I’m not going to lecture you about consent, why it’s mandatory, or why it’s respectful. I assume, as responsible human beings, that you know all that. The point of this article is to give you some tools, templates, and examples of how to ask for consent in a sexual situation without sounding like you’re in a Public Service Announcement.

Step One: Ask

There are a couple ways to ask for consent and all of them happen BEFORE the act in question:

You can ask before you even have sexual contact. This is probably the least sexy option (unless you’ve already hooked up) but, it’s a great option because no one’s head is clouded by the endorphins in the moment. For me, this usually happens over text when I’m setting up a hookup with a partner.  How do you bring up this conversation? You ask questions!

  • For example: How far have you gone? What is your favorite sex act? Is there anything you don’t like that I should know about? What are your limits?
  • If you’re like me and you’re prone to late night sexting, this is the perfect time to ask! When they tell you what they like over sexting, you can ask them later if they’re really okay with all that or if it was all in good fun.

You can ask your partner right before sexual contact! This is easy. Simply ask your partner if anything is off limits before you begin, EVEN if you’ve hooked up before. Does that sound awkward? Heres’s some help:

  • “Yo gurl, before we do this I wanna make sure you’re down with it. Are there any parts of that sexy body you want to keep to yourself?”
  • “I really like you and I’d hate to upset you, is there anything that you don’t want me to do?”
  • “I know you said you liked _____ (sex act), is it cool if we try it?”
  • “Is everything we did last time okay?”
    • You can even take it a step further and make it sexy by asking a question like:
      • “Where do you want my tongue/hands/fingers/lips/dick/pussy/(insert body part or slang of choice)?”

You can ask before right before you perform the act, especially if it hasn’t been communicated before! You might just get an urge to toss someone’s salad in the heat of the moment but, if it hasn’t been specified, YOU HAVE TO ASK! Make it as sexy as you want, make it funny, make it serious but however you do it, just do it!


Step Two: Check In

Consent is not a one and done process. Bodies change, emotions happen, and the lube just might need reapplying, so check in! Ask your partner how they’re doing. This is easy and should sound a lot like regular sexual communication. If your partner is already giving you feedback with enthusiastic noises, replicated actions, or cries of ecstasy  – that’s feedback and you don’t need to ask. But if you’re trying something new or your partner looks uncomfortable, sounds strained, or is silent – that is a sign that you need to ask! Good ways of checking in include:

  • “Do you like that?”
  • “Is this good for you?”
  • “Do you like it when I ____ your _____ you filthy little _____?” (I guess we all know the sex I like)
  • “Should I slow down?”
  • “Are you comfortable with this still?”
  • “What can I do to make this better?”
  • “Can I cum in/on your ____?”


Step Three: Go Forth and Fornicate!

You see? It’s really that easy! Consent isn’t some textbook memorized phrase that breaks the moment and makes you sound like you’re in a PSA, consent means respecting your partner enough to make sure both of you have the best sexual experience you can! You can make consent into dirty talk, into a serious conversation, or even into a texting topic. Even if you are still weirded out by the idea, I hope that you at least incorporate one of the phrases or ideas I’ve given you because if you do, you are single-handedly thrusting us towards a consent culture, instead of a rape culture.

*As always, the author notes that she can slip into the habit of using gendered nouns and cis-centered terminology. Though she thinks she did pretty well on this one, know that she supports you in whoever you are and whoever you do!