When I introduced the idea of writing these little stories, I mentioned that part of the reason I wanted to write them was to demonstrate that awesome things could happen even if you’re being careful about consent. This second story is not a demonstration of the gold standard of explicitly asking for consent, but I hope it can still serve as a halfway decent model for the types of thinking and considerations that can come up in complicated social scenarios with respect to consent issues (it is, I am reasonably certain, the story of the only time I have ever kissed anyone before establishing what we might term Consent Beyond a Reasonable Doubt). Other than that, if nothing else, I hope it serves as an enjoyable story:
I’m hanging out with two friends of mine, Mike and Sarah. We are lounging around, being cuddly, talking about whatever, and Mike and Sarah are occasionally making out. I made out with Sarah a few times at a party not long ago, and I’d love to do it again. I think she’s interested.
Normally, my approach would be to just ask her if she wanted to, but under the circumstances, her having been being very affectionate with Mike, I’m apprehensive that she might feel uncomfortably compelled to say yes. I try to think of a way to ask that won’t put her on the spot — a way that, if she isn’t interested, won’t create a sense of awkward contrast between her disinterest in me and the snogging of Mike.
It’s been a good day so far. A kinkster I recently met asked some of my kinky friends and I if we would be up for modeling for some drawings for him, and we agreed. This led to an afternoon spent in a giant cuddle pile composed of people, rope bondage, and the judicious application of teeth and nails to skin.
I love bite marks. I love leaving them, and having them left on me. I also love cuddling with people, and kissing, of which there was some earlier (although not with Sarah), and spending time with good people. Things have died down, and it’s now only the three of us, but the days events have left me in a pretty nice headspace (outside of the anxiousness associated with trying to figure out how to approach Sarah with my “kisses should happen” proposal).
It occurs to me that in this particular situation, it might actually be easier for Sarah to reject me nonverbally than verbally. It would keep her from being put quite so much on the spot, and it would minimize the awkward contrast between rejecting me and snogging Mike. I resolve to kiss her, once, quickly and briefly, and then leave the initiative entirely up to her.
Conversation continues, and I wait for a moment. I’m hoping I’ve made the right decision in terms of not putting undue pressure on her, and I’m hoping she’s interested, and I’m wondering if she is. I’ve made it a rule never to trust my instincts on whether or not someone is interested in me 100%. Over the years, I’ve gotten better at being able to tell, and my instincts are pretty optimistic about Sarah, but you never know for sure. My brain is bubbling nervousness.
“What if this is a bad idea? What if I’m not sure how she feels, even after the fact? What if it’s awkward?”
And then a moment arrives. We are talking, face-to-face, and for a moment the conversation is suspended, and she’s right there, and I lean closer, and I kiss her.
She kisses back.
We break apart.
“We should do that more often”, she says. Her voice has the half-distracted air of someone not entirely finished savoring.
Relief and giddiness pour into my veins. Mocking seriousness, I respond, “I don’t know, I’ll have to check with management to make sure that’s okay.” She throws a pillow at me.
Later on, I kiss her again. This time, the first one flows into a second, and a third.
“Management got back to me. We’ve got a green light.”