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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
How to ask 
26th-Jan-2015 09:01 am
We're All Stories in the End
"Would you like to stay?" he asked, his hand on my waist and his eyes on mine.

His code name, for now, is Ten, due to his resemblance to David Tennant. It was his New Year's Eve party, after midnight, before one; I knew I'd have to decide soon if I was staying or leaving in order to catch the last train and bus if I was leaving. I'd lined up a ride home in case I wanted to stay longer. But honestly, I'd already decided that I'd stay if he asked. We met at sexy-exploration-welcome parties and had had a lovely time at the last one, but beyond that, he gave me and Murder Cat a ride to the vet and we had excellent conversation all the way there and back, and so I knew I really liked him and wanted to pursue this. We'd had a night full of fond looks and casual touch and people who didn't know me assuming we were already dating, which we weren't.

But this isn't about that; this is about how he asked.

Because he followed that question up with "If you decide at any time that you'd rather go, I'll pay your cabfare home."

Thus removing at a single strike any of the things that might have made me feel trapped and/or pressured there, if, after the last bus, after everyone left, I changed my mind.

1. Made me aware that he understood that consent could be revoked at any time and he would respect that.
2. Made money not a barrier to me leaving whenever I wanted.

He did not yet know that I was a survivor of sexual violence. This was just his baseline for interacting with people - this deep understanding of the multiple factors that could get in the way of enthusiastic consent, and the need to settle for nothing less than unimpeded enthusiastic consent. Getting home is not a problem, leaving here whenever you want is not a problem - given that, what do you want?

And there are other proofs, from that night and now others, but those are more private. And I haven't spoken of this because I wanted his permission to say how he asked (which I remembered to ask him for yesterday), and also because I've been enjoying being on this path with him and figuring out what that means between the two of us. We're a Thing. It is good. <3

And it really started that night when he showed how deeply he understood consent. How important it was to him.
Comments 
26th-Jan-2015 02:25 pm (UTC)
<3
26th-Jan-2015 02:31 pm (UTC)
sounds like a very good one!
26th-Jan-2015 02:48 pm (UTC)
This was just his baseline for interacting with people - this deep understanding of the multiple factors that could get in the way of enthusiastic consent, and the need to settle for nothing less than unimpeded enthusiastic consent.

That. That right there. I would like more of that in the universe please.
26th-Jan-2015 03:15 pm (UTC)
Precisely.
26th-Jan-2015 05:04 pm (UTC)
We really need Team Enthusiastic Consent tee shirts or something.
26th-Jan-2015 08:38 pm (UTC)
Untamed Undies in the Arisia dealers room had buttons, stickers, and underwear (hence the name :-) with "C-O-N-S-E-N-T, find out what it means to me" written on it and a piano keyboard across the top.

The white keys were words: "INFORMED", "ENTHUSIASTIC", "REVOCABLE", "REQUIRED", "FREELY GIVEN", "UNCOERCED", and "SOBER".

The sticker version is available on Etsy. UU is planning to be at Pi-con, too, according to Tumblr.
26th-Jan-2015 06:32 pm (UTC)
:D

WOOHOO for respect of consent! (And looking like David Tennant isn't a bad thing, either.... rawr.)
26th-Jan-2015 06:34 pm (UTC)
He is also a composer and massage therapist and does gluten-free baking. I just.
26th-Jan-2015 11:50 pm (UTC) - Seriously.
Man, the Universe must have noticed how craptastic some of your previous years have been and decided to start immediately with its apology.
26th-Jan-2015 11:52 pm (UTC) - Re: Seriously.
Right? I mean, the conversations alone have me bouncing giddily.
27th-Jan-2015 12:53 pm (UTC)
AND an all-around nice guy who's cool with the poly thing? Hot damn! *happydance for you*
27th-Jan-2015 12:59 pm (UTC)
Lives with his wife and another partner. Very cool with the poly thing, and not at all new to it. :)
26th-Jan-2015 08:53 pm (UTC)
Woohoo! Sounds like an awesome guy!
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