When California governor Jerry Brown signed the affirmative consent bill into law a few weeks ago, California became the first state to define consent as a proactive process, not just a method of self-defense. The idea is actually pretty simple — scratch the old 'no means no' standard and replace it with some version of 'yes means yes.' The law, which applies to the UC school system, says students must get “an affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity." The measure is a big step forward, but has left many people a little confused (and maybe freaked out) as to how this will actually work in real life.
Most of the questions stem from a fear that the need for explicit communication will make sexy times unsexy. And, sure, the idea of stopping every five seconds to get an okay seems like it could interrupt the flow. But, if good sex is a form of communication, does this really have to be the case? We got in touch with Nina Hartley, a porn star known for her kink explorations, to see if there was anything we could learn about consent from a scene where clearly stated boundaries are a crucial part of the fun.
In this video, directed by Wifey co-founder and Transparent creator Jill Soloway, Nina talks you through the best way to make your desires known — so you can both relax and enjoy it. Because, isn’t the best part of sex knowing for sure that your partner is as into it as you are?