Sexual Games

Blaugust 12th


A question on the mind of every gaming adult should be: where’s the good sex in my games?! I, for one, am excitedly waiting for it to happen. Some games try ….most games don’t. It seems games struggle to capture the awesome of sex when they include it. At best past games awkwardly mimic human physicality, but fail to deliver the heat,passion and sensuality of a sexual moment. It’s usually portrayed as either porn or as a joke in games with rare exception.

Larry has managed to become the poster child for sex in video games.

Larry has managed to become the poster child for sex in video games.

After wondering where all the sex was, I decided to do some digging into the video game past to see how it’s been done in games I never played. Leisure Suit Larry probably popped in mind for some of you even if you never played it, but video games don’t really have a history with sex. Games just generally don’t do it and mostly never have. I’ve never played Larry, but from what I’ve seen and read it’s the adventures of one bachelor as he tries to bed various women in the game. So this isn’t really an exploration of sex so much as a simulation of how the dating game is supposed to work in real life for men (granted, with humor and sarcasm).

Following various links from Wikipedia I discovered Cobra Mission (NSFW), a sexual adventure for DOS described on the wiki as a Hentai game. It featured lots of combat and the mechanics for having sex were the same as for knocking out bad guys …and let me tell you. I’ve had sex and I’ve punched bad guys, and I have to say …the former is nothing like the latter physically or otherwise. So this sounds like a bizarre game with terrible sex to me.

Some of us wonder if games can actually deliver something genuinely romantic and sexually arousing, but the answer is obviously yes. If novels can make us swoon and invest emotionally with mere ink on paper, surely games can do much more to our senses. But how? And why have games not done this yet?

Bioware: They really, really try.

Bioware: They really, really try.

To be fair, games in America appear to be the real prudes of the industry. Japan has an entire sex game industry by the looks of it, where games of sometimes dubious and downright harmful quality routinely publish sex and outright porn. I don’t have a lot of experience with these games so I can’t say that they haven’t created some good ones. But in America that’s different. We breakdown every piece of entertainment into two categories: porn or prude. There are some political factors making it difficult to develop games with mature sexual content, but mostly it’s just not something developers seem to care about. We get cheesy romance, porn, or nothing. Yet capturing sexual excitement with immersive play seems almost destined for an interactive medium like games.

I’d even argue that seduction is already a game that humans love to play. I won’t speak for others, but those moments, words, stolen glances, smiles and feelings that seduce us are 90% of what’s awesome about the sex that follows. It’s the game that gets many of us excited about the prospect of locking lips and hips. The act of sex is sometimes the endpoint, but not always. Seduction is great on it’s own.The question is whether video games can execute this sequence of seduction which doesn’t need to involve sex itself. This to me seems like a simpler task than trying to make a sex scene non-awkward and meaningful to the player. When we think about it, this is what makes romance options in games like Dragon Age fun. While the sex scenes that follow are funny at best, the act of pursuing romance is actually exciting for players.

When I play Diablo 3 I feel like I'm slaughtering real demons. This game feels great to manipulate. Maybe Blizzard should make a sex game.

When I play Diablo 3 I feel like I’m slaughtering real demons. This game feels great to manipulate. Maybe Blizzard should make a sex game …on second thought …

I think we have to stop thinking of the buttons or the d-pad as the main input device for connecting the player with the act of sex. When that happens the game reduces the act to button presses and directional combos, which is an easy error to fall into. Instead, I think a focus on the kinaesthetics is the key to pleasurable and more realistic sexual encounters in games. If the game can just connect the player with the feel of sexual excitement, it’ll have done everything games have failed at in the past by  moving sex away from a mechanical act and toward a more sensual act where it belongs.

I tried to browse through the dozens of erotic titles listed on Wikipedia and one thing I learned is that sex in games has been done a lot like how sex is handled in magazines and movies. It’s treated as the subject of porn almost exclusively and developers don’t seem to view sex as mature content existing outside of pornography. Of course, games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age do a great job of trying to portray sex as an act of romance and passion, but those scenes are super rare. They’re exceptions to the norm. That says something non-flattering about the way game designers view sex as an act. This could be because of their own awkwardness with the subject, though I’m sure the technical limitations to our understanding of sex in a virtual environment don’t make this a simple task. But what these types of games lack is that sensuality that’s integral to a sexual experience. Remember: wet dreams don’t have controllers either and often lead to orgasm without so much as self-touching. It’s all in the sensations produced in our imaginations. Games in the future could contain sexual adventures unlike we’ve ever experienced!

