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What the BDSM community can teach us about consent

Posted at 18:29 on 14 Nov 2018 by Pandora / Blake

Tags: BDSM, consent, in the news, interviews, media, workshops

The Metro has just published a piece on What the BDSM community can teach us about consent. I was interviewed for this article last month, and I'm absolutely thrilled with how it turned out.

‘This idea that consent is a contract is really pernicious,’ Blake says. ‘Consent is revocable and ongoing, and being encouraged to change your mind is necessary for consent. By saying you’ve changed your mind, you’re helping your partner respect your boundaries.’ 

‘Consent isn’t about just avoiding negative situations, it’s not about getting permission to do something, it’s an active process and collaboration between two people who respect each other to create the best experience for everyone involved.’ 

The same rules of engagement the BDSM community respects can easily be applied to vanilla encounters. Talking about what you want before, during and after a sexual encounter isn’t just necessary, but can be incredibly sexy too.

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I was asked about the way that BDSM practitioners negotiate consent can inform the wider conversation around sexual consent - a particularly live topic in the wake of the #metoo movement. 

This article came at a perfect time. I was able to use a lot of the ideas from the consent workshop Felix and I facilitated last month, and the training I delivered to the BBFC. This is a crucial topic, and I'm delighted that the Metro has created space for it. Doing media interviews can be a bit nervewracking as there's always the fear of being misrepresented, but I'm really happy with how this turned out. I tried to keep the language simple and straightforward, and hopefully this will bring ideas about consent and communication in relationships to some new people.  

Many thanks to Olivia Cassano for doing such a great job with this piece. I've invited her to attend our next consent workshop in January - if you can make it to London, maybe you can come too!  

Metro: What the BDSM community can teach us about consent

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