Sex, Emotions, Consent

Dear readers,

I am having a hard time coming up with something to write about this week. As much as I feel like talking more and more about sex toys, I feel like I cannot continue to burden you with those pontifications.

So I am taking the beginning of this column to, once again, encourage you to bring up things you would like to see me talk about!

Also, I have made it a goal to make my paragraphs shorter. Have you been reading my column in real life? Like in an actual newspaper? Have you noticed how giant some of my paragraphs are? Yeah, well, I am going to try to be better about that.

Anyways, now that I have stalled for a little while (and I have stalled for a long time before I even began writing), I guess I’ll get started talking about real things now.

I don’t know if you ever read anything else in this esteemed paper of ours, dear readers, but if you have you may have noticed a long string of columns about The Hook-Up Culture™. Now, I promised myself that I wouldn’t talk about The Hook-Up Culture™, or even my friend The Hook-Up. So I won’t! Not really. Kind of. Maybe.

Instead I want to talk about sex and emotions because I think a common critique of one night stands and “hook-ups” is that they make it easy, and maybe actually encourage individuals, to have sex without emotions.

I first want to begin by saying that I do not believe people should be engaging in sex without emotions. I am not saying this because I think people should only engage in sex in long-term relationships or that every sexual experience should be magical and life-changing.

I say this because I think that all sex should be consensual, and it is impossible for sex to be consensual if everyone involved is not keeping everyone else’s emotions in mind during the experience.

However, that only requires individuals to be aware of present emotions and does not require past or future emotions. And that is okay.

The problem arises in which present emotions are wrapped up in past or future emotions. The best solution (though not always the easiest solution) is to talk about it so that everyone is clear what everyone else’s expectations are. As a result, everyone should respect each other enough to be willing to put in that time in effort to find out if past or future emotions can or are getting tangled up in the situation.

Therefore, I believe that respect is a prerequisite to consent. In addition, if respect is a prerequisite to consent, then nobody should be able to receive consent if they lack respect for their partner.

So, this piece isn’t about hook-ups, one night stands, or the inevitable decline of Western Civilization (also ™). Instead, this piece is about consent.

I mentioned last week that my meandering around topics has been haphazard. It might have been obvious to begin with consent (after masturbation which I guess I’m doing belatedly), because it is the basis for all partnered sexual experiences.

I guess I have avoided it because though consent is necessary for a sexual experience to be enjoyable, it isn’t sufficient. I would rather talk about the stuff that makes sex fun, not just focus on what makes sex not horrible. But if you can’t have fun sex without consent, it would be a disservice not to talk about consent.

So talk about the difficult things, stew a little bit, and then go back to exploring! That’s where the real fun is at.

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