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Keys to Consent

As the #MeToo movement continues to create waves the world over, Dr. Nancy tackles the all-important topic of consent for all involved.


Consent is getting a lot of press right now. There is more confusion than there needs to be. Much of the confusion is coming from the hunter resistors and those who have unknowingly bought into the Rape Culture Mindset. 

The Hunters don’t want to have to bother with this formality.  They would prefer to have business as usual and continue to grope, coerce, beg, push, cajole, pressure and force sex on someone who isn’t as desiring as they are. #TimesUp 

Here are a five important Keys To Consent:

This will help you know if consent is possible, and if you have received it.

  1. One must be sober to consent to anything.
  2. One must be conscious to give consent.
  3. One must hear an “enthusiastic YES” verbally to know the other person has offered consent. (See 1 & 2)
  4. If the person you are desiring sex with  is mimicking a corpse, they are NOT consenting. (Unless of course you have negotiated this as the agreed upon role-play for the date.)
  5. At any point in time, everyone involved has the right to STOP and DECLINE further action. YES… NO MATTER WHEN THAT IS!

Sex is intended to be a mutually satisfying exchange of physical, mental, and emotional pleasure between consenting persons.  It is not sex if you are using another person’s body to masturbate yourself with no regard for their safety, pleasure, emotional or mental state of well being.  Remember: these are HUMAN BEINGS you are messing with. Not inanimate objects you can detach from, nor can you reject responsibility for their well being.

Consent Requires Patience

If you do not have the patience to wait for consent (especially with a new partner you cannot possibly know how to “read”) then you need to masturbate, purchase a sex doll or pay a sex worker for a guaranteed sexual experience. Otherwise you are a rapist. Please let that sink in.

You DO NOT -- please, hear me clearly -- DO NOT have the right to force, coerce, beg, plead or talk someone into having sex with you! 

They don’t owe, you no matter how much you spent on dinner. You are not owed no matter if you both got naked and into bed and they changed their mind. As frustrating as that can be, you then have two choices: Cool off and change the theme of the rest of the date or call the date over.  You DO NOT have the right to keep harping, hoping to wear them down. (What does that say about you anyway?)

50 Shades of Grey Area

Where we are running aground is the lack of awareness about how women deal with the onslaught of having to reject repeated advances.  
Many women around the world grew up with some strong messaging around dealing with men. Here are some:

  1. Never make a man angry; they can, and often will hurt you.
  2. Always be polite. If you have to let him down, try not to hurt his feelings, embarrass him or make him angry.
  3. Don’t be too blunt. Ever. Say things that will give him hope for a future opportunity so he won’t get angry. Use phrases like, “not right now; maybe later; perhaps the next date; or when I get to know you better.”  
  4. Good girls, that boys will want to actually date, never even kiss, let alone have sex, on the first few dates. If you are tempted, you are not a good girl.
  5.  If you do follow through, he will never call you again because you are too easy and don’t respect yourself. You will slut shame yourself, along with society.

How do these messages make women feel?

These are some of the messages girls get from home and society around their sexuality. So, when a boy or man gets sexually aggressive on the first date (and we have not agreed this is just a sex hook-up arrangement) we feel: 

  1. Sexually Desired for our body, but not who we are.
  2. Disrespected as a person.
  3. Fearful for our safety.
  4. Distrustful of his intentions.
  5. Worried about how we will feel about ourselves in the morning.
  6. Wondering if that is all he is interested in.
  7. Feel objectified and dehumanized.
  8. If he won’t accept our first "no thank you" or "not now" our fear level rises for our safety.
  9. Unsure how to let him down gently so as not to hurt his ego.

You can see the thought process that is going on when your hormones might be raging, your instinctual flight-or-fight responses are on high alert, you might be in a compromised situation (like half undressed at his home), and not sure how to escape. 

We don’t talk about THESE scenarios with our daughters, let alone our sons.  

So, how do we fix the issue with consent?

  1. Teach boys that girl’s bodies are their own and not theirs to just touch or fuck without enthusiastic consent from the girl/woman involved.
  2. Teach girls that their bodies are their own, boy’s bodies are their own, and in order to be sexual you both must verbally discuss what is on and off the table and verbally agree to each step of the way. ESPECIALLY early in a relationship. 

In the long-term, men must commit to the long-term inner work. And in the short-term, men need to experience real consequences for their actions. 

Shawn Vestal explains that it’s not for a lack of training that men sexually assault in the workplace

“It’s not about what men don’t know. It’s about what men have known too well: That we can get away with it. That it will be excused, hidden, justified and rationalized, and no one will be called to account.” In other words, until men have sufficient integrity to not sexually assault, real consequences must come into play at work and in relationships that halt the toxic behavior. Basically, men need a global intervention, a resounding, societal “no” to wake up to the realities they’ve been oblivious to. 

Make Consent Sexy!

I’ve been married a long time -- and we still ask, discuss and respect each other’s sexuality and bodily space. It’s hot to tell your partner what you want and then wait to see how they respond. That is the ultimate show of respect to let your partner know their wishes will always be honored. Both ways. 

It's not difficult if you respect and care about someone else’s feelings of safety, honor and private sexual domain.

Important note: Even in a marriage, we do not own our partner's body or their sex. Ever! 

Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce - Clinical Sexologist

Hello, I'm Dr. Nancy Sutton Pierce. I'm delighted to be a part of the SDC professional family. I've been in health care for over three decades and earned my Doctorate degree in Human Sexuality in 2015. Since then I've been traveling the world teaching and hosting retreats in places like China, Jamaica, Mexico, Italy, France, Spain, as well as all across the USA. I was featured as The Sexologist on This Is Life with Lisa Ling in season 6, and have been featured in numerous publications, TV and Radio shows. I also hosted my own radio show for ten years called, The Conscious Living Show. My focus is empowering both women and men with regards to their own pleasures and intimacy literacy. Knowing what we want is one thing, knowing how to ask and then be patient is a whole other level of communication required for healthy relationships. I'm also a Sensual Yoga Therapist and I bring the Yin/Yang blends into all of my courses and retreats. I have created a magical program called, "The Kama Sutra Oasis" for couples seeking deeper intimacy and profound communication skills. My private practice reaches clients locally and internationally as I provide counsel both in person and via Skype. My background is quite eclectic and my perspectives are nonjudgmental and very open minded. My intention is to help you find peace and celebration with your authentic self, and then learn to love who you are even more! "When we're at peace with who we are, we find greater compassion with those around us."
  • Anonymous
Mar 06, 2020
@NASTYCPL99 It always worries me when someone is so adamant that enthusiastic consent is asking to much - as well as the issue of being under the influence (especially for women) isn't a concern for you. The aggressive way in which you responded speaks volumes about you and your inability to grasp the gravity of lack of a fully conscious, enthusiastic YES in today's world. You are placing yourself and others at great risk - and frankly I would suggest you seek some guidance for your sense of entitlement to have what you want regardless of the circumstances. Good luck and please know... the times have changed. #TimesUp
Feb 15, 2020
So 3 drinks and no one can consent? Thats just fucking stupid. "Enthusiastic yes' no if you ask and some says yes ,they dont have to throw parade and set off fireworks for it to be valid.