How Good Sex (With Consent) Feels
What it feels like to have really good sex with consent and how you can practice with handshakes.
Think about handshakes – serious
If there’s anyone around, go and shake hands with someone (if you and they want to). If not, can you remember the last time you shook hands with someone? They often aren’t memorable, but I bet it was: right handed, medium firmness, up and down and about 2 seconds long. Not much eye contact.
There’s a script of what we’re meant to do when we shake hands and often people do the same without thinking (even if someone is left handed).
Next time you shake hands try negotiating absolutely everything. Asking first. Which hand? How firm (scale of 1 – 10)? Dry hand first? Up and down? Left and right? How many shakes? How long for? Fistbump? High five? A complex combo shake? This might be a more memorable handshake. You might meet each other’s needs. There may be more of a connection between you. You also know what’s going to happen. But, it’s also a bit awks talking about it so much. You kind of lose the spontaneity, the buzz, the spark of the first handshake.
… if you negotiate what you do it can be a better handshake but it can also be well awkward…
Next try a third handshake. This time you try to have the best of both handshakes. You’re trying to have a great handshake together but instead of talking you just really notice everything that’s happening. Look for eye contact and facial expressions: are they enjoying it? Do you nod your head, or smile, or laugh. Do you make a noise like ‘mmmm?’ Notice your body language, are you turning towards each other? How do you hands connect and disconnect and how does that feel? This kind of handshake can be a memorable shared moment, not just one person doing it to another.
people can have really good handshakes without negotiating everything before hand.
Handshakes = massive sex analogy
You’ve probably already worked out that this is an analogy. This is a sex and relationships website after all. I’ll explain it a bit more below, but actually it is more than an analogy. Think about your handshakes (or other greetings) and think about how you get your needs met. How does a really good handshake feel and how does that make you feel about you and the other person?
‘First handshake sex’
Like with the first handshake, some people don’t like to talk and just do it. The sex follows the same script (kissing, nakedness, ‘foreplay’, entry sex). Some people like that kind of sex. Just like with handshakes, sometimes you get a good one, sometimes the sex happens to work for both people. However often it doesn’t meet your needs at all because you haven’t talked about what kind of sex you want. For instance many people find that entry sex just doesn’t do it for them. Also not talking about sex you’re going to have can be non-consensual. If no-one agrees to anything, or you don’t check to see and ‘one thing leads to another’ you might think it’s consensual but the other person might not. Just cos someone hasn’t said no, doesn’t mean it was consensual.
‘Second handshake sex’
The second handshake approach to sex sounds great, but in truth people would rarely have sex if they had to negotiate everything about it before hand. Like with the second handshake, it’s good to know that you’re meeting each other’s needs, it’s good to set boundaries and it’s good to have an idea of what will happen. However, talking about sex in that detail is awkward and it might kill the buzz and excitement. Some people really like talking a lot about what sex they want to have. For some kinds of sex it’s super important to do, particularly anything to do with domination and submission. More about that here.
‘Third handshake sex’
So having really good consensual sex is about the third handshake. The best of both worlds. Really tuning into someone: being on the same wavelength. It’s about knowing that you both really want to do it with each other and that you both want to have a shared moment with each other. Having enough communication to get going and also being able to check in with each other during it. That you will pay attention to whether they are enjoying it (as well as whether you are). Looking out for the body language, the eye contact, the noises you make, how your bodies move towards or away from each other. More on actually how to do this here.
Some ways of communicating during sex are easier than others for some people. I’ve got loads more about that here.
© Justin Hancock 2015
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