Microfiction: Enthusiastic Consent

In case you were wondering what “enthusiastic consent” looks like.

Enthusiastic ConsentWhat enthusiastic consent looks like:

In a minute.
Not quite.
Like this? Or this?
Both, and neither. Like this. Like this?
Oh yes? And is this the way, or this?
Oh, this. Oh, THIS!
More? or Less?
More! oh, oh. Oops. I meant less.
My turn? Please?
Of course. Mouth or hands?
I like both. Mouth first, I think. Yes.
(Giggles) Yes. And back at you.
Phew! A break?
Sure. Cuddle? Sleep? Or something else.
Ice cream.
Ice cream? For eat or play?
Eat today, play later.
(Sighs) It’s good.
Yes, it’s good. Thank you.
And you.

A Note on Enthusiastic Consent

The notion that all interactions between two people should be, when possible, based on enthusiastic consent is based on several premises:

  • Every person is the sole owner of their own body and own experience.
  • Interactions between adults are by definition interactions between equals.
  • If someone is unable to consent (due to impairment or age) there is no consent even if there is enthusiasm. 
  • Consent doesn’t just apply to sexual interactions. It applies to all touch, and to many discussions and interactions people have.

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Jennifer Liles is the owner and webmistress for Jenni's Space and Responsive Mental Health Services LLC. She is dedicated to mental health and human rights for freaks, geeks, and queer folk. She uses the Jenni's Space label for places where she combines education about, advocacy for, and celebration of mental health and human rights. This information is primarily for neurodiverse people, people with mental health issues, people who are on the queer spectrum, disabled people, and Black and Indigenous and other people of color. There are also discussions for privileged people about privilege and how it intersects with human rights work.