For now, we seem doomed to simplistic portrayals of awkward sex scenes but hopefully we’ll get better at those, and it’ll lead to baby steps toward that sensuality some of us want to experience in games. Still, how hard can it be to portray sex as a dignified act between consenting adults who desperately want to fuck each other? I’d wager it’s just a matter of developers and gamers viewing sex as mature, not pornographic content.

Game Guys That Straight Guys Would Date

So back in like February I watched a video by Smosh Games on their “Why We’re Single” series – a super awkward video for the clearly uncomfortable, straight guys in it – where they talk about male game characters that they would date. It was a funny video, but also really interesting to see how these men picked their dates.

But before I talk about their choices, let’s talk about mine. That only seems fair, right? What male game characters would I go on a date with …

…its taken me months to come up with these names, not because it’s so damn hard, but I had truly never considered this. And now I’ve been considering it ever since I saw this video. The more I thought about it the more it made absolutely no sense that I hadn’t asked myself this question before. Why? Because I’ve definitely had conversations with friends, usually when sitting together around a party game or some similar situation, about guys we think are attractive. It isn’t an uncommon thing to talk about among men. More on the homoerotic overtones of male bonding another time.

Adan looked something like this. Those eyes!

Adan looked something like this. Those eyes!

So who? Who would I go out with? This may seem a little vain, but I’d date the character I made in Dragon Age Origins. He was a rogue, dual daggers. What I liked about him was that he wasn’t afraid to tell people to fuck off, but he was also the most risk taking best friend my party could ever have. If anyone was in a tight spot, Adan would switch plans in a heartbeat for them. I’m a sucker for loyalty. For those wondering, Adan was a brown-skinned male at about 200 lbs, with short dark hair and brown eyes. I wish I had a screenshot of him, but I bought this one on Xbox 360 and I don’t have the machine any more to pull pics from.

Shadowrun-DragonfallThat’s an easy one though. What about other characters I haven’t made? Dietrich from Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall.  I like how he carries himself like a wisened veteran, he’s super loyal, and his attitude is awesome. I also think the shamanic runes on his skin look pretty hot. He also strikes me as someone fun and cool to hang out with. I really enjoyed his company while playing the game.

prisonerPrisoner Johnson in Prison Architect is growing on me as well. His story makes me want to give him a hug.

The Smosh Game hosts’ picks weren’t any more interesting than mine, really. But that shouldn’t be surprising to any of us. We’re all a little weird when it comes to attraction. What I found interesting was how they made their choices.

ezio-assassinscreed2-4Lasercorn picked Cloud from Final Fantasy because he’s a great fighter, he dressed-up “convincingly” as a woman once and he’s got an airship. He also picks Ezio from Assassin’s Creed pretty much because he’s a well-equipped fighter and he’s smooth with the ladies. He talks about how Ezio would take him out to any restaurant he wants. He picks his dates based on how successful they are and also sees himself as assuming a traditionally feminine role in the relationship (where Ezio does the pursuing and wines and dines him).

Nathan-DrakeSohinki picks Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series and very shyly tells us that Nathan Drake is hot (“no homo”). He admits he likes cuddling and Nathan seems like he’d be a great cuddler. He also picks Prince of Persia …because Jake Gyllenhal plays the prince in a movie and Jake is hot! He picks his dates based on how they look and how good they are romantically (kissing and cuddling). I really got a kick out of him picking an actor over the character itself. Nice touch.

poisonJovenshire picks Poison from Street Fighter strictly for her looks. He calls her a he/she the entire time he describes how attracted he is to her body. He also picks Snow from FF13 because he thinks Snow kinda looks like a cute girl. Jovenshire picks his dates based pretty strictly on how they look.

I think the video’s great and if you haven’t seen it, entertain yourself. It’s funny and it’s guys being as honest as they’re able on a show that airs to a large internet audience. I think they did pretty good with it, but even I felt awkward seeing how awkward they felt about making these choices. There are some problematic things going on in the video for sure, but overall I took it as guys trying to have an interesting, if awkward, conversation about homosexuality. And for where they are with this in their personal lives, they did great.

If you were to date a game character of the same sex, who would you pick and why?

Male Power Fantasies in Gaming

This is another relevant throwback article I wrote a couple years ago. It’s always funny to read my old self. I’ve learned so much since then, but there’s still some good information here so it’s worth reposting. In fact, I’ve updated the whole thing. There’s also a link to the original article if you want to have fun watching me change. EDIT: Some pictures didn’t properly display. Also, it appears some edits didn’t get properly transferred over. My mistake. I’ve recovered them.


