Ask the MH girls the questions you can’t ask anyone else. They’re three women who speak their mind, so don’t expect sugar-coated answers. Today we ask: The fuss around consent has me spooked. How should I go about initiating intimacy in the early stages of a relationship?
Becky: I don’t love the word “fuss”. I don’t think people who want more clarity around consent are fussing. But the fact you’re asking the question suggests you’re thinking about it and cautious about it – which means you’re probably halfway there already.
Lizza: Why does it spook you, TM? Are you worried about some past actions? It’s a bit worrying.
Nikolina: I think this all comes down to open communication. I think
if you’ve reached a point
in your relationship where you feel sex might be close, then it’s probably something you should
Lizza: Yeah. And read the body language, right? If you’re going in for a kiss and she’s backing away, that’s a no. A definite no.
Becky: In the very early stages, don’t be afraid to over-communicate. Don’t be afraid to stop along the way, to ask questions and to check how she’s feeling.
Nikolina: That’s right. Assume nothing.
Becky: Some guys are going to be thinking that if they keep stopping every ten seconds to ask permission, they’re killing the mood. But once you’re really comfortable with each other, you won’t have to. You won’t have to say, “Stop the clock! Can I do this?”
Nikolina: Checking up along the way doesn’t have to be a super-long conversation. It can be just a few really quick – and breathless – questions like, “Is this
Lizza: And the communication doesn’t have to be verbal, right? You’ve got to be able to read those non-verbal cues. We probably don’t want to hear, “Hey, can I take off your shoes?”
Nikolina: Oh, my gosh! Absolutely not.
Lizza: In saying that, we women have to be obvious with our communication, verbal or otherwise. Ideally, though, we shouldn’t have to get to the point of saying, “No, no, no”. You need to watch and listen. You need to be able to read the signs.
Becky: So, communication. Verbal at first, then gradually more subtle as the relationship develops.