We have all heard the uproar about the importance of getting consent before engaging in any type of physical interaction with another person. Physical interaction could be as aggressive as grabbing, kissing, or as innocent as hugging or conversational touching. No matter the circumstance, nobody has the given right to touch another person without permission. The environment does not alter that rule. If you are at a Lifestyle Club with a person dancing next to you completely naked, you still need to ask permission to touch. Often the situation gets blamed as though the person doing the touching has a right due to it being ‘understood’ and this is not the case. Men get a bad name for this, and it is not always the men that are not getting the proper consent.

Yes, ladies, you need to ask permission too. A friend of mine told me the story of being at a dinner party, and there was a combination of local lifestyle couples and vanilla couples. The vanilla couples were fully aware of the couples that were in the lifestyle. Courage presented itself once drinking started. A vanilla lady approached my friend, a gentleman in the lifestyle, and just planted a big kiss right on his mouth. This kiss was without warning and most importantly, without permission. The lady assumed that because she knew that my friend was in an open relationship that he was available and interested in her kiss. Now she was an attractive woman, so maybe she assumed that she was offering a ‘gift’ and that he would be interested in her kiss. The fact is, he wasn’t interested. We have heard it repeated that ‘women control the lifestyle’; this is probably accurate to a degree. If the tables were turned, and this was a vanilla man that laid a big kiss on a lifestyle woman, I can only imagine that the outcome would have been much different, he would have been asked to leave. However, this was not the case, and the woman carried on after the kiss like it never happened. Consent is something that all of us have to get, whether we are in the lifestyle or dating in the vanilla world. There is no exception; be they male or female. Here are a few tips to help protect against undesired advances as well as overstepping our interest onto somebody else- Limit your alcohol intake, getting tipsy is fun but getting intoxicated will likely land you in a precarious situation that you otherwise would not have been in while sober. Keep your partner nearby, make sure that if you are drinking, that your partner is drinking less or vice versa. Be aware of your surroundings; if you are in a strange place or club, don’t wander off alone. The lifestyle is supposed to be fun and uninhibited, and it should always be just that. Just keep in mind that nobody can assume what another person is interested in; make sure it is confirmed. Having fun is the name of the game, always get consent first!