Maintaining Enthusiastic Consent During Play

Following a link at ErosBlog to this interview with porn director Aiden Starr, I found an interesting discussion of how she maintains enthusiastic consent while doing BDSM. The key point is that even while making a movie, she sets up lines of in-character communication that she and her model/bottom can use without disrupting the scene. No reason that wouldn’t work brilliantly for play that doesn’t have cameras present, either:

So, the process of consent starts with the peer-to-peer conversation and that means that we sit across from each other and no one is lower and no one is higher, and we look each other in the face and there’s no eye restriction roleplay, which is a part of BDSM, we don’t use that during the negotiation portion of establishing where we’re going in this scene. And then, we will explicitly talk about everything that’s going to happen. I will explain to the person what’s going to happen to them and what’s not going to happen to them. Then, I ask what their interests are, what their hard limits are and what their soft limits are. I explain to them how to communicate in-character and it’s a lengthy process — I do it every single time I play with somebody, though, regardless of how soft or how heavy we’re gonna be. During a scene, while I’m fucking with somebody, I will constantly check in with them, and I have lots of different ways that I do that.

I shot for yesterday and we were doing an educational on corporal, and part of the way that I establish consent with corporal is that if I’m going to hit someone, I’ll pick up the implement and say “oh, this looks like it’s really going to hurt you, look at it” and I show it to them and it gives them a chance to look at it, and use their safe word before I touch them with it — so that they can be involved in the process. And, you can keep it inside of roleplaying and work at really establishing not just comfort, but sexual excitement with consent, so that it’s not just a sterile environment.

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