So, you’re on a date with this new person that you’re seeing. Before you know it, it’s the end of the night and things are heating up. You want to have sex and think it’s mutual. How do you proceed? Do you just assume they’re into it and start kissing them and taking their clothes off? Or do you straight up ask them “Do you want to have sex?” which can feel awkward, especially in the face of rejection?
Depending on whether you ask this question, there are 4 possible scenarios that can play out.
Ask for consent
Let’s start with the latter question. “Do you want to have sex?” Maybe you regularly ask this question, or some variation thereof, with your partners. Or maybe asking so bluntly feels wrong, like it ruins the passion and chemistry of the moment.
Well, maybe asking takes your attention away from whatever you’re caught up in at the moment, but it does set a healthy precedent in your sexual relationship, however long it might last (even if only a night).
Take a second to consider your ideal sexual encounter. Do you want to know that your partner is also into it? Do you want to bring them pleasure? Do you want them to tell you want they want and like? Does it please you to please them?
Either they’re into it and you have better sex than usual
Asking a simple question like “Do you want to have sex?” gives room for all of those things. It let’s you know with certainty whether your partner is into it. And they have to be in order to get any pleasure from the experience. Maybe you’ll get pleasure regardless of those last two questions, but wouldn’t it be so much better to know that you are both getting what you want and enjoying the moment?
. . . or they’re not, and you’re ego takes a momentary hit
If your partner says “No,” to the question of having sex, it sucks. Your ego might take a small blow. But you know what? There are millions of people in this world, and the chances are high that someone else will actually want to sleep with you. And when that happens, how great will that be?
Or another thing that could happen: maybe you’re partner just isn’t into it right now. Maybe they don’t feel well or want to get to know you better first or just aren’t in the mood. You’ll have another opportunity on a different day, or maybe even later the same evening! Again, when that happens, how great will it be?
But if you don’t ask first, the sex probably won’t be as good
Never just assume that someone wants to have sex without getting their express consent. Even if they do want to, starting a conversation around the topic allows everyone to be more open in expressing their wants and desires. Maybe they’re into some kinky stuff that you’d also enjoy, but they don’t feel respected (because you never asked what they were into), so they don’t feel comfortable sharing.
By not asking for consent upfront, you close the door to having healthy conversations around sex. That means your partner might feel uncomfortable asking you to stop or to try something differently that would make it better for both of you.
. . . and you might be considered a rapist
And you know what sucks more than any of the points made above? Assuming your partner is into it and forcing yourself upon them when they don’t even want to have sex. That’s rape. Not only will your experience be less enjoyable, but you would be taking autonomy away from your partner and causing a whoooole mess of harm that is way too complex to tackle here. Just don’t do it.
To me, nothing is more attractive than a someone who respects my decisions and opinions. So show some respect for both yourself and your partner by getting explicit consent before engaging in any sexual activities.
Asking doesn’t have to feel awkward
Don’t feel comfortable straight up saying “Do you want to have sex?” Here are some other questions you might ask to get consent:
- Is it okay if I ______________ (take your shirt off, kiss you here, etc)?
- What do you like?
- Do you want to keep going?
- Please let me know if you would like to stop at anytime.
- Wanna bang? (Okay, maybe only use this with someone you have an established relationship with)
It doesn’t matter what you ask, as long as you ask something and the answer is clear. Being on the same page is great, and it makes sex more enjoyable for everyone involved.
With that said, staying safe also makes sex great. So, you might want to ask about STI status and birth control before getting involved too. It’s always a safe bet to wrap it up. But that’s a topic for another time.