Anita Mechler: 10 Tips on Consent

[This is an excerpt of a piece I read for Nikki Nigl’s ABOUT WOMEN on February 21, 2018 on the topic of Consent: What Does it Look Like?. If you find yourself in the Chicago area, I highly recommend going to her events. I always learn something new about the world and myself and usually make new friends!]

  1. Give yourself permission to explore your desires, but have no expectations – This one is huge for me. I often need permission to do things and I strive to give permission to myself as much as possible. Sometimes, I find it easier to get that permission from someone trusted like a therapist or a friend who truly loves me unconditionally; they help me explore my original idea further. Having no expectations helps you be present and able to enjoy the moment.
  2. State your needs – Ask yourself first, is this an environment where I can state my needs and they will be respected? Does this person seem receptive to respecting my boundaries, whatever they may be? Before things get physical, take that time to have the discussion. My favorite line for one-on-one interactions is, “I really enjoy it when…”
  3. Dress in a way that makes you feel confident and sexy – I think that the key part about this is “confident,” something we could all use more of in our daily lives.
  4. Imbibe mindfully – This was a another big one for me. Major intoxication makes it difficult to get and give clear consent. This is a great foundation for us to consider and build upon while we are sober.
  5. Know that trauma isn’t linear. Be compassionate to yourself – I put this here because I know that trauma and our reactions to it do not always make perfect logical sense. Allowing self-compassion helped me get away from the self-loathing that I was feeling every day post-trauma. Being sober and present in many situations can be incredibly healing and enlightening.
  6. Judge any interaction in life on what is working for you – If at any point during an interaction it stops working for you, you have permission to stop, reassess, and move onto whatever will work for you. I often think about whether something is contributing to my goals, my intentions, or my desires. If it is not serving any of those things, I give myself permission to no longer put my energy into it. Sometimes you treasure the lessons you learn in unexpected places.
  7. Every act requires a verbal YES. A yes is a yes, a no is a no, and REALLY IMPORTANTLY, A MAYBE IS A NO – This was an excellent lesson in learning about my boundaries and allowing me to explore within them. If I say “Sure” to something, that isn’t a yes. Realizing that in the moment helps me solidify whether I really want to do this action. I could then either change my answer to “Yes” or “No.” I am not required to do anything I don’t want to do and I am able to stop it whenever I want.
  8. A no or maybe is a singular statement. It does not need to be repeated. No further discussion is necessary. When someone says no, move on.
  9. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do – Ask yourself: “Is this contributing to my goals, intentions, or desires?” If the answer is no, you don’t have to do it. You don’t have to be “active” all of the time; it is good to take breaks.
  10. Treat each new experience as an opportunity to learn something new about yourself and don’t forget to count the positives.

Arrangement Consent Tablets Yes Font Letters

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