My purpose here is not to show how males are exploited or are victims of something. The broader culture is structured to reward males for their conformity to sexism such that even while their presentation is problematic, men are the clear beneficiaries. In this article, I want to  examine those presentations and respond to some of the most vile defenses of them. I’m targeting men, but I think any reader can gleen an idea or two from what follows.

Something We Have to Know About Ourselves to Understand Our Fantasies

I’m not going to explain “Not All Men …“. We’re all intelligent creatures, yeah? This is directed to whom it applies. All men can learn to question their interest in fantasies, especially the power and the sexual ones, which are often intertwined in the imagery of games. Receive this only as an opportunity for personal introspection, not an attack on your person.

wow_alexstrasza_by_gooloo0_o-d32edoqSo who is this picture really painted for? Why is it painted in this way? I have my own theory. It goes like this: the artist, especially if male, is painting for a male audience. His goal is to idolize sex itself. The woman is simply a necessary element to demonstrate his heterosexuality. If he could do it without painting a woman, he would but most male artists are never this clever and creative. They opt for the woman. She’s an obvious marker of heterosexuality to other men, so the art will read easily with a male audience. Next, the sex. Sexualized images of women focus on the big two, tits and ass, to help men fixate to get it up. If her back has to be contorted and her breasts immeasurably large, then the more sexual the picture is. When it comes to sex education, men learn that their erection is the most important component. The harder, the better. To get it on rock we must fixate our minds on something that turns up the intensity. We learn to do this so we don’t embarrass ourselves when the moment comes. When the moment comes, we want to prove our manhood — be as hard and erect as humanly possible. You just can’t get there pre-sex without fixation.

Back to the art work: so the focus on those two essential parts of a woman’s body aren’t really about the woman. They’re about demonstrating manhood, proving to peers that you too know the secrets to a good hard on. That’s what all winking, nodding and loud approvals are about. It’s got nothing to do with the woman. She’s invisible. The painting is of breasts and buttocks. This is objectification incarnate, a literal object in human form. She’s been completely reduced out of humanity in the name of erections and manhood.

avengers-posing-like-womenAs me and my closest friends got older, we had some very revealing conversations about our actual sexual tastes. Chief among them was that it wasn’t boobs and bottoms that did it for us. One friend couldn’t resist long hair — he later learned he liked it on men as much as women. Another liked high pitched voices. Boobs and bottoms were nice in the moment, but they were not essential to the physical attraction. I suspect this is true for most men, that our tastes vary and that any given picture of a sexualized woman isn’t actually our thing — but we can never publicly say so for fear of the relentless shaming. It’s much easier to just go along to get along.

Women are only tangentially necessary to prove male heterosexuality, a checkbox on the list of Masculinity. The less like people they are, the better because it’s not about demonstrating our love of women, but our solidarity with other men. Remember: men don’t get points with other men by being loving. We get the respect of other men by being emotionless, hard, tough, and, most of all, heterosexual. Sexualization of women in games is primarily about homosociality among men. Masculinity is a performance men do for other men and in which women are only a prop.

Normality

By making fantasy depictions of women normative, sexism remains part of our daily mode of operation. This mostly goes unexamined and unquestioned, and that’s key to the perpetuation of it. It’s not just a few sexists in an otherwise non-sexist society, which would be easier to fix. It’s institutions that reproduce it. So remember this when you hear the following arguments:

  • There’s no such thing as sexism. The argument goes that since no man in the vicinity has qualified the alleged sexism (only they can be trusted to identify it), sexism is a myth. Men and women act the way they were born to act, that this lopsided relationship between them is natural. Cries of sexism are just women acting emotional, as is their natural condition or some variation thereof.
  • Sexism without sexists. This argument accepts that sexism actually exists, but no one anyone knows is sexist. Your friend isn’t sexist, you aren’t sexist, you haven’t seen sexism in the work place, it’s not happening in your games, and on and on. The supporting arguments for this are that sexism is ONLY when your grandpa tells your grandma to get in the kitchen (but even that kind of sexism is ok because it’s natural), that sammich jokes are funny, and that chivalry is Good for Women. There are no sexists. This ultimately has the same implications as the first argument.

It’s supposed to feel like things are just normal. That’s what structural problems feel like: Normal. That’s what makes them difficult problems to address. Normality means acceptance, even if what’s happening is wrong or negatively impacting certain groups. Normality means status quo, “that’s the way it is”. It means those who benefit from normalcy are blind to it (the privileged).

