Did you know, one of the biggest myths about swinging is that women are manipulated and coerced by men to attend events, and don’t actually want to be there? Nothing could be further than the truth. The women of our world love sex, they love dressing up, they love the attention, and love how sexy and desirable they feel. As long as *women feel safe, the sex-positive environment brings out her inner vixen, unleashes her desires, and she is unstoppable! Women are the ones who hold the power in our community as they generally have the final say over what happens. And there’s little sexier than a confident insatiable woman who wants to have sex with you!
The key to unlocking this is understanding consent.
Gone are the days when consent is just “No means No.” This is ambiguous, doesn’t address the how, and simply isn’t good enough.
Having some clarity around what consent means will help you navigate the swinging world. This helps everyone feel safe and consequently have lots of fun!
“Consenting and asking for consent are all about setting your personal boundaries and respecting those of your partner/s — and checking in if things aren’t clear. Both/all people must agree to sex — every single time — for it to be consensual.”
We love the FRIES acronym from Planned Parenthood.
FRIES stands for:
Freely given. Consenting is a choice you make without pressure, manipulation, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Watch body language. Not just your partner’s, but also between others. Tension and/or hesitancy means non-consent. Don’t play into “taking one for the team”, it usually doesn’t end well.
Being intoxicated is the fastest way to get yourselves shown the door. Consume only just enough alcohol to be sociable (or calm your nerves). You cannot give consent when you’re drunk, nor can you hear someone else give consent.
Reversible. Anyone can change their mind about what they feel like doing, anytime. Even if you’ve done it before, and even if you’re both naked in bed.
It can feel very difficult to withdraw consent once things have started, but it’s important to learn how to. No one ever owes anyone sex or access to their body. Not even their spouse.
Here are some phrases.
“Thank you for the play session. It was fun but I’ve had enough now.”
“I’m sorry but I’ve changed my mind.”
“I thought I was good to go, but I’m just not feeling it right now. Can we cuddle instead?”
Informed. You can only consent to something if you have the full story.
Condom use is expected in any casual sex encounter in every casual sex environment anywhere in the world.
Enthusiastic. When it comes to sex, you should only do stuff you WANT to do, not things that you feel you’re expected to do.
Silence is a No.
Maybe later is a No.
I don’t know is a No.
“Fuck Yes” sex is much more fun!
Specific. Saying yes to one thing (like agreeing to a massage) doesn’t mean you’ve said yes to others (like having sex).
Checking in intermittently is sexy!
“Can I undress you?” whilst you’re kissing their neck.
“Can I lick/suck you?” as you sensually nibble down their body.
“May I touch your bum?” as you pull their cock out of your throat.
A few extra points:
Consent is required every single time. Having great sex at one party doesn’t automatically mean you have consent next time you see each other.
These rules apply to everyone: women, men, non-binary. Women have been as guilty of violating consent as men have. Men need to feel safe too. As do our LGBTQIA+ community.
You will make mistakes. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person, just do better next time. Pull yourself up on it and apologise. This engenders trust, and they will appreciate it. Not owning up to it because you’re too embarrassed to say sorry makes you a perpetrator.
People (including men) often let a consent violation slide because they do not want to make trouble. Don’t let it slide; say something: “Hey, you didn’t ask first!”. If they do not apologise and continue to ignore boundaries, please report to staff. This is grounds for eviction. Regardless of gender.
Sexual consent is understanding that it begins at asking before touching, it’s upheld when stopping play halfway through if required, and knowing it needs to be renegotiated from scratch the next time.
Beyond the sex, it’s acknowledging everyone has the right to bodily autonomy, and this should be respected unconditionally.
Consent Culture underpins everything The Rabbit Hole stands for.
Wendee on behalf of The Rabbit Hole team x
*As we move towards a more inclusive culture to include the LGBTQIA+ community and away from heteronormativity, it is important to acknowledge that women are not the only ones who are vulnerable to violation of consent.