Don’t Seek Consent*, Seek Pleasure

* ALWAYS seek consent

But what I mean to say, in the wake of the Aziz Ansari story, is that it’s time for men and women to work together towards a new definition of consent. Let’s call the old version of “no means no” the bare minimum, and the new version of “are you enjoying yourself?” to be best practices.

The best thing to come from this story is the sheer amount of conversations I’ve had amongst my peers. We often refer to consent as being black or white – which it can be – but more often than not it is a dance with two people testing each other’s boundaries, trust, interest, and lust.

A friend said to me, “I just wait to hear no.” So he waits for a withdrawal of consent and operates on an assumption of consent ‘til then. What of these non-verbal cues Aziz was accused of not reading? Well, you can save yourself a lot of trouble using invitational language e.g. “Would you like to… come over/do this thing/go to the bedroom?” or “Should I…close the door/put on a condom/see myself out?” always leaving room for the answer to be no.

Some people say asking permission can be a buzzkill, but touching base will always leave each participant knowing that the other person cared about their experience and participation.

And really, shouldn’t we always be aspiring to best practices?

Thoughts of a Next Gen Man…

– Jake on behalf of J(ake)J(ermal)J(ason)

This year we are undertaking a personal challenge to share some of our reflections around what it means to “be a better man” in today’s day and age. Join us every Friday for “Thoughts of a Next Gen Man.” Interested in learning more about our work? Check out our programs for youth, adults, and workplaces, subscribe to our newsletter, follow our social media channels, and get in touch!