Our Complexity Reduced to XY

In fantasy art, men have motives, problems, goals and dreams, and a strong sense of justice. We bring the law because heroes are the law — they cannot be corrected and they are the solution to every problem. We’re complex, complicated, multi-dimensional characters dealing with fate. We’re capable and competent, trustworthy and loyal. We epitomize everything that’s worth redeeming about mankind and that’s an important message of the fiction: men represent the reason everything is worth redeeming and we are there to correct things. And people.

On the other end though, our heroes are shallow, ever the revenge driven patriarch out to protect us from ourselves. Socialization teaches us that these are innate features of male biology, the emotional under-development and drive to violence. And as they say, when you’re a hammer everything is a nail. Male violence is always justified as natural and righteous.

In the end our complexity is reduced to biological rage that’s channeled into the role of lawbringer and protector. So much of the “development” of male heroes is in explaining why their violence is righteous. In the end, our complexity is reduced to a chromosome which we are slaves to, the opposite to that in-control hero we project in our fantasies.

The Art of Heroism and Absence of Heroinism

Superman Male Power FantasyAesthetically, what’s attractive about the superman is his confidence and power. His posture and physique exude it. This is what men are supposed to aspire to: strength which grants confidence that commands respect. The fantasy images aren’t for women (again, women aren’t even important to the artist), but for men. It’s rare to encounter images that are created to celebrate female heroism.

The art of the male and female hero is about inspiring power in men. Male hero figures are all about strength. It’s a fantasy about power. The female figures are also about power …sexual power for men (imagery that inspires erections, which is a symbol of our potency). Sexualization is actually about sexualizing male power. Again, the woman is merely a prop in this process. She’s not important.

Heroes are natural born leaders. That’s why most of them are men. Our place as men is at the front, to dominate because that’s what heroes do (“it is natural for men to lead”). Media messaging for men tells us that we must aspire to these things, because they define true manhood. Every man is taught to pursue true manhood. We cannot fall short of these expectations or else we risk being ostracized, shamed and having our man card revoked.

Remember those words “be a man”. What do they mean? These images are attempting to draw that out for us.

Of Women and Redemption

Through it all, the messaging in our fantasy tells us that men, as in males, must be redeemable, no matter what.

Masculinity is power, and power is attractive. The women in these games want these heroes because they’re strong, powerful figures. Or at least that’s the narrative. The sexual aspects are subtle, but present. The images of men are rarely sexualized in the same way that women are, but rather their power is sexualized. It’s a kind of balance to maintain the humanity of the character. Too much focus on raw power, and you’re the bad guy; too little and you’re as useful as the female characters.

Kratos Male Power FantasyLet’s look at Kratos from God of War. There’s a moment in the game where he lays Aphrodite, tames the goddess in her own sanctuary. Aphrodite is the prop and the scene focuses instead on Kratos sexual prowess. It’s another opportunity to put his power on display. Was it his body she was attracted to as is the case with men and female imagery? No. In the end, Aphrodite is written up as a nymphomaniac, his superb physique significant only inasmuch as it eroticizes his strength. It’s the power he radiates that she lusts after, that makes him a real man. She’s been waiting for a real man for so long, she tells him. Kratos is a real man, his power absolute (this is why he can sleep with a goddess). Male sexuality is not about sex, but power. This is just another way we know that sexualization is about masculinity, disguised as femininity (enlarged breasts, hips, facial features, make-up, and weakness …Aphrodite is all these things and more).

But there’s a price for this mascuinlity. While Kratos’s entire story is built on his quest for power, at times we’re not sure if he’s the hero or a villain, but this contradiction still humanizes him. He’s a man who’s descended from the gods with the power to take even them to their end, even death himself. Over the course of the series, Kratos is a destroyer and in the end of the series his character is offered as a sympathetic figure. A fragile man reaching for godhood, a rejected god reaching for manhood. Yet he spends all of the first game destroying gods for personal satisfaction. He murders his wife and child in his blind lust for power and suddenly, a man who’s spent his entire career destroying others is presented as deserving our compassion.

These new, divine dimensions of character make him more worthy of redemption than before; men must be redeemable the game tells us. He’s come to see the blood on his hands as a curse …and he yet continues to bludgeon every god until the world is no more and nothing is left. Yet by the end of the series, Kratos is transformed from destroyer to redeemer. Men can act in this self-centered manner and we still have to forgive them because, as the narrative tells us, men are the solution. He emerges a god who grew into a better man. That should be a familiar tale for most of us.

