Profile picture
CarnivalSeb @CarnivalSeb
, 30 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
In one of my capacities as a nightclub worker I end up falling into the role of kink-facilitator a lot (which, if you enjoy seeing people have a good time is pretty hard to beat).

I'm interested in developing our shared vocabulary of consent & talking about that together.
This isn't going to be an exhaustive list, & if you know about any models I've missed, I'd love to hear about them.
For the purposes of this discussion I'm going to pre-supposing that all our hypothetical players are fully informed about what they're agreeing to & refusing; nobody is saying yes to something while missing facts about what they're getting into.
(That's Informed Consent, btw.)
It's also possible to think about a lot of choice based situations as either opt-in or opt-out.
Mainly for sexual contexts it's important to operate on an opt-in basis; ask before we try things.
Broadly, that's Active Consent; saying "yes, I want this" & having room to say "no".
That's mediated by norms, though; a lot of people wear condoms by default, & opting-out of condom use requires a discussion (because of the obvious risks &'s a whole discussion, but you see how there's subtleties here that require some distinction, yeah?).
There's another consent model I've used a bit called Rolling Consent, which is where everyone is (as always, hopefully) looking out for eachother's limits & trying what they think will feel good, & if anyone's mistaken then you speak up right away & it's usually not a big deal.
This one needs a lot of trust & confidence, but if you've got a strong enough consent culture around you (& you've thoroughly disinvited any local Missing Stairs) it works out for some great parties.
If you've been part of the conversation about the difference between Ask Culture & Guess Culture you will have spotted the parallel by now; Active Consent is Ask Culture applied to sex & kink, Rolling Consent is Guess Culture.
Things are about to get a little more serious, so here's a content warning:

We're going to look at a couple of examples of consent violations pretty soon, so if you don't need that in your life today this is a good time to make an exit.
If that's you, have a great day out there.
This is a spacer-tweet for everyone to catch their breath.

(. .)
Kilroy was here
It's pretty obvious that agreement to try one thing with a particular person doesn't equate to agreement to try another thing with them, or the same thing with another person, or the same thing with the same person at a different time.
You might like kissing but not getting your hair pulled, or vice versa.

I mentioned earlier that condom use is a default expectation for a lot of people; that's a pretty solid example of Conditional Consent.

You might be down for penetration but only with a barrier.
So if a partner makes you think you're using protection & then removes it, that violates the conditions of that consent, which is deeply not-okay.
I hear there are some scumbags out doing that on purpose & calling it 'stealthing'.
Don't do that.
Makeouts are not Assassin's Creed.
There's a consent tool I've seen temporarily used called Constant Consent, where you make a point of explicitly asking about as close as possible to everything you're thinking of trying in a particular category; it's a hardcore form of Active Verbal Consent.
It can be really useful for a bunch of situations; first-aid, for example; if a person is under a bunch of stress a bit of warning & the option to refuse offers can help mitigate that.

It can be difficult to build momentum in a BDSM scene while talking this way, though.
(Not impossible, mind you. If this is your way of playing & you're getting hot & heavy with a Constant Consent model, mad props to you.)
A lot of the time it's a lot simpler if you do a pre-scene negotiation about what you're both interested in trying, what you each want to avoid & what kinds of signals you want to use while you're playing so you can update eachother.
A lot of people use a Traffic Light system, which is good if you can speak.
If you're going to have your mouth full, you can do like the wrestling-team does & use a tap-out convention or another touch based signal.
(There's that opt-out based consent model again.)
At this point I want to give a shout-out to the awesome @RobotHugsComic for their Consent Castle concept which you can read about here:
It's important for many reasons, one of which is that when navigating intimacy we move between different consent models.
There's a particularly intense form of Rolling Consent which some BDSM edge-players go in for called Blanket Consent.
This is something you can only begin to approximate if you've got an extremely well constructed & carefully looked after Consent Castle.
Even then, a lot of people are highly dubious about whether Blanket Consent is even theoretically possible, let alone whether it's a good idea.

The scene is full of people getting off on imaginary scenarios, though.

Blanket Consent (theoretically) means 'do whatever you want'.
I'm sure you can see how that's a potentially scary & dangerous idea, even with partners you like & trust a great deal.
We've been talking a lot about sexual consent, & I want to float the idea that all sexual consent exists in a special category, compared to agreements you can make about other things.

In sexual contexts you always have the right to withdraw & refuse, at any moment.
In other parts of life, that's less of a universal principle, & I think some of the consent-models developed for intimate circumstances don't hang together as well when applied outside of them.
I mentioned earlier that Active Consent is mediated by local & cultural norms; this applies more generally, & to some specifically non-sexual forms of consent.

A lot of communities have different ways of asking before physical touch.
Several professional settings suspend or amend these rules; acrobats & hospitality workers often use touch as a form of communication.
A worker is always free to make it clear that they don't want to be touched & just not participate in that way of working, but that's opting-out.
Content warnings & trigger warnings are another example of non-sexual consent; when you make one you're leaving room for people to set a boundary about what they're prepared to experience or engage with.

I'm not fully certain what to call either of those models of consent.
That's it for the ones I can think of offhand. I hope it's useful to you, & if you know about any of the ones I've missed please fill me in.
I'm looking forward to hearing what you all have to say.

Happy Solstice, everyone.

[Thread ends.]
Hey again everybody, I forgot a big one.
Ability to consent is based on ability to think clearly & possession of relevant information.
If you're drunk, high, being deceived or otherwise in a state of disadvantage compared to a possible partner, you're looking at Impaired Consent.
One of the ways you might be placed at a disadvantage is if you're dating across an economic divide, under circumstances of racial stigma or at different levels of a workplace hierarchy.
@foxyfolklorist touches on that intersectional analysis here:
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to CarnivalSeb
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!