Consenting

***TRIGGER / CONTENT WARNING: The below contains discussion of gray area consent & intoxication

Image by  @photobruja , Model is  @michelle.megumi

Image by @photobruja, Model is @michelle.megumi

 

I did a scene with someone (I was the sub) and did some kinda intense play that I had never done before, and found out after the fact that the Dom was stoned. Is this not super consensual then cuz I didn’t know what I was getting myself into?? I don’t think I would have gone there with him if I had known

For context, we had just had a convo about consent and substances, and how we felt ok with being slightly faded sometimes during sex, but it had never happened before where the other one didn’t know. Confusing???? (they/them pronouns)


Yes confusing!! I distinctly remember when conversations around consent first entered my consciousness. In high school, I received adequate sex ed, but it had absolutely no mention of consent. Then in college, we were given a training around consent that taught us about “enthusiastic consent” (I believe the words used were that your partner should say “YES OH YES!” regarding any activity, which, to this day, I don’t think I’ve ever actually heard or said) and then, almost as a throwaway, that anyone who is even a little bit inebriated cannot consent to sexual activity. Ok that’s it bye!

But that’s not it, and there are many shades of gray here. For some people, alcohol and marijuana can be vital in having a pleasurable sexual experience. Alcohol and marijuana, when used responsibly, can actually be helpful in soothing social anxiety, body image issues, dissociation, or just general lack of confidence. So how do we reconcile that with a conversation about consent that has told us that any encounter involving substances isn’t fully consensual? I think in this case it comes down to disclosure and comfort. With a given partner, whether it’s a casual encounter or the hundredth time you’ve been intimate with them, it’s important for both parties to be informed of everyone’s inebriation level and make informed choices from there. There’s also a big difference between a Dom and a sub in this situation, as Doms need to be fully in control of themselves so the sub isn’t seriously hurt. I’d say an important rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car, you should not be engaging in bondage or impact.

If you wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car, you should not be engaging in bondage or impact.

So yes, it wasn’t right for your partner to not disclose that he was stoned. You’re absolutely within your rights to feel uncomfortable with that, just as you are well within your rights to feel uncomfortable about anything at any time! We’re so often looking for permission to feel what we feel, so let’s start with the assertion that you have every right to feel how you feel. Then, when it comes to subbing, it’s vital that you feel that your Dom has total control of themselves at all times. Which, in my opinion, depending on the person, is totally possible if they’ve had a little weed or a drink or two. But again, as a component of developing a strong dynamic of two-way trust, you should be given the ability to opt in on what you let happen to your precious body. Disclosure about substances is a key ingredient to active consent. I have called my safe word before based on other people’s inebriation levels, and I have had deeply fulfilling experiences as the only sober or intoxicated person in a scene. These things are in flux, which is why active disclosure and check ins are key.

As for what to do next, I think the way you established a baseline of expectations around substances was very smart! Everyone should do this. Obviously, though, you need to revisit with him at a time when you’re both sober and say “look, I don’t want to do scenes with you/be intimate with you/etc. if you’re stoned without being informed of that. Do you understand why that makes me feel unsafe?” If he can soberly, seriously, meet your concerns and honor them, then you two have begun constructing the kind of two-way trust we all need from our partners.