The Darkness PicIn the end, we know Kratos’s whole story. He’s not just an abstract figure players don’t care about and he’s not just some power-hungry warrior with a great body. He’s complex, yet shallow. He’s perfected directing his anger to the point of a blade, but he’s just not there emotionally. In fact, when he encounters emotions we find him in the game lost on a black road amidst total darkness. His quest for power has reduced him to nothingness.

Having Our Cake

Game designers believe that we really identify with this sort of thing. They count on it. It’s not so much that they think this applies to all guys, but that they know all men are bound by the same oath of silence to never speak about it. Our task is simple: nod and approve of the cleavage and hips served up in our fantasy art or be ridiculed. Men are supposed to approve of the Kerrigans, Laras, Camys and Aphrodites. Kratos isn’t the only character to be built on male power fantasies.

The values our games espouse exist within a cultural context that reinforces positions of privilege for some and positions of inferiority for others. Every character is made for us, every image made to appeal to us, and we get a lot of variety. We don’t have to want it or ask for it.

Male power fantasies, as an idea, aren’t bad. There’s nothing wrong with being male and enjoying fantasies of these kinds. Modern fantasies come at the expense of everyone but men, though.  Sexualization of women is done for men and men are done for men. It’s all about us and that’s part of why it’s such a big topic in games and fantasy. By all means let’s have male power fantasies, but do we have to throw women under the bus in the name of them? Do we need to be the center of attention? Must everyone be defined as though we are the center of the universe?

Do people other than ourselves matter?

It helps to understand exactly what we’re talking about when we speak of power fantasies for men, and who it’s actually about. There’s no separating them from the harsh realities of traditional manhood which help construct them. It’s OK to chose differently and it’s OK to seek the approval of women, not just men. If we did that a bit more, perhaps we’d get our sexy fantasy art that’s about women instead of just power.

Original Article: http://www.trredskies.com/male-power-fantasies/

Scree Tags: #malepowerfantasy #sexualization

Men Should Consent to Sex

I wrote this for an awareness group I attend and I want to share it with my gamers! As ever, I think gamer spaces are one of the most important places to share these kinds of things because there’s so much stigma and narrow-mindedness in these spaces that it stifles maturity, growth and serious conversation. Please be warned that I’ve never published anything on my blog as descriptive of sex as what I do below. However, I would still rate it PG.


Xbox Sexpad

Oh the things you can do with 2 joysticks …

Let’s talk about sex. Specifically, the kind of sex men like and dream of. As a man I’m going to disclose some of my personal experiences with sexual consent and what I’ve come to understand about it. I want to tell other men: Don’t look at consent as a way to prevent rape; that’s like looking at assault as a way to prevent murder. Consent is about engaging in provocative, seductive, mutual and open sexual acts. It’s the launchpad for that erotic trip to the moon; it is the only way from down here to up there. Just like that big silver button on this Xbox controller, consent is the first step to turning on the game and having the time of your life.

You probably think I’m going to talk about receiving consent from my partners. That’s usually the form discussions about consent take on: men need to ask women for consent to sex. And yes, that’s important too. It’s the only kind of sex I find enjoyable: loud, specific, demanding desire and volition from my lover. Because how can I know she really wants me if I don’t understand her fantasies and if she never tells them? I want her to say yes, and I want it loud and proud — not just with her voice but her body and explicit instruction. Where does she like it, how, when …hearing, seeing and feeling these things lets me know shes not merely saying yes, but enthusiastically inviting me to share an adventure with her. But I digress …

What I really want to talk about today is the consent I give. Now that’s an unexpected twist, isn’t it? Men don’t talk about giving consent because it’s supposed to be a given in our culture. Men always want sex, right? Our lovers don’t need to ask, or so we are lead to believe. This is just another myth used to reinforce the idea that men don’t need anything because we don’t feel anything. This leads to having our feelings trampled underfoot to meet the requirements of masculinity. But our sexual power isn’t in our ability to take from others or to give freely of ourselves when we’d rather not or as if we have no emotional stake in it. Our power is in shamelessly expressing sexual need and emotional desire. The emotional prohibition of masculinity is what makes us believe we consent by default and that we can’t say no because doing so is emasculating. I’m here to call bullshit and reclaim my sexuality for myself. If you enjoy great sex, you should too. And you should start today by actively consenting to your own sexual desires. This can enable you to see consent not as permission, but as essential to your own sexual fulfillment.

