What the hell is ‘consensual non-consent’?
I mean, either you consent or you don’t, right?
Well, mostly. For most people, the phrase “consensual non-consent” is about eight gajillion kinds of utterly pointless; they have no need for it. For some people, though, they still like to play Cowboys & Indians. Just with a more, um, adult focus. It is definitely a type of activity that is rated NFE – Not For Everyone.
Some people, though, really get off on the fantasy of, say, being captured and raped by pirates. Or being the pirate. It’s not something anyone would really want to happen in real life, but a little dress-up, a few props, and hey! Things can get fun.
However, it can be a little weird when the “maiden” you’re “ravishing” is ripping her own clothes off before you can say “Hello, poppet!” And, from the other end, it doesn’t feel all that maidenly, either. It makes one want to call a time-out and double check. “Wait, that isn’t in the script!”
It’s a lot easier (if you’re into this kind of thing) to feel free to say things as the role you’re playing would say them. Since any respectable maiden who’s been kidnapped would be much more likely to say “Stop! Don’t touch me, you foul beast!”, there needs to be some other way to say “Um… Yeah, this isn’t going well and I really need to stop now!”
Safe words, which I mentioned in a previous post, are pretty good for this.
Naturally, with consensual non-consent type scenes, there needs to be just a little more negotiation ahead of time about what kinds of things are and are not okay. The aggressor should expect some vigorous resistance from their partner in these scenes, and it’s critical that they be able to trust their partner to safe word appropriately. The ‘victim’ in these scenes must be able to trust the aggressor that they’ll be able to act in a suitable manner to make the scene work, without ignoring safe words, or previously stated limits.
This kind of play is absolutely rife with the opportunity to accidentally cross lines into abusive, harmful, or unsafe. It helps a great deal for the people involved to have, not a script exactly (how boring!!!) but a playbook. For example, no self-respecting pirate goes anywhere without a knife. It’s useful for all kinds of things – cutting away a bodice or corset, threatening or intimidating the ‘victim’, holding it to her throat…
Wait, what? Knives are SHARP, are you STUPID??? I mean, on her THROAT?
Exactly. So, props are wonderful things. Those dull chrome letter openers are fantastic for that, because the edges are actually very dull. If used irresponsibly, they can still badly injury someone (never, ever, use the point. A bad flinch on the sub’s part can result in a stab wound, even with a dull blade!).
With proper, extensive communication, established trust in one’s partner, and good planning, consensual non-consent can be a lot of fun. It’s great for the dom to be able to cut loose a bit and get downright evil, and it’s fun for the sub to be able to resist, say no, be a “good girl” who was just forced into this horrible situation – bypasses all those guilt and shame triggers. Because the devil really DID make you do it.