Unsolicited advice: How to ask for consent without “being weird”

There’s a perception out there that asking for consent just as things are getting hot and heavy — or ideally before — is an awkward thing to do. That’s horseradish. You know what kills the mood? Your partner having to try to tell you politely to stop doing something, while you’re trying to do it. Also: saying things like “horseradish.”

You know what takes things to the next level, sexy-wise? (Besides not saying “sexy-wise”?) Getting your partner actively involved in fooling around. Remember: sex isn’t something you do to someone. If you’re not both into it, things can cross a line quickly, and also, why bother?

I can personally guarantee you that no person will think that whispering a quick, “Is this okay?” is awkward. In my experience, quite the opposite. A brief check-in before anything serious happens can not only make sure everyone is on the same page, but get your partner feeling more confident that they’re not going to run into any weirdness for the rest of the encounter. More confidence = better sex.

Some other phrases to try:

  • “Can I [unhook your bra/take this off]?”
  • “How’s that?”
  • “Horseradish.”