Only Yes Means Yes

When it comes to sexual interactions, “no means no” but lots of other things mean no too. Clear communication is important.

Many organizations including Project Respect are trying to replace the catchphrase “no means no” with “yes means yes” because sexual assaults, even between normally-consenting partners, are still far too common.  There’s also a book discussing the question of consent.

Silence does not mean yes. A mumble does not mean yes. Speaking “yes” without body language saying “yes” also does not mean yes. As one blogger puts it, when it comes to sex, only an enthusiastic YES! means yes.  There’s a big difference between wanting something and merely tolerating it.

Getting and maintaining a clear “yes” is a bit more complicated when role-playing, rough play or control games are involved. The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom has been clear that Consent Counts equally in BDSM-based relationships.

The common threads, regardless of what style of sexual play you prefer, are clear communication – both before you begin, and as your pleasures unfold – and responding appropriately to changing desires, checking in if there seems to be anything less than a 100% yes.

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