a bit tricky, and sometimes it's not as crystal clear as words. So, if you're going to go down that path, make sure you and your partner are on the same page.

Here are some situations where nonverbal communication can work like a charm:

  • You and your partner have been going at it for a long time.
  • You're both sex experts with plenty of experience under your belt.
  • You know each other well enough to take some risks, and you're ready to handle it if things get confusing.
  • You and your partner have a telepathic connection and can communicate through glances and gestures.
  • You've established that nonverbal cues are okay and have agreed to use them.

But wait, there's more! Just because your partner's body is saying "yes" doesn't necessarily mean they want to get frisky. Don't be fooled by the physical signs of arousal, folks. Arousal doesn't always equal consent. So, if you're relying on nonverbal cues, make sure you're looking at the big picture, not just the downstairs area. Keep an eye on their whole body, their face, and their overall vibe.

Animated image of a woman saying 'I change my mind, that means no.’

Some common nonverbal signals of consent and nonconsent

There’s no thin line between “Oh yeah, baby!” and “Nope, not feeling it” but rather a vast grey area that needs navigation. Here is a possible non-exhaustive list of signs that someone is into it or NOT into it. But beware, these signs can be tricky, so always communicate verbally to make sure everyone is on the same page.

Possible nonverbal signs of consent
Possible nonverbal signs of nonconsent
Direct eye contact Avoiding eye contact
Initiating sexual activity Not initiating any sexual activity
Pulling someone closer Pushing someone away
Actively touching someone Avoiding touch
Nodding yes Shaking head no
Comfort with nudity and other ways of being vulnerable sexually Extreme discomfort with nudity of being otherwise vulnerable sexually
Laughter and/or smiling (upturned mouth) Crying and/or looking sad or fearful (clenched or downturned mouth)
"Open" body language, like relaxed, loose and open arms and legs, relaxed facial expressions, turning towards someone "Closed" body language, like tense, stiff or closed arms and legs, tight or tense facial expressions, turning away from someone
Sounds of enjoyment, like a satisfied hum or enthusiastic moan Silence or sounds of fear or sadness, like whimpering or a trembling voice
An active body "Just lying there"

Mind readers? Step right here for the low-down on nonverbal consent!

We all know how it feels when we want something, but the other person is like, "Nah, not feeling it." And yeah, it can suck big time, especially when it comes to sex.

But listen up, folks: if someone isn't into it or isn't clearly giving consent, we've got to respect that and immediately stop whatever we're doing. We’re talking no questions asked, no ifs, ands, or buts. Trust us, it's not worth pushing the issue and making someone uncomfortable or even violated.

Now, I know what you're thinking: "But what if we hit a roadblock in the middle of something?" Well, my friend, sometimes those roadblocks can lead to a whole new adventure. Just make sure it's a consensual one, and everyone's happy and safe.

Happy trails to you!