You can’t open a newspaper, or turn on the news with reading about sexual assault, rape culture and scandals that are changing not only people’s lives but the way people are thinking about sexual encounters especially in this age of hook ups and casual sex. But who is actually teaching people about how to initiate sex and get consent? It’s not initiative as much as some folks would like to think it is. It would be helpful to understand first how most people begin sexual encounters. That part is simple --- it just needs language put to it. People initiate sexually encounters in verbal and non-verbal ways. Most people initiate sex in non-verbals ways.
Non-verbal sexual initiation can include eye contact, body movement or expression as well as actions. In the land of "consent culture" where people are being encouraged to use their words -- this is a massive retraining on how most people initiate sexual encounters. Most of this re-education of “consent culture” is to counter act “rape culture” ---- AND this is new to many people on our planet.
Sexual safety, sexual satisfaction and sexual pleasure is an important component to overall life satisfaction.
As a sex education, I understand how hard it is for many people who are raised in a shame based culture to use their words to initiate sexual encounters -- so I suggest using the combo method.
If it’s more comfortable for you to begin an encounter by using non-verbal clues and waiting for an answer (also probably non-verbal), before taking the next step passed “feeling“ that your partner is interested in a sexual encounter with you --- add in your words such as:
“I’m feeling attracted to you. What are you feeling?”
And then if any of that is a yes. “Would you like to hold hands?” “Would you like to kiss?”
We are in the next level of society working hard against rape culture and preventing sexual assault for all people or all genders and sexual orientation. It's time for all of us to learn the combo method of initiating sexual encounters.
Pamela Madsen runs retreats around the world to help women re-connect to their bodies and sensuous nature and is author of the book; “Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner” (Rodale 2011). Pamela’s ground breaking work with women has recently been featured in “O” Oprah Magazine.