Step Up Your Game
You’ve seen our vision, but now it’s time to enjoy the action. Consensually, of course. We believe that hands down, the best way to step up your game is consent. So we’ve provided you over a dozen tools to make it easier for you to start connecting through consent.
The purpose of these tools is to:
- Create space in hookups that allow for the time that is needed to make the decisions you want.
- Discover how to express your own sexual interests through words. The better you understand the depth of your desire as it is constantly developing, the better you’ll be at articulating it.
- Maximize pleasure and safety.
With this in mind, please look through these tools and enjoy connecting through consent!
The YNM chart is an amazing way to begin learning the language of consent. Since consent is all about expressing our sexual desires, filling out this chart does exactly that. To start, think of a hookup you recently had, or a hookup that you would like to have. Then fill out all the details of the hookup in a much detail as possible. I also encourage you to write down everything you can think of sexually, even what you don’t like. Once you’ve filled it out, you can now piece together ways to ask for your favorites. You can also express what you’re not so into. It’s all up to you!
Furthermore, from the responses received during the workshops, this tool is a HUGE turn on for folks in long-term relationships. Handing your partner a filled out chart gets them to see unique parts of your sexuality that you’ve wanted to express but didn’t in the heat of the moment.
Download the YNM Chart
Asking Open Ended Questions
The language we use during intimacy can greatly influence behavior. Tailoring our language to open up space is key to discovering the desires of who we’re with. Try using phrases like:
- What are you into?
- What would you like?
- What’s turning you on right now?
- What about X turns you on?
Further, if you ask yes-or-no questions and you’re that much more likely to receive yes-or-no answers. For example, instead of always asking, “Do you want me to (touching motion) your (body part)?” try out “Where do you want my hands?” Be prepared to enjoy unexpected answers!
Check ins are a time to determine how all parties are doing. This has been a hugely important/erotic tool! Checking in with your partner during a hookup allows people to express pleasure, express discomfort, change their minds, suggest new things, say yes, say no, or anything else. Check-ins are great way to stay present in the hook up. It can be as simple and sexy as an open ended question or as personal and intimate as “how are feeling?”
One of the greatest lessons consent teaches us is that there is virtue in taking things slow. A slower pace brings a fantastic tone of anticipation, a slight tease for everyone, and provides valuable time to process the passion. As Young Joc once said, “We drive real slow, no need to speed.” Although this is taken *entirely* out of context, consent does teach us that faster isn’t always better. That doesn’t mean though that there can’t be a time and place to speed things up. Because there certainly can. But, no matter what your odometer says, by being wise to the pace are you more aware and thus able to enjoy your pleasure.
What is a love letter? It’s pretty self explanatory. It’s an opportunity to creatively envision your next hookup. You can explore the mood, the environment, the wardrobe, or anything and everything you can imagine. That way, when it comes time for your next hookup, you’ll be more equipped to express what you want. Its real fun and you don’t have to be a major in literature to do it. Although it would probably help.
Also, boldness can be really seductive and some people feel bolder when putting things down in writing. Even if you’re not in a relationship a love letter can be written about a figurative person.
Then and Now
Longer-term relationships pose unique challenges for consent. For example, sometimes people feel pressure to do certain things to please their partner. Other times people feel like they have to keep doing things because it’s routine. Different times one person ends up always initiating and the other doesn’t. Or maybe people want to try new things and explore – so fourth and so on. Regardless of what your relationship model is, sexual wants can change as the relationship changes. Here is a fun and sexy way to address tough challenges in a relationship and to keep a finger on the pulse of all parties’ mutual desire. If you like you can sit down together or try to answer these questions privately. Enjoy!
- What was your first fantasy about your partner? What did you image doing? Why?
- What is your fantasy now? What do you imagine doing now? Why?
If you want to take it one step further you can try out:
- What was the most intense sexual experience you ever enjoyed with your partner? What made it so memorable?
- Would you do it again or was it a one-time occurrence?
- What are some of your partner’s favorite activities? Can you guess them?
Sex and sexual communication is simultaneously exciting and complicated. We’re learning that. But one way to introduce a new aspect of safety into your sex lives is through the agreed upon use of safe-words. A safe word is used to unambiguously communicate one’s physical or emotional state to their partner when approaching, or crossing, a physical, emotional, or moral boundary. Some safe-words are used to stop the hookup outright, while others can communicate a willingness to continue, but at a reduced level of intensity. Safe words give people a tool to communicate, but it does not ensure safety.
Imagine the person you’re with asks you “why” immediately after you asked for a kiss. Think about your response. Is it hot? Then this tool is for you! Imagine doing that on the fly. Your game would be amazing.
Why is a great tool which proves that when it comes to hookups, why is an extremely erotic word that probes your hookup to express more of what they want.
One of the beauties of sexual connection is that there are many ways to enjoy it. There is no one way to kiss, touch, or have sex. But there is a particular way to take the romance to another level and find out how everyone wants to get down: “How?” For example, “How do you like to ____?”
Discussions With Friends
Now that you’re learning more and more about consent, share this knowledge with your friends, and better yet, learn from them. Believe it or not, a lot of game we have, sexuality we explore, and expressions we enjoy can be revealed by our friends casually in conversation. Simply put, we are each others’ greatest resource.
Discussions With Partners
Long term relationships have their own unique needs when it comes to consent. So, talking about and learning about consent/each other together can be a fantastic way of getting a more consensual practice in the bedroom (or kitchen?). Conversations about desires can also spice up your sex life!
We also just want to quickly note that when you have these discussions, please keep in mind that it should be done when both parties are able to hear something surprising and can look for something surprising. So we suggest you don’t surprise your partner with a conversation and instead make a concerted effort to plan a time to sit down and talk, at least at first.
Furthermore, these conversations are a great way to avoid complacency since in long term relationships certain things when done frequently can become routine. Eventually, routines can change for different people at different times. So being intentional and having a conversation about your sex life can be an effective way to avoid just going with the flow.
Consent is a lot about self discovery. Some of us know what we want but aren’t quite sure the best way to express it. When we do so, we end up finding out about ourselves and our intimacy extends itself from a more honest, personal, and genuine place. We’re able to express our authenticity and individuality through our intimacy. This is why your game is yours. Nobody else has it quite like you. Keeping a journal is a great way to realize it.
Also, when you journal about how you communicate, about your hookups, about your relationships/other relationship models, you will discover improvements you can make. There are a ton of entry points to start your journal, like “what pressures do you wish didn’t exist when it comes to your hookups? What was the most intense sexual experience you have enjoyed? What made it so memorable? What are things you never want to try? Are there things you might want to try? What would be a great way to try them?”
Great game is being able to create a respectful atmosphere in which everyone can feel comfortable expressing their desires as well as boundaries. That’s red hot! This means you find more ways to connect through consent! The No Exercise is a unique way for people in relationships as well as hookups to have a fun time creating that environment. This exercise requires both parties to ask the questions they would expect to ask in a romantic context, but both agree that nobody is allowed to say yes. Each of you ask a question and wait to hear the other person reply in kind with a variety of “no”. When you agree to finish, you can ask if the other person is more comfortable with you and asserting their boundaries with you. It’s amazing how this quick exercise can have such a big impact.
Starting to practice consent or starting your next hookup on the right note can be as simple as imagining just one question you’d like to ask. If you like, please spend a minute thinking of one sexy question they would ask or like to be asked of them. My question for you now is, are you excited about connecting through consent?