Consent Is As Easy As Tea, Except When They’ve Never Had Tea.

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 10.854% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

So here’s a weird aspect of consent few bring up: consenting to the unknown.

The problem is that we think the unknown is known, based on simple explanations: “Oh, being spanked is just someone whapping on your butt! I consent!”

But the issue is that while you may know the physical mechanics of a thing you’ve consented to, you may not understand how that spanking affects your body and your emotional state. Some people find spanking to be fun, and giggle a lot even when welts are forming; others feel deeply humiliated, and start crying, and love that catharsis of being allowed to cry; still others feel deeply humiliated and fucking hate crying and call red.

And here’s the issue:

Too often, people are consenting to what they think the experience will be, as opposed to consenting to having an experience.

Which is to say that if you consented to a nice jolly spanking where you giggle and squirm, just like you saw your spank-loving friends get, and instead a spanking of the same intensity and time period churns up deeply painful helplessness, you often feel like your consent was violated.

Yet the problem here is unclear communication. You consented to something the other person could not guarantee providing. They could only provide the circumstances; your reactions are unknown.

Which means when you’re consenting to a new experience, you also have to consent to the understanding that even if your experience provider does precisely what they said they’d do and no more, this might not go the way you thought it would.

I mean, I thought the skydiving experience would be, “The soaring feeling of wafting down to earth.” Whereas the experience was actually “My entire body weight resting on my testicles thanks to me hanging down from straps I didn’t put on properly,” so, you know, lesson learned.

But the point is, consenting to a new experience is not consenting to the experience you wanted to have. It is consenting to learn what that experience is.

What you may learn is, “I really hate that.”

Knowing that is your responsibility as the consenter.

If you’re the consentee, too often the experience provider hears “I agree to try spanking” as “LET US OPEN UP THIS CAN OF WHOOP-ASS.” Yet there’s a responsibility as well to understand that this person has not consented to enjoying this experience, they have merely consented to trying this experience.

As such, you need to go slowly and check in. Yes, even if it’s a brutal angry scene designed to traumatize. Because yes, maybe via the letter of the law they have agreed to be in your clutches for a while – but if you purposely do things to people that you realize they will regret later, that makes you a douche and nobody should play with you.

Your job, as the first-time experience provider, is to not turn this into a full warrant to get your rocks off, but rather to give them enough of the experience to see if they want to go farther with it.

Furthermore, you should be consenting to stay with them if this turns out to be an unpleasant experience, giving them whatever care they need if they realize this really sucked.

Side story: I was at a diner once that had a sign that advertised, “BEST MARTINIS IN TOWN!” Being freshly twenty-one and never having had a martini, I ordered one.

It tasted like salty gasoline. Which, I later learned, was pretty much what a good martini tasted like.

I left the rest of the drink on the table, when the owner came out to harangue me. “YOU DON’T LIKE MY MARTINI?” he bellowed. “I MAKE A GOOD MARTINI!”

“I’m positive you do,” I said. “I am taking this, in fact, as the gold standard of martinis. And what I have learned about martinis is that I don’t like them.”

He didn’t like that much. He was so angry, he stood over me and glared until I drank the rest of the martini and made fake “mmm” noises to get him to go away.

As a person providing the new experience, you have to not be Martini Maker. Yes, you gave them exactly what they ordered, and the fact that they responded poorly is not a reflection on your fine quality as an ass-whapper. And too often scenes that go wrong wind up with one traumatized bottom and a Martini Maker standing over them bellowing how this was a good spanking, they’ve been doing this for years, what’s wrong with you.

If something goes wrong with a new experience, shift your ego to one side and comfort them. You’ll be better off for it, and so will they.

Once the seal’s broken and they have enough of this unknown thing to recognize how they react to it, they can begin to consent in earnest and you can start ramping up to some pretty amazing things… But as with most things in consent, it’s not a contract, but a careful dance.

And you may ask: What happens if you ramp up the intensity of your scene and their experience they think they’ve agreed to changes? As in, they really got off on you spanking their butt cheeks, but you hit them six inches down on their thighs and that was so intensely painful that suddenly the experience they had nebulously communicated as spanking turned out not to be what they wanted at all?

And ah, grasshopper. You’re starting to realize why consent can be complex sometimes.

Good luck with that.

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