As a gamer, nerd and geek, as an ordinary member of this community who has been stereotyped as the impotent, weak, whiny, and effeminate loser …I have to confess: I like when my lovers ask for consent, even though it may play into those stereotypes in the eyes of some. It’s a feel-good kinda thing when that happens, being explicitly sought and wanted. Nerds are not used to this kind of attention so I welcome it. Consent becomes confidence and self-respect, the power button on my console that gives my joystick purpose and makes pressing buttons exciting. It feels different when someone you like, respect and find attractive lets you know that they want you without you being required to initiate — as men are taught to do. As a group, we rarely get to enjoy this side of sex and romance because of it. But it feels goooood. Crave this attention and bask in it when you receive it. It is the first step towards truly consenting to sex with another.

What is Consent?

There are different kinds of consent and one-size doesn’t fit all — just like condoms, cuffs and harnesses. Consent starts early, as soon as the two (or three or four) of you begin romantic dating. Sometimes I want to be teased or even abused along the way. I might say no just to add intrigue to the game. I may say no and then yes, or yes and then no — and I’m entitled to change my mind. I want my lover to play along while I figure out exactly what I want. More importantly, I want her respect my commands. That’s sexy too and not just the power fantasy involved, but the mutuality; she wants to do this and so do I, but right now we’re in the rapture of seduction. Consent is seduction. 

Sometimes I want to do something weird or kinky with my lover. I’m allowed to have such desires and so is my partner, without fear of embarrassment or emotional harm. I’m not ashamed of my fantasies because they’re so good to me that I feel she might want to share in them too. We can test our physical and emotional boundaries in the sex arena (or the kitchen or wall or garden …) together. We can have a good time while we do, because we want this exchange of sexual creativity, even if we only wind up missionary, froggy or doggy. Maybe I want to try this outrageous fantasy with her tonight …tomorrow I might decide I hate it. Consent is temporary. Just because I give it now, doesn’t mean I give it later.

Then there’s the kind of consent that you gradually give, that you’re tempted into, that you acquiesce to, are lured to. Remember I mentioned that men are expected to do all the chasing? That idea isn’t just wrong, but harmful to us. I want to be chased, too. Maybe she really wants me more than I want her. Maybe I’m not in the mood or I’m not sure. Maybe I can see and feel that she’s craving a piece of me that she can’t get through conversation and kisses. She wants the heated breathlessness of my embrace. Eventually she could win me over and I’ll submit willingly and enthusiastically. I’ll give her my body to be satisfied that she’s satisfied. Satisfied that she respected me enough to ask, to pursue, to not judge my masculinity for not being on auto-pilot, to not treat me like she owns me –though that last bit can be sexy at the right time and place too. Consent is respect.

There are times I don’t consent or can’t; I’m not a machine. I get tired, my body can refuse to be interested, or any other number of reasons I simply don’t consent. In the back of my mind, I’m hoping her disappointment leaves the opportunity for a really promising sexual encounter later. I don’t have to say yes to her all the time just because I’m a man. It’s absurd to even expect this from ourselves or others. She may have to play alone for now, but we both know we have something to look forward to when I’m ready. Hopefully she’ll be ready for it too. Consent is patience.

We are all at our sexual peaks when we are consenting creatures. There’s no sex like consensual sex. And guys: you can consent too. You don’t owe anyone sex and you’re not obligated to be a sexual beast due to gender or chromosomes. You can say no and say yes. And you know what? I think you’ll find the secret to satisfying sex and fulfillment of your deepest fantasies lies in understanding and seeking active, passionate consent.

Respect + Trust + Seduction + Patience = Consent

Men can consent just as women can, and we’re missing out on exciting sexual events when we disengage or treat it like a license. Consent is also self-respect, so men should get to know their own feelings and desires about sex. It’s not just about knowing your own fantasies, but knowing that your fantasies include an additional living, breathing, sexy creature; that the fantasy literally requires their investment. Don’t aim so low as a mere “yes”, but strive for a partner that actively and overtly shows they can’t wait to have you. If the consent you receive is equivalent to engaging in a conversation with an NPC or if you feel like you could have the same amount of consent from a rubber doll (passive; the absence of a no and the lack of a yes; she’s willing to be a prop in your orgasm, but not participate, etc), re-evaluate and start over. From the top. You WANT to be wanted and desired and this is the only way to achieve it.

Indulge the seduction and suspense; aim for mutual desire, not just permission, by sharing fantasies. Even say no sometimes just to turn up the heat.

Consent isn’t about rape prevention. It’s about having the sex you really want.