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Setting the Mood: Consent in Long Term Relationships

August 20th, 2013

LSomething we talk about a lot in kinky circles, around the sexblogosphere, and just about everywhere in the post-Steubenville world, is consent. What it is, what it isn’t, how to get it, what to do if you don’t get it (stop? duh?), whether or not it can be achieved with coercion, how it’s affected by drugs and alcohol…

Something we don’t talk a lot about is consent in long term relationships. I mean, we do to some extent. For a little while, the hot topic was whether or not it’s rape if the couple is married (it is), and what, exactly, is owed to your partner in a long term relationship. But I’m always a little nonplussed by the idea of consent in LTRs. I mean, it feels silly to constantly ask your partner of 5, 10, 35 years, “Is this okay? Do you mind if I touch you here? Can I penetrate you, now?” Especially if you’re in a healthy relationship with a healthy spouse who has never expressed an issue surrounding consent before.

Maybe that’s just me. Me and Master, anyway, because he agrees with me. (Though believe me, I’m not saying either of us is 100% healthy—mentally, or otherwise.)

Thing is, Master does it. Not in that way, exactly, and I have no doubt that in most cases, if I said no, he’d do what he wanted anyway because I gave him that right. But even after 11 years together, he still checks in with me constantly to see where I’m at mentally and emotionally. Verbally if he can’t see my face and can’t tell by the sounds I’m making.

For example, this weekend he wanted to play with me. And because he wanted to play hard, like we used to, he wanted to make sure I was up for it. With recent events, and the things I’ve been going through, sometimes I’m not up for it. Of course, per our agreement, he doesn’t have to go easy on me based on my mental and emotional stability at any given time, but he does, because he doesn’t want to break me, or make me hate him. He is as in love with me as I am with him. Making me hate him would be counterintuitive.

He usually turns it into a bit of a game. Spins it into the play session, if you will. Like the other day, he said, “You’re too much of a pussy to get played with the way I used to play with you.”

Honestly? Yeah, a little bit. I have, like, no pain tolerance lately. But I don’t dare tell him that in the moment because then he’ll hold back, and that just leaves both of us pissed off.

Because thing is? I still like being played with the way he used to play with me. And for his sexual and dominant and sadistic needs to be met, he needs to play with me the way he used to play with me. So, I push myself, and he pushes me, and the result is always a happy slave and a sated Master.

The way he asks, though, sets the mood for the scene for both of us. The “too much of a pussy” way tells me he’s looking to go long and hard. These play sessions can last days with breaks for food, and work, and the bathroom, and water and stuff. If he just tells me what he’s planning on doing to me, rather than asking, he’s letting me know that he intends to be a bastard, and he doesn’t really care how I feel about it. If he starts off with, “How do you feel about…” he usually hasn’t made up his own mind, and I might even be granted reprieve if it’s something I’m not up for—if he’s feeling generous.

You can do this (or something similar) in pretty much any type of sexual encounter. Instead of, “Baby, do you mind if…” lead off with, “I’m gonna…” and watch their reaction. If you can’t tell how they feel about it, ask, or move on. “Or maybe I’ll do this instead…”

How do you obtain consent in your long term relationships? Do you use the opportunity to set the mood like M does?

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  1. Camryn
    August 25th, 2013 at 13:30 | #1

    This was nice to read because it’s been on my mind lately. I’ve been thinking of creating a system of gestures for establishing consent, as the rules change depending on what one of us wants or needs at that moment. My partner and I will discuss things outside of sex play to establish what is and is not okay, but I tend to hesitate in implementing them for fear of breaking the mood, so then I’d get consent from him. He’s choosy about when he penetrates me and likes to tease me, so he’ll say not yet and I honor that by asking him to enter me. When we use toys together, he checks in often since it’s new for us. These verbal interludes aren’t dealbreakers or anything, they simply indicate a desire to be on the same page. Relying on nonverbal cues doesn’t always work for us, so we ask. Our relationship is young yet though, so I figure it’s to be expected.

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