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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. This stuff is tested and proven to work!Quick rundown. 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 verbally express your own sexual interests. The better you know what you want 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!

YNM Chart

The YNM chart is an amazing way to begin learning the language of consent. Since consent is all about expressing our sexual desires. This chart, when filled out, does exactly that. To start, think of a hookup you recently had, or a hookup that you would like to have. 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 stuff you don’t like. Once you’ve filled it out, you can now piece together the questions you can ask for your favorites. You can also express what you’re not so into. It’s all up to you!

Furthermore, from the responses I’ve 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 expressed but didn’t in the heat of the moment.

Click here to 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 about X turns you on?
  • What do you think about Y?
  • What would you like?
  • What’s turning you on right now?

Be prepared to enjoy unexpected answers!

Check ins

Check ins are a time to temporarily stop what is going on 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?”

Pacing

One of the greatest lessons consent has taught me was 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 experience giving everyone more time to figure out how to make the hookup maximize safety and pleasure. As Young Joc once said, “We drive real slow, no need to speed.” Although this is taken *entirely* out of context, consent does teaches 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.

Love Letters

What is a love letter? Its pretty self explanatory, its an opportunity to creatively envision your next hook up. You can explore the mood, the environment, the wardrobe, anything and everything you can imagine. That way, when it comes time for your next hookup, you’ll be slick and know what you want to say. Its super fun and you don’t have to be a lit major to do it, although it would probably help.

Also, some people feel bolder when putting things down in writing. And boldness can be really seductive. Even if you’re not in a relationship a lot 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. But regardless of what your relationship looks like, sexual wants can change as the relationship changes. So here is a fun and sexy way to address the tough challenges in a relationship. 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?
  • 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?

Safe Words

So sex and sexual communication is 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. 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. I just want to stress that I strongly believe that this tool is for people who have a lot of experience with consent and I do not encourage folks who haven’t been exploring consent for a while to try this. Safe words give people a tool to communicate, but it does not ensure safety.

“Why”

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.

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 spice up your sex life to another level!

I 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 I would 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 a really effective way to avoid just going with the flow.

Journal

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 and unique place. At the end of the day, 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 so when it comes time, you’re set.

Also, when you journal about how you communicate, about your hookups, about your relationships/other relationship models, will you discover improvements you can make. There are a ton of entry points to stat 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?”

No Exercise

Good game is being able to create a respectful atmosphere in which everyone can feel comfortable expressing their desires as well as boundaries. This essentially 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. Essentially requires both parties ask the questions they would expect to ask in a romantic context, but you both agree that nobody is allowed to say yes. So back and fourth do 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.

Literature

  • Learning Good Consent
  • Empower Yr Sexy Self
  • Moregasm
  • SEX A Progressive Guide
  • Scarleteen
  • The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability
  • I Heart Female Orgasm
  • New Bottoming Book
  • New Topping Book
  • May I Kiss You
  • “Sex Talk” Comic

One Question

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?

Consent & “Means No” Banners

Every school The Consensual Project works with doesn’t just get each of these banners, they make them! Which is precisely the point. It’s an easy and fun way for students to take action and then have ownership of consent after the workshop simply by writing corresponding phrases on the banners. You can be as creative as you want with them. Here are our favorite ideas for you.

Raise Awareness On Campus:

So many students are unaware of what consent can and will do for them. Why leave them hanging? Hang these banners on campus and create an atmosphere where consent is not only normalized, it’s encouraged!

Bring To Events:

New scenery at events can bring a lot of new faces as well as keep the veterans coming back. Plus, you can think of these banners as a way to resonate students’ personal accounts with consent throughout campus. As well, you will give your campus a glimpse into what consent looks like at your school.

Tabling Aid:

Trying to get a conversation started at your table? Make it a consensual conversation by enticing your peers with this banner. It’ll also help you to get some action on your sign up sheets. Plus, from my experiences, college campus tables are a little over 6 ft in width. This poster is 6 ft in width. Coincidence? I think not.

Foster Important Discussion:

Each of the phrases represented provides an opportunity for a vibrant discussion on consent. Entry points to these conversations can be:

  • How do each of the phrases represent consent at your university?
  • What does the phrase say about your schools (or perhaps even organization’s) hookup culture?
  • What is missing on this poster?
  • What is covered on this poster?
  • What positive aspects of consent dos this poster highlight?
  • How does that relate to your student organization?
  • Does it relate to your work or just your culture?
  • Is there anything on these posters that shouldn’t be there?

Consent Dance Party

dance party

Workshops and banners are important, but when the sun goes down, consent needs to stay awake and out of bed. That is, when we embed consent into the college hookup culture, if it comes time for the bed, consent is already bedrock.

Our idea is to bring consent to the center of hookup culture: parties. Namely, dance parties.

So, here is a dance party theme that will get peeps to your party and consent on your campus. Host a themed consent party! The theme can be anything, like 80′s themed (a personal favorite). But the premise is all about consent. Here’s how to host:

Consent Party Action Plan

Get some people together who are jazzed about consent, and set a date and theme. Do some outreach: create a Facebook event, put up fliers (feel free to use the flier TCP made!) a week before the event, and spread the word through the grape vine. You know, the typical party 101 stuff. But, we’ve got some twists. Have an MC, a door check, and any other duties you think should be filled out at your party.

At the entrance to the party post a sign that says

“READ BEFORE ENTERING

TO ENSURE THE MOST FANTABULOUS OF TIMES WE HAVE DEDICATED THIS PARTY TO BE A STRICTLY CONSENSUAL EVENT. DANCE WILL BE THE RIDE AND CONSENT WILL BE VIBE. ASK BEFORE YOU DANCE, ASK HOW YOU WANT TO TOUCH. SIMPLE ENOUGH.

THE BETTER YOU KNOW HOW TO ASK, THE BETTER YOUR MOVES.

NOW SHOW US YOUR MOVES!”

The door person will be responsible for reading this aloud to all who enter and being there to ask in case somebody has a question.

The MC will ask the audience at the peak of the party what some of the best consensual moves have been. Namely, what were the best questions. (ex. “Would you like it if I put my hand up on your hip, so when you dip I dip, we dip?”) That way, we can all share how we spit our consensual game.

Kind of fresh, right?

Here are some suggestions we have:

  • Make it a sober space, i.e. don’t serve booze
  • Don’t make the party too dark
  • Don’t make the music too loud
  • Make sure the hosts are sober
  • Help folks get home, if needed
  • Keep a lookout for aggressive behavior
  • Celebrate your awesome party with another party. Hey, why not?

The Workshop

Consent: From Hookups to Relationships

When it comes to sex, consent is the best-kept secret. In this workshop, Ben will put in plain words the nuances of consent: from a thorough definition of consent to tools for practicing consent, and much more. All through the workshop are humorous interactive discussions and valuable exercises that keep everyone energized and involved. And by the end of the workshop, students leave convinced that consent is worthwhile for one simple reason: they now know what consent can and will do for them.

Host Your Own FREE Workshop!

As mentioned in our vision, The Consensual Project is dedicated to maximizing consent on college campuses. So we’ve made this workshop and its facilitation manual 100% FREE! If you would like help hosting your own workshop, The Consensual Project has got you covered. Please send an email to info@theconsensualproject.com and we’ll work together so you can host your own workshop! That way, if a speaking engagement isn’t optimal for you, consent can still be shared at your school.

Please watch the next video to have a glimpse into the exercise designed to teach three primary lessons:

  1. Body language is not reliable,
  2. Pleasure exists on a spectrum,
  3. Explicit verbal consent is the only way to know what your partner